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Past Events & Recordings

Recorded Events Available on YouTube

Click here to peruse the playlist of recorded webinars on the BSA’s YouTube Channel.

The Society is working to be sure that accurate captions in English and Spanish are uploaded for YouTube videos within 2 to 3 weeks of posting online. Thank you for your patience as we work through the kinks in implementing this new program!

The Society also records in-person events when possible. Our YouTube Channel also hosts videos of past New Scholars’ papers and Annual Meeting lectures.

Events of Years Past


‘Matalotaje del anima’: Translation as Spiritual Resistance in The Writings of Luis de Carvajal/Joseph Lumbroso

Wednesday, February 28, 2024, 12-2pm CT, Northwestern University

Lecture by Ronnie Perelis, Chief Rabbi Dr. Isaac Abraham and Jelena (Rachel) Alcalay Associate Professor of Sephardic Studies at the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies of Yeshiva University

The case of Luis de Carvajal, the younger and his extended Conversos family is (justifiably) one of the most researched Inquisitorial cases from colonial Mexico. While the vast records of the two trials of the Carvajal family in 1589 and 1596 offer the historian ample material to investigate, there was for some time a major missing piece: the full manuscript of Luis de Carvajal’s religious writings that were stolen from the Mexican National Archives in 1932. In the Fall of 2016 this manuscript resurfaced and was returned to the Mexican authorities and made available for scholarship once again. In this talk, Prof. Perelis will share some new insights into Carvajal’s religious creativity as reflected in the original prayers and religious meditations that Carvajal composed inside this small leather-bound book.

The Life, Motto, and Library of William Walker (1570-1642), Vicar of Chiswick, presentation by Alan H. Nelson

Monday, February 12, 2024; Hybrid event hosted by the Book Club of California

Approximately twenty-five printed books and ten manuscripts have been located from before 1640 which bear the florid inscription: “Will and Walke aright. Will: Walker,” usually appearing on the title-page of a printed book, or on the first or last leaf of a manuscript.

This talk will attempt to identify the author of the inscription and the owner of the books and manuscripts in new detail; to reconstruct William Walker’s small but unquestionably significant personal library; and to trace the history of the “best” manuscript of Sir Philip Sidney’s “Old Arcadia.”

Alan H. Nelson is Professor Emeritus, Department of English, University of California, Berkeley.

This event is co-sponsored by the Bibliographical Society of America, the Book Club of California, and the American Trust for the British Library.

The newly discovered notebook of Isaac Newton, presentation by Scott Mandelbrote

January 17, 2024, The Book Club of California, in person & online

The Cambridge University Library recently purchased a previously unknown notebook kept by Isaac Newton’s chamber-fellow, John Wickins, in the years around 1680. It is possible to identify the contents of the notebook as being previously unknown compositions and correspondence of Isaac Newton, which shed light on many aspects of his work and his engagement with the University in which he was employed.

As part of the preparation of an edition of the notebook, the evidence that it provides for Newton’s reading habits has been extensively investigated and this talk will describe that evidence and the conclusions that can be drawn from it and from other sources to trace changes in Newton’s habits of study at a critical juncture in the development of his thought.

Scott Mandelbrote Fellow, Director of Studies in History, and Perne and Ward Librarian, at Peterhouse, University of Cambridge, UK. He is also the editorial director of the Newton Project.

This event was co-sponsored by the Bibliographical Society of America, the Book Club of California, and the American Trust for the British Library.


A Collection of Early English Books: Reading in the Age of Shakespeare, presentation by Paul Chrzanowski

December 4, 2023, The Book Club of California, in person & online

Book collector Paul Chrzanowski donated his collection of nearly 150 early English books to the UCLA William Andrews Clark Memorial Library.

The collection includes copies of the second and fourth folio editions of Shakespeare’s collected plays (1632 and 1685); plays extracted from the first and third folios; Robert Allott’s England’s Parnassus (1600) with Shakespeare excerpts; and a quarto play, Parts 2 and 3 of Henry the Sixth (1619).

The presentation did not focus on these works. Rather it introduced books on wide-ranging topics that illustrate readers’ interests at the time—highlighting from the collection books of importance, books of great rarity, books with special provenance, and oddities. This presentation explores “books that Shakespeare might have read.”

This event was co-sponsored by the Bibliographical Society of America, the Book Club of California, and the American Trust for the British Library.

Bibliographers Meet-Up at the Met’s Watson Library

December 1, 2023 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

BSA members, friends and colleagues gathered for an informal a shindig at the Thomas J. Watson Library at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Bibliographical camaraderie with nibbles and drinks began at 5:30pm. The event’s focus was on fellowship; attendees also had the opportunity to view books exhibited in the Watson’s ongoing display.

Thank you to Watson Chief Librarian Kenneth Soehner (Council Class of 2025) for warmly welcoming BSA members to meet and catch up with each other!


Secrets of a Lapsed Librarian: How I Use Library Resources as a Bookseller

November 10, 2023, 1:30 pm ET, Online

Wondering how VIAFLCSH subdivisions, or even Bib Standards’ SCF can lend a hand in your work? If you weren’t before, you certainly are now!

In this session, current bookseller and former librarian Patrick Olson introduced a variety of library resources that can benefit booksellers and the bibliographically curious, with a special focus on some of the more obscure resources used primarily by librarians. Patrick is an IOBA and ABAA bookseller who spent a decade working in libraries.

Co-sponsored by the Bibliographical Society of America and the Independent Online Booksellers Association (IOBA).

Todd Pattison, “Good Enough to Read: The Myth of the Temporary Binding“

October 29, 2023, 3:00 pm ET, In Person at the Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair

There are many references to the idea that American paper-covered bindings of the late 18th and early 19th centuries were considered temporary, that after purchase, customers would take them to their bookbinder and have them bound in the style that they wanted. While some of these bindings were replaced, was there really an expectation that all of the books would be rebound? Pattison’s talk discussed the role of paper bindings during this time period and challenged the notion of temporary binding in American book production.

About the speaker: Todd Pattison – Pattison, Conservator at New England Historic Genealogical Society, is a Fellow of the American Institute for Conservation, the incoming vice president of the Guild of Bookworkers and a member of the American Antiquarian Society. Since 2014, he has taught a one-week course, American Publishers’ Bookbindings (1800–1900), at Rare Book School in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Co-sponsored by the Bibliographical Society of America and the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America (ABAA).

The Nature of the Page; or Seeing and Reading the Social Ecology of Texts

September 27, 2023, Online

In this talk, Joshua Calhoun discussed his recent book The Nature of the Page: Poetry, Papermaking, and the Ecology of Texts in Renaissance England. Exploring the ecopoetic interplay between human ideas and the plant, animal, and mineral forms through which they are mediated, Calhoun’s work prompts us to see and even read the finite natural resources in everything from the old books we research to the new smartphones we use to take pictures of those books. Calhoun’s talk focused especially on the role of gelatin sizing in early handmade printing paper and on the environmental ethics of book preservation in fossil-fueled “ideal” climates. A robust discussion followed the talk during which attendees are welcome to ask questions as well as to share their own related insights or discoveries.

Joshua Calhoun, Associate Professor of English and Faculty Affiliate with the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, specializes in Shakespeare, 16th- & 17th-century poetry, the history of media, and the environmental humanities. His work has been published in PMLAShakespeare Studies, and Environmental Philosophy. His first book, The Nature of the Page: Poetry, Papermaking, and the Ecology of Texts in Renaissance England (UPenn Press, 2020), explores the ecopoetic interplay between literary ideas and the physical forms they are made to take as paper texts. Calhoun is also the co-founder of Holding History, a mentorship-driven public engagement project that involves hands-on training in book making and archival research.

Reading Pleasures with Tara A. Bynum

September 12, 2023, 6:30 pm ET, Online

In the early United States, a Black person committed an act of resistance simply by reading and writing. Yet we overlook that these activities also brought pleasure. Tara A. Bynum tells the compelling stories of four early American writers who expressed feeling good despite living while enslaved or only nominally free. The poet Phillis Wheatley delights in writing letters to a friend. Ministers John Marrant and James Albert Ukawsaw Gronniosaw memorialize their love for God. David Walker’s pamphlets ask Black Americans to claim their victory over slavery. Together, their writings reflect the joyous, if messy, humanity inside each of them. This proof of a thriving interior self in pursuit of good feeling forces us to reckon with the fact that Black lives do matter.

A daring assertion of Black people’s humanity, Reading Pleasures reveals how four Black writers experienced positive feelings and analyzes the ways these emotions served creative, political, and racialized ends. Please join us for a webinar discussion with Tara A. Bynum about what feeling good looks like in colonial and revolutionary-era America.

Tara A. Bynum is an Assistant Professor of English & African American Studies at the University of Iowa. She is the author of Reading Pleasures: Everyday Black Living in Early America.

The University of Georgia Symposium on the Book: Unbinding Book History

September 11-12, 2023 (In Person) at The University of Georgia

This two-day event united talks from book historians and practicing book artists, featuring a plenary address by artist Suzanne Coley and a panel featuring special guest Jennifer Low, an early modern scholar and apprentice book artist. The symposium demonstrated the diversity and range of contemporary book arts and book history. Coley’s work uses second-hand African, American, and African American textiles to explore gender, race, and memory through the creation of exquisitely sewn, embroidered, and printed books.

The event features two events, each with separate registration (links below):

Caterina Jarboro, the 1898 Wilmington Riot, and the Challenges of the Archive”: The 2023 James Russell Wiggins Lecture in the History of the Book in American Culture

July 19, 2023, 7pm ET, In-person and Online

A Lecture by Professor Richard A. Yarborough at the American Antiquarian Society

Instances of mass assaults on African American communities in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries have received increased attention over the past couple of decades. Among the more notable of these tragic events is the riot that occurred in Wilmington, North Carolina in 1898 that involved not just attacks on African American citizens but also the forceful overthrow of the city government. Born just months before the outbreak of violence in Wilmington, Katherine Yarborough (who had adopted the name, Caterina Jarboro) became the first African American prima donna to be featured with a white, U.S. opera company when she starred in Aida in New York City in 1933.

Professor Richard Yarborough, the great-nephew of Caterina Jarboro, will discuss his research on the Wilmington Riot, as well as on his great-aunt’s life. In both cases, significant gaps in the archive constitute daunting obstacles when attempting to render accurately important aspects of African American history that have been overlooked, distorted, or suppressed. This AAS program is the thirty-fifth annual James Russell Wiggins Lecture in the History of the Book in American Culture.

Rare Book Collecting in Black Francophone Caribbean Literature

July 14, 2023, 2-3 pm ET, Online

It is commonly understood that academic rare book collections are shaped by the professionals who work in the special collections library. For academic rare book and special collections librarians, there are myriad elements to consider in acquisitions. Campus stakeholders (e.g., faculty and students, and community members) have different levels of interest in collections at any given time. In other words, their interests wax and wane with popular public and/or disciplinary discourse. We usually lessen the difficulty of acquisition decisions through a collection development policy. Academic rare book librarians should also be mindful of the temporality of a collection—considering how present acquisition decisions will translate into the future.

By contrast, personal collectors engage with booksellers in differing settings. What are some things that can happen in the process of acquiring a Caribbean rare book collection composed of 20th through 21st-century publications? What might be some of the particularities to be aware of when seeking to purchase rare books under the Black francophone Caribbean literature subject area as a personal collector?

Please join us for a webinar discussion between Special Collections librarians, Kellee Warren (UIC) and Curtis Small, Jr. (University of Delaware) on institutional and personal rare book collecting that focuses on Black francophone Caribbean literature. The discussion will include professional and personal anecdotes about institutional stakeholders, rare book fairs, book history in France, and acquisitions. Ms. Warren and Dr. Small, Jr. will respond to questions to explore and interrogate collecting in academic institutions and in private, specifically highlighting some of the differences between collection development for a R1 public university and personal collecting.

Critical Need for Critical Pedagogy: Primary Sources Teaching Fellowship Program at UNC-Chapel Hill at the 2023 RBMS Conference

June 29, 8:30 AM-9:30 ET, Hybrid

This panel highlights UNC’s Primary Sources Teaching Fellowship and features the perspectives of its fellows. The Fellowship offers funding and pedagogical training while building networks of support for new professionals from backgrounds underrepresented in the special collections profession who are interested in the field of library instruction. The Fellowship provides a grounding in critical pedagogy as well as tested methodologies for teaching with primary sources. Designed around an ethics of care, it offers graduate students the skills necessary to lead primary source interactions, and it provides resources and guidance on how to teach without ignoring power dynamics and difficult materials.

Moderated by Jose Guerrero.


  • Zachary Boyce, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Arai Greenwell-McAnsh, Appalachian State University
  • Nadia Clifton, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Kelly Bullard, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


Activating Aeromoto Library: Cultivating Community-Based Curation, Curiosity, and Imagination – co-sponsored by CalRBS

December 7, 2022 ONLINE

Aeromoto is a public art library in Mexico City that resists the privatization of information and proposes the library as a public good in conjunction with an alternative temporality, a “slow time…a time without hurrying or urgency,” with the underlying belief that “books are the best way to lose time and that reading is never a waste of time.” While libraries have been historically conceived and perceived as quiet semi-static spaces, Aeromoto co-founder Macarena Hernandez Estrada will discuss how Aeromoto seeks to challenge this dynamic by featuring community-curated book collections, inviting artists to activate portions of the collections as well as the physical space of the library, and developing a robust roster of public events and collaborations with artists and creators within Mexico City and across the world.   

This event continues the Radical Publishing in CDMX series sponsored by BSA in 2020-2021 by demonstrating how some of the publishing projects discussed in the first part of the series are activated and circulated. 

The “Radical Publishing in CDMX” speaker series highlights creative bibliographic research and practice originating in Mexico City and aims to highlight transnationalism in bibliographic studies and tie bibliographic history to the current sociopolitical context. These programs are structured around the language justice principle that everyone has the right to communicate and be heard in the language in which they feel most comfortable; each speaker will give their presentation in their first language (Spanish); simultaneous interpretation will be provided.


Charles Lamb and the Bibliographical Relic: An Evening Colloquium on Annotated Association Copies at the NYPL with Dr. Denise Gigante

November 15, 2023 at the NYPL

This bibliographical discussion will feature books that found their way from Charles Lamb’s famously dilapidated library in London to the Henry W. and Albert A. Berg Collection of English and American Literature at the New York Public Library. The concept of the bibliographical relic was a particular collecting fetish in the transatlantic book world of the nineteenth century, and the occasion for this colloquium is the immediate publication of Professor Denise Gigante’s Book Madness: A Story of Book Collectors in America (Yale 2022), an account of the bibliomania that swept across the Atlantic in the 1830s and 1840s, resulting in the rapid rise of independent, private, institutional, and public libraries in America. Among those that figure prominently in the book is the Astor Library, the original name for the New York Public Library.

The volumes from Lamb’s library are “association copies” and they were a particular collecting fetish of nineteenth-century America. One that is now in the Berg Collection reveals the lengths to which bibliophiles would go to own relics of Charles Lamb—the bibliophile’s bibliophile—for it contains a fantastical bookplate by a pseudo-fictional character pronouncing it to be one in a series of “Relics of Charles Lamb.”  Two other volumes, by the poet John Cleveland, raise questions of bibliographical value. One, with its cracked back, torn pages, flaking leather covers, and missing leaves, stands out in all its dilapidated glory against an elegant gilt bookplate by a later owner, an antiquarian bookseller, printer, and bibliomaniac from antebellum Cincinnati. By contrast, the second, probably to suit the Gilded Era tastes of its former owner (a New York millionaire and yachtsman) has been richly reoutfitted in blue Morocco, with ornamental panels, raised bands, and gilt letters that proclaim not only the title and date of publication on its spine, but the fact that it was “CHARLES / LAMB’S / COPY.” Its sentimental, associational value thus trumps any literary value associated with its author. 

The phenomenon of annotating books enriched the bibliographical relic, and that practice became something of an art form in Lamb’s bookish circle. Samuel Taylor Coleridge, inventor of the term “marginalia” and its reigning practitioner, added in one association copy from Lamb’s Library now in the Berg Collection a key to his annotations. Colloquium participants will consider (1) the nature of the relation between marginalia and the relics; (2) the association copy as a guide to the social life of books; and (3) association itself as a critical tool and prompt to historically based, bibliographical narrative.

Speaker: Denise Gigante is the Sadie Dernham Professor of Humanities at Stanford University who teaches in the English Department. Her most recent book, Book Madness: A Story of Book Collectors in America (Yale, 2022), tells the story of bibliophilia and book collecting in mid-nineteenth-century America when the country’s major libraries were being formed. Research for the book was supported by a “Reese Fellowship for American Bibliography and the History of the Book in the Americas” from the Bibliographical Society of America as well as a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship. Her next book, The Mental Traveller: A Blakean Pilgrimage through Medieval and Renaissance Iconography (Oxford University Press), derives from her Clarendon Lectures at Oxford University (2020) and is based on the handmade, illuminated books of William Blake in relation to other early visual media from the Papal States.

The Trials and Triumphs of Collecting Romance Novels, a talk by Rebecca Romney

November 12, 2023 at the Boston Antiquarian Book Fair

In this lecture, co-hosted by The ABAA, Rebecca Romney describes the obstacles she faced in building a collection of popular romance novels, as well as the opportunities presented by hunting in an area where little bibliographic work has yet been accomplished. The romance genre has commonly been misunderstood by those not personally familiar with the genre, a reality which can make the task of the collector additionally challenging. Working without many exterior resources and references, the project required practicing bibliography in the wild: purchasing a dozen copies of the same book to identify the differences between printings; reaching out to publishers for information on their file copies or publishing records; taking a flyer on a book that’s terribly described, but costs only the price of shipping. Sometimes when there is no clearly defined path, you must make one yourself.

Rebecca Romney is the co-founder of the rare book firm Type Punch Matrix, as well as an author and a book collector. She is the author of THE ROMANCE NOVEL IN ENGLISH: A Survey in Rare Books, 1769-99, which documents her collection of popular romance novels that was sold en bloc to the Lilly Library in 2021. A full PDF of the catalogue is viewable at

Victor Hammer, the Man from Uncial with Richard Kegler

November 11, 2022 at the King Library Press, University of Kentucky

Join the BSA and the University of Kentucky Libraries’ King Library Press for the latest installment of the Hammer International Book Arts Biennale series with a lecture titled “Victor Hammer, The Man from Uncial” from type designer and independent scholar Richard Kegler. Kegler will discuss research from his recent publication The Faces of Victor Hammer, which has been heavily illustrated with Wells College Book Arts Center materials, including some of its logistical issues as well as its purpose to record a visual study of Hammer’s letterforms. This lecture series has been established to honor Carolyn and Victor Hammer, and their legacy to fine printing.

This hybrid event will be in person at the Great Hall of the Special Collections Research Center at the University of Kentucky and streamed online through Zoom with closed captioning in English. Registration is required for virtual attendance and requested for in-person attendance.

Richard Kegler formed the independent digital type house—P22 Type Foundry in 1994 and after starting the not-for-profit Western New York Book Arts Center in Buffalo, New York, became the director of the Wells College Book Arts Center in Aurora, NY. Richard has spent his career combining an interest in traditional printing crafts with entrepreneurial initiatives. His current project Dry Inc. focuses on pre-digital letterpress printing technologies, typography, and new printing tool development. Kegler is the co-author and designer of several books on typography and the producer of the documentary film: Making Faces, Metal Type in the 21st Century.

Black Bibliography: Its Traditions & Futures—A Virtual Salon

September 22, 2022 Online via Zoom

The June 2022 issue of the Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America (PBSA) is devoted to the traditions and futures of Black Bibliography. Join guest Editors Jacqueline Goldsby and Meredith McGill, together with authors and contributors to the volume, for a Virtual Salon on September 22, 2022 (7-8:30 p.m. ET)! Speakers include:

  1. Laura Helton, Assistant Professor of English and History at the University of Delaware
  2. Samantha Sommers, Assistant Professor in Residence in the English Department at University of Connecticut
  3. Derrick Spires, Associate Professor of Literatures in English and affiliate faculty in American Studies, Visual Studies, and Media Studies at Cornell University
  4. Michael Winship, Iris Howard Regents Professor of English II (emeritus) at the University of Texas at Austin

Join them in a conversation led by Professors Goldsby and McGill to discuss and exchange ideas, and to share new developments and directions raised by the provocative essays and book reviews included in this volume.

Moderator Bios:

  1. Jacqueline Goldsby is Thomas E. Donnelly Professor of African American Studies and English at Yale University. She is the author of A Spectacular Secret: Lynching in American Life and Literature (University of Chicago Press, 2006), editor of The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man (W. W. Norton & Co., 2015), and writes about twentieth-century African American literature and book history. She founded and directed “Mapping the Stacks: A Guide to Black Chicago’s Hidden Archives” and co-directs “The Black Bibliography Project” with Meredith L. McGill. She is currently at work on Writing from the Lower Frequencies: African American Literature and Its Mid-Century Moment and on Doing a New Thing: The Art and Life of James Baldwin.
  2. Meredith L. McGill is Professor and Chair of English at Rutgers University. She is the author of American Literature and the Culture of Reprinting, 1837–1853 (2003), a study of nineteenth-century American resistance to tight control over intellectual property. She has edited two collections of essays: Taking Liberties with the Author (2013) and The Traffic in Poems: Nineteenth-Century Poetry and Transatlantic Exchange (2008). She co-directs the Black Bibliography Project with Jacqueline Goldsby and is completing a study of poetry and mass culture in the antebellum US.

X Encuentro Internacional de Bibliología: Asia en el mundo del libro colonial de Ámerica Latina | Asia in the Colonial Latin American Book world

September 1, 2022 online via Zoom

El encuentro se realizará de forma virtual y se transmitirá en vivo a través del Canal de YouTube de la Biblioteca Nacional de México, (uso horario de la CDMX). Este encuentro cuenta con los auspicios de Red Latinoamericana de Cultura Gráfica y Bibliographical Society of America (BSA). Lea el programa en línea.

Organización académica:

Dra. Marina Garone Gravier (SIB-IIB-UNAM) y Devin Fitzgerald (UCLA, Library Special Collections)

La Nueva España y otros territorios coloniales latinoamericanos funcionaron en el amplio sentido de la palabra como un puente entre Asia y Europa. Mientras que los historiadores han apreciado durante mucho tiempo las dimensiones comerciales de las conexiones latinoamericanas con el área Asia-Pacífico, los estudios recientes han enriquecido nuestra apreciación de las contribuciones vitales de los pueblos y culturas de Asia en el desarrollo de las culturas visuales latinoamericanas, los hábitos de consumo y las visiones del mundo de esta latitud. El presente coloquio pretende aprovechar estos desarrollos académicos centrando nuestra atención en los legados bibliográficos de las conexiones asiático-latinoamericanas. Se invita a los participantes del encuentro académico a explorar la presencia de Asia en la cultura escrita, impresa y visual de los libros y las bibliotecas latinoamericanas. Este tema pretende ser concebido de forma amplia, incluyendo perspectivas como la materialidad, la textualidad, la tipografía y la historia de las bibliotecas y el coleccionismo.

New Spain and other colonial Latin American territories served as a bridge between Asia and Europe. While historians have long appreciated the commercial dimensions of Latin American connections with the Asia Pacific, recent scholarship has enriched appreciations of the vital contributions of Asian peoples and cultures to the development of Latin American visual cultures, consumption habits, and views of the world. This workshop aims to build on these scholarly developments by focusing our attention on the bibliographical legacies Asian-Latin American connections. Organized by Dra. Marina Garone Gravier (UNAM) and Dr. Devin Fitzgerald (UCLA). More details forthcoming.

The meeting will be held virtually and will be broadcast live through the YouTube Channel of the National Library of Mexico, (CDMX time zone). The BSA is proud to co-sponsor this meeting with the Latin American Network of Graphic Culture and the Bibliographical Society of America (BSA). Program available online (in Spanish).

Academic organiziers:

Dra. Marina Garone Gravier (SIB-IIB-UNAM) and Devin Fitzgerald (UCLA, Library Special Collections) 

Materialities of Tibetan Buddhist Texts

August 26, 2022 Online via Zoom

Within the diverse traditions of Tibetan Buddhism, the power of books—both printed and hand-written—lies not only in their contents, but also in their materiality as objects. While these texts primarily transmit the words of the Buddha(s), the teachings of Buddhist masters, and the commands of Buddhist leaders, they can also function as ritual objects, protective talismans, and instruments of political authority. The three scholars on this panel will share bibliographical studies of Tibetan texts that highlight how text production, circulation, and replication within architectural spaces has been utilized by Tibetan religious and political leaders to assert and solidify their power.

Rebecca Bloom will discuss an illustrated commentary on the Buddhist monastic code and the series of murals inspired by it, which were initially composed and commissioned by the Thirteenth Dalai Lama in the 1920s in order to purify the monastic community and protect the state he led.

Jue Liang queries the notion of a stable, unchanging “text” by introducing a series of emanations of the same life story of Yeshe Tsogyel, the preeminent female saint of Tibet. In this case, the life story appears as individual texts as well as a part of an extensive hagiography of her teacher, Padmasambhava. It is discovered independently by two Buddhist teachers almost a century apart. It is also copied, abridged, edited, and attached to other life accounts in the course of migration through different parts of the Tibetan Buddhist world.

On a search for the true location of the Fifth Dalai Lama’s 17th-century printing house, Ben Nourse will examine evidence from the autobiography of the Fifth Dalai Lama, the continuation of that biography by his last regent, and from colophons and stylistic elements of editions produced at this location, where the largest catalog of printing blocks in Tibet up to that time were created.


  1. Rebecca Bloom, Assistant Director of Curatorial Affairs and Interpretation at the Southern Utah Museum of Art at Southern Utah University
  2. Jue Liang, Assistant Professor of Religion, Denison University
  3. Benjamin Nourse, Assistant Professor of Buddhist Studies, University of Denver

Watch now on YouTube

Rare Book Cataloging with the New RDA Toolkit and Descriptive Cataloging of Rare Materials (RDA Edition)

June 22, 2022 at RBMS 2022

DCRMR is a new cataloging standard for the description of rare materials that is aligned with Resource Description and Access (RDA). DCRMR is a revision of the DCRM manuals and distills the RDA Toolkit into clear, concise instructions in workflow order. DCRMR is one of the first standards aligned with the new Toolkit and one of the first cataloging standards developed and published in GitHub. In this session, attendees will learn about DCRMR, the history of rare materials cataloging, major changes from DCRM(B), and future directions. Catalogers and non-catalogers alike will benefit from learning about DCRMR.

Lambeth Palace Library through five centuries, a talk by Giles Mandelbrote

July 11, 2022 at the Book Club of California

In central London, on the banks of the Thames, Lambeth Palace Library is the historic library of the Archbishops of Canterbury and the national library and archive of the Church of England. Founded in 1610, its internationally important collections include medieval illuminated manuscripts from the ninth century onwards and early printed books, as well as extensive archival holdings to the present day. In 2021, the Library re-opened to readers and the public in a purpose-built new library building. This illustrated talk will look at the history of the collections and the people associated with them, while exploring some changing ideas of what a library is for.

Watch now on YouTube.

How to Contribute to BibSite

June 16, 2022, 1:30-2:30 pm Eastern, Online

Led by BibSite Editor Eric Ensley & Executive Director Erin McGuirl.

Join us for a brief introduction to the BibSite submission process. We’ll cover a number of topics, including the types of materials we accept for submission, the submission process, and the BibSite Contributor License. A brief presentation will be followed by a question and answer period. This session will be recorded and shared on YouTube.


Hacking the quotidian with Mexico’s RRD collective: creative experimentation and transnational collaborations around print technologies and public space

Friday, March 12, 2021. Online.

RRD (Red de Reproducción y Distribución / Reproduction and Distribution Network) is an artist collective based in Mexico City that playfully experiments with and remixes traditional print and audiovisual formats and distribution networks to produce and circulate counternarratives intended for a broad public as well as artists and others in publishing/literary realms. The collective will discuss how their projects, publications, and interventions draw upon low tech distribution and printing mechanisms and range from hyperlocal to transnational in scope to address issues such as Covid-19, youth movements and government repression, and information piracy. Their newspaper kiosk in front of the Mexico City metro station Juanacatlán serves as a public meeting space for their different audiences to encounter each other as well as unconventional printed works (such as zines, artist books, subversive comics) and site specific public art. RRD will discuss the interventions at its kiosk, the publications it houses, and how these elements have translated in its collaborations and workshops (on typography, mimeograph, and risograph) with youth and artists in Taipei, Bangkok, and Bogotá.

Panelists: Founded in 2016, RRD – Red de Reproducción y Distribución is an independent collective of artists in Mexico City – Paloma Gómez, Joel Castro, Sergio Torres, Alberto Vivar, Lorena Álvarez, María José Cruz and Bruno Ruiz.

The English recording is not available at this time.

Incidiendo el cotidiano con el colectivo mexicano RRD: experimentación creativa y colaboraciones transnacionales con tecnologías de la imprenta y el espacio público – YouTube en Español

RRD (Red de Reproducción y Distribución) es un colectivo de artistas en la Ciudad de México que experimenta y remezcla formatos audiovisuales e impresos para producir y circular contranarrativas para un público amplio además de artistas y actores en los ámbitos literarios y editoriales. El colectivo hablará sobre sus proyectos, publicaciones e intervenciones hiperlocales y transnacionales que utilizan mecanismos de imprenta y distribución “low-tech” para hablar sobre asuntos contemporáneos como el Covid-19, movimientos sociales liderados por los jóvenes y la represión gubernamental, y la piratería de información. Su kiosco de periódicos en frente de la estación de metro Juanacatlán en la Ciudad de México vende obras imprentas no tradicionales (como fanzines, libros de artista, historietas subversivas). El kiosco también sirve como un punto de encuentro público para diferentes audiencias además de arte para un sitio particular (site-specific?). RRD hablará sobre las intervenciones en su kiosco, las publicaciones que hacen y venden, y como estos elementos son traducidos en sus colaboraciones y talleres sobre la tipografía, mimeografía y risografía con artistas y jóvenes en Taipei, Bangkok y Bogotá.

Ponente: Fundado en 2016, RRD – Red de Reproducción y Distribución es un colectivo independiente de siete artistas en la Ciudad de México – Paloma Gómez, Joel Castro, Sergio Torres, Alberto Vivar, Lorena Álvarez, María José Cruz y Bruno Ruiz. La obra de RRD incluye colaboraciones para producir libros, publicaciones, fanzines, videos, instalaciones y presentaciones en México (CDMX, Oaxaca, Chiapas) e internacionalmente en Canadá, Colombia, Taiwán y Tailandia.



Libraries, Collecting, & Area Legibility: Early Latin American Collections in the U.S. (1880-1945).

November 1, 2021, Online.

Speaker: Ricardo Salvatore, Universidad Torcuato di Tella
Moderator: Corinna Zeltsman, Georgia Southern University

During the age of Pan-Americanism (1890-1940), US universities started to build impressive collections of “Latino-Americana.” They collected books, periodicals, government papers, and manuscripts relating to Latin America. “South America” attracted special attention for, around the time of the First World War, the sub-continent became, in the eyes of North-American businessmen, the new land of opportunity for commerce and investment. Central to this new enterprise of accumulation of knowledge was the understanding of the past. Collectors showed enormous interest in artifacts of ancient Andean cultures, manuscripts of the early Spanish colonial period, and Spanish chronicles of the Conquest. Apparently, there was little connection between the interests of North-American investors (in petroleum, railroads, tramways, meat-packing, land, and financial and commercial services) and those of university archives and libraries. But, as the earlier “Latin-Americanists” acknowledged, the commercial penetration of “South America” required an understanding of the region’s culture, society and politics. And the keys to this understanding were to be found in the colonial period. In addition, collectors of “Latino-Americana” build a strong a recurrent parallel between the commercial conquest of South America and the military and spiritual conquest carried out by the Spaniards in the early sixteenth century.


Collecting and Preserving Colonial Latin America Materials Today: A Roundtable Discussion | Recopilación y conservación de materiales de América Latina colonial hoy: una mesa redonda

December 9, 2021. Online.

Hortensia Calvo, Stella González Cicero, José Montelongo, Mercedes Salomón Salazar – moderated by Alex Hidalgo and Corinna Zeltsman

 Webinar replay: Coming soon

This virtual roundtable brings together professionals from libraries and archives located in Mexico and the U.S. to reflect on the challenges and opportunities associated with safeguarding, acquiring, and making accessible important collections of colonial Latin American materials. Together, the panelists will discuss how they have navigated the structural constraints, historical legacies, and contemporary pressures that shape stewardship of Latin American printed and archival materials today.


Hortensia Calvo, The Latin American Library, Tulane University

Stella González Cicero, Apoyo al Desarrollo de Archivos y Bibliotecas de México (ADABI)

José Montelongo, The John Carter Brown Library

Mercedes Salomón Salazar, Biblioteca Histórica José María Lafragua, Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla

Moderated by Corinna Zeltsman and Alex Hidalgo

Black Bestselling Books & Bibliographical Concerns: A Conversation Between Kinohi Nishikawa and Jacinta R. Saffold

October 27, 2021. Online.

In this session, Jacinta R. Saffold, creator of the Essence Book Project, and Kinohi Nishikawa consider the bibliographical pluralities of creating a digital archive derived from a bestsellers’ list.

Webinar replay:

Bluestockings Bookstore: Empowering Queer and Activist Communities

October 21, 2021. Online.

Malav Kanuga, Emiliano Lemus, and Matilda Sabal – moderated by Elvis Bakaitis

Founded in 1999, Bluestockings Bookstore has served for many years as a cultural hub, activist network, and vibrant community space on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Entirely all-volunteer run, there are 80+ volunteers, a rotating weekly schedule, and a worker’s collective at the decision-making core. Home to over 300 events/year, Bluestockings offers poetry open-mics, letter writing to prisoners, zine-making workshops, book launches, reading clubs. Panelists Malav Kanuga, Emiliano Lemus, and Matilda Sabal shared from their personal experiences as former and current members of the Bluestockings collective, offering an in-depth exploration of the space and its pivotal role for queer, transgender, and gender non-conforming individuals.

This event was co-sponsored by CLAGS: The Center for LGBTQ Studies and the Mina Rees Library at The Graduate Center, City University of New York.

Webinar replay:

July 1-August 12: 500 Years of Mexican Books / 500 Años de Libros Mexicanos

July 1 - August 12, 2021. Online.

Anuncio en español aquí.

On the occasion of the anniversary of the so-called “conquest” of Mexico, this series of presentations addresses the relationship between bibliography, the history of the New Hispanic book, and the production of Indigenous-language books in Mexico. The series includes two roundtable discussions and five lectures by Marina Garone Gravier on the print production of New World languages, publishing criteria of Indigenous languages in New Spain, the uses of books in the teaching of Indigenous languages at the Royal and Pontifical University of Mexico, the collaboration of Indigenous calligraphers, typographers in the elaboration of books in New Spain, and the participation of printers as agents of the colonial edition in native languages.

Recorded presentations (in Spanish) were released all summer on the UNAM Chicago YouTube Channel with captions in English.

Organized by Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Chicago Campus, in collaboration with the Bibliographical Society of America.

Co-hosted and co-sponsored by the Center for Renaissance Studies and the D’Arcy McNickle Center for American Indian and Indigenous Studies at the Newberry Library.

June 22, 2021 (2pm EDT) – BSA New Scholars Program, Q&A Session

June 22, 2021. Online.

The Bibliographical Society of America was pleased to invite prospective applicants to its New Scholars Program where they joined us for an information session on the program itself and the application process. We also invited academic faculty, librarians, booksellers and others interested in encouraging their students or mentees to apply to the program to attend.

Prospective applicants were invited to attend to ask New Scholars Selection Committee Chair Barbara Heritage and Vice Chair Cynthia Gibson questions about the program.

For more details on the New Scholars program including eligibility and application information, please visit the New Scholars page on our website and watch the 2020 information session recording on YouTube.

Textual Editing & The Future of Scholarly Editions: A Conference on the Bicentennial of James Fennimore Cooper’s The Spy

May 25-26, 2021, Online.

Textual Editing & The Future of Scholarly Editions: A Conference on the Bicentennial of James Fennimore Cooper’s The Spya virtual conference hosted by the American Antiquarian Society that will bring together a range of scholars in conversation about new directions in textual editing and scholarly editions.

May 25, Panel 1 – “The Past, Present, and Future of the Scholarly Edition”

Cochairs and Keynotes: Derrick Spires (Associate Professor of Literatures in English and affiliate faculty in American Studies, Cornell University) and Amy Earhart (Associate Professor of English and affiliated faculty of Africana Studies, Texas A&M University)


  • Joycelyn Moody (Sue E. Denman Distinguished Chair in American Literature, University of Texas at San Antonio)
  • Douglas Jones (Associate Professor of English and Assistant Dean of Humanities, Rutgers University)
  • Kirsten Silva-Gruesz (Professor of Literature, University of California Santa Cruz)

May 25, Panel 2 – “Textual Editing and the Future of Digital Editions”

Chair and Keynote: Matt Cohen (Professor of English, Co-Director of the Walt Whitman Archive, and Affiliate Faculty in Native American Studies, University of Nebraska Lincoln)


  • Robert Warrior (Hall Distinguished Professor of American Literature and Culture, University of Kansas)
  • Jimmy Sweet (Assistant Professor of American Studies, Rutgers University)
  • Christine DeLucia (Assistant Professor of History, Williams College)

May 26, Panel 3 – “Textual Editing Beyond the Print Edition of the Canonical Writer”

Chair and Keynote: John Bryant (Professor Emeritus of English, Hofstra University)


  • Joseph Rezek (Associate Professor of English, Boston University)
  • John Garcia (Assistant Professor of English, Florida State University)
  • John McKivigan (Mary O’Brien Gibson Professor of History, Africana Studies, Indiana University)

May 26, Panel 4 – “Textual Editing in the Classroom and Beyond”

Chair and Keynote: Elizabeth Maddock Dillon (Professor of English and Co-Director of the NULab for Texts, Maps, and Networks, Northeastern University)


  • Sarah Robbins (PhD Candidate in History, Yale University)
  • James Ascher (PhD Candidate in English, University of Virginia)
  • Sonia Di Loreto (Assistant Professor of American Literature, University of Torino–Italy)
  • Meredith Neuman (Associate Professor of English, Clark University)

Early Modern Typography/Race/Gender Roundtable

May 19, 2021, Online.

Early Modern Typography/Race/Gender Roundtable that includes B.K. Adams, Erika Boeckeler, Claire M. L. Bourne, Jill Gage, and Miles P. Grier.

This roundtable will discuss how early modern typography—broadly construed as the design and disposition of type on the page and within the bounds of the book—was anything but a neutral container for the publication of early modern writing. Indeed, the very idea of black ink on white paper was frequently used to produce and mediate discourses of race and gender in plays, poems, and other literary and non-literary texts printed in the period. Panelists will discuss from various angles the metaphorics and literal uses of type, ink, paper, and the mechanics of printing to demonstrate how textual design functioned as a site for negotiating and securing a discourse of whiteness that—in effect and in reality—marginalized non-conforming bodies and identities. We will also discuss whether early modern typography might challenge this discourse.

The Thunderbird Press: A Roundtable Discussion

May 14, 2021, Online.

The Thunderbird Press: A Roundtable Discussion with Marie-Hélène Jeannotte, Emanuelle Dufour, Christine Sioui Wawanoloath, and Édith-Anne Pageot.

This event will propose an introduction to Indigenous Print in Canada by studying an interesting but very little known Indigenous printing initiative led between 1974 and 1976 in Québec, at the Collège Manitou: Thunderbird Press. Collège Manitou was a college-level educational institution in La Macaza (Québec, Canada) where Indigenous Students were trained according to the principles of First Nations traditional education. Among other courses, Indigenous students were trained in printing.


Anarchist Poetry, Revolutionary Propaganda, and a Prison Library: Examining the Textual Legacy of Mexico’s Magonismo and Its Resonances Today

December 11, 2020. Online.

Through an examination of renowned Mexican anarchist Enrique Flores Magon’s library, Diego Flores Magon traces the impact of Mexican anarchist thought Magonismo, its influences on revolutionary movements in Mexico and the US during the early 1900s, and its resonances today. Starting with the radical “prison library” that Enrique’s brother Ricardo circulated during his incarceration in Leavenworth Penitentiary (Kansas) to the numerous informally published pamphlets of Ricardo’s writing that were sold by solidarity organizers for his legal fund, to anarchist poetry inspired by Magonismo, Diego analyzes how Mexican anarchist thought crossed geographic and temporal borders and reflects on the impact of the Flores Magon revolutionary textual legacy. Through his revitalization of La Casa del Hijo de El Ahuizote, the original Flores Magon printing space in Mexico City’s historic city center, Diego discusses current printing efforts imbued by the spirit of Magonismo and the process of creating facsimile editions of rare anarchist newspapers and poetry found in the Flores Magon library.

Watch the recording on YouTube in English.

Poesía anarquista, propaganda revolucionaria y una biblioteca de la cárcel: examinando el legado textual de Magonismo y sus resonancias hoy en día – YouTube en Español
A partir de algunos ejemplares de la biblioteca del renombrado anarquista Enrique Flores Magón, Diego Flores Magón rastrea la influencia del movimiento denominado “magonismo”, por medio de su producción editorial, en los movimientos revolucionarios de México y Estados Unidos a principios del siglo veinte, hasta sus resonancias contemporáneas. Pondrá a consideración de los asistentes algunos ejemplares de la literatura radical que los hermanos Ricardo y Enrique Flores Magón circulaban entre sus compañeros presidiarios en Leavenworth (Kansas, EU); se presentarán los primeros librillos hechos para distribuir los textos de Ricardo,  que sus simpatizantes anarquistas vendían, primero, para financiar su proceso legal y, finalmente, se pondrá sobre la mesa un caso excepcional de poesía anarquista inspirada por este mismo movimiento. Diego reflexionará sobre la manera en que el pensamiento anarquista mexicano cruzó fronteras geográficas y temporales. Los libros son la materia del legado textual revolucionario de los hermanos Flores Magón. Con la revitalización de La Casa de El Hijo del Ahuizote, el lugar original de la imprenta de los hermanos Flores Magón, Diego hablará sobre sus proyectos editoriales actuales, que canalizan el espíritu de “magonismo” y los procesos para crear ediciones facsímiles de periódicos anarquistas y poesía que se encuentra en la biblioteca Flores Magón.

Diego’s presentation will be given in Spanish with simultaneous interpretation into English by Antena Los Angeles.

Early European Materials in Modern American Archives: The Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society

December 9, 2020. Online.

Since its founding in 1791, the Massachusetts Historical Society has collected and communicated materials for the study of American history. Well-known today among its collections are the presidential papers of John Adams, John Quincy Adams, and Thomas Jefferson; the Wampanoag vocabularies Native speakers taught to John Cotton Jr. and his son Josiah; and items related to the Civil War-era Massachusetts 54th Regiment. The presence of pre-modern European manuscripts at the MHS might therefore seem a little odd. What does a book of hours have to do with Boston’s early republic? Yet, since as early as 1796, when “several ancient manuscripts” entered the collections, the Society has held a slowly but steadily growing assemblage of medieval and Renaissance materials ranging from twelfth-century charters to a seemingly endless collection of indentures.

Using the example of the MHS collections, Agnieszka Rec will offer a medievalist’s perspective on the opportunities afforded by the presence of early European manuscripts in American historical collections. After an introduction to the MHS’s earliest materials, we will follow two threads: colonial paleography and nineteenth-century antiquarian interests.

Building Better Book Feminisms

December 3, 2020. Online.

Recent years have seen a surge of interest in feminist bibliography, sparked primarily by work by Kate Ozment and Sarah Werner, drawing on a 1998 piece by Leslie Howsam in SHARP News. In this roundtable, the question of how to expand the field of feminist book studies takes precedence. What does feminist theory and methodology offer to all walks of material text studies? With participants coming from the fields of book history, bibliography, libraries and archives, the conversation will open with position statements about what better book feminisms might entail and expand into a discussion between participants and viewers about what makes this an attractive practice and the directions it needs to move in.

Co-sponsored by Cornell University Libraries.

Roundtable Participants:
Tamar Evangelestia-Dougherty, Associate University Librarian, Cornell University
Leslie Howsam, Distinguished University Professor Emerita (History) at University of Windsor & Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Digital Humanities at Ryerson University
Brenda Marston, Curator, Human Sexuality Collection, Cornell University Library
Kate Ozment, Assistant Professor, English, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
Sarah Werner, independent scholar, Washington, DC

Book/Print Artists/Scholars of Color Collective: Irene Chan, Devin Fitzgerald, Colette Fu, and Radha Pandey

November 20, 2020. Online.

Book artist Tia Blassingame founded The Book/Print Artists/Scholars of Color Collective to build community and collaborations with BIPOC book/print practitioners and scholars. The Collective represents a growing community of more than twenty book artists, scholars, librarians, papermakers, letterpress printers, printmakers, and curators. All are passionate about book history, print culture, and the endless potential of artists’ books as vehicles of social change and cultural conveyors that uplift our communities, and tell our stories, histories.

This is the second in a series of three events generously funded by David Solo featuring presentations and discussions by Collective members. In this session, four members of the collective will share their artwork and scholarship. Presenters and their topics are:

Irene Chan will share images and talk about her artist books with performance on topics of the immigrant experience, forgotten histories, and personal storytelling. Chan is a multidisciplinary artist who works conceptually in print media, papermaking, installation, storytelling performance, and book arts. She is an Associate Professor of Visual Arts (Founder and Head of Print Media) and Affiliate Faculty of Asian Studies at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, U.S.A. Her books and works on paper have been exhibited internationally and held in 80 public collections including the Walker Art Center, The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Tate Modern, Victoria & Albert Museum, and British Library in London. Chan established Ch’An (ch’ ahn) Press through which she has self-published prints and 35 artist books to date. She is the recipient of grants and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, New York Arts Council, Maryland State Arts Council, Washington D.C. Commission of the Arts and Humanities, of fellowships to 23 artist residencies, and has exhibited and performed in 55 venues in the last ten years.

Devin Fitzgerald‘s talk will introduce the three major traditions of woodblock printing in 21st century China. Devin is the Curator of Rare Books and the History of Printing at UCLA Library Special Collections. A specialist in Western and East Asian book history and a bibliographer, Devin researches the global circulation of East Asian books. Devin was a 2015 Andrew W. Mellon Fellow in Critical Bibliography and received additional training at both the University of Virginia and California Rare Book Schools. He obtained his PhD in History and East Asian Languages from Harvard University.

Colette Fu will introduce her ongoing series of pop up books that she’s been working on since 2008 about the ethnic minority groups of China. Fu received her MFA in Fine Art Photography from the Rochester Institute of Technology in 2003, and soon after began devising complex compositions that incorporate photography and pop-up paper engineering. She has designed for award-winning stop motion animation commercials and free-lanced for clients including Greenpeace, Vogue China, Canon Asia, and the Delaware Disaster Research Center. Fu’s numerous awards include the 2018 Meggendorfer Prize for best paper engineered artist book, a 2008 Fulbright Research Fellowship to China, and grants from the Independence Foundation, Leeway Foundation, En Foco, and the Puffin Foundation. Her photo-based pop-up books are included in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Library of Congress, the National Museum of Women in the Arts, and many private and rare archive collections. She has attended many fully-funded artist residencies including those at the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, Swatch Art Peace Hotel, Yaddo, Macdowell Colony, Sacatar, Vermont Studio Center, Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, and the Alden B. Dow Center for Creativity. Her solo show “Wanderer/Wonderer: The Pop-ups of Colette Fu” was presented at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in 2016/17. In 2017, Fu created the world’s largest pop-up book at the Philadelphia Photo Arts Center measuring 14×21 feet. Visitors were invited to enter the book. A passionate educator, Fu also teaches artmaking as a way to give voice to communities through pop-up paper engineered projects. She teaches pop-up courses and community workshops to marginalized populations at art centers, universities and institutions internationally.

Radha Pandey will present a short sampling of her work, ending with her latest project on Mughal floral botanicals and the colonialization of plants by the British and how that changed the aesthetics of the book and our relationship with nature. Pandey is a papermaker and letterpress printer. She earned her MFA in Book Arts from the University of Iowa Center for the Book where she was a recipient of the Iowa Arts Fellowship. She practices European, Eastern and Indo-Islamic Papermaking techniques and teaches book arts classes in India, Europe and the US. Her book Anatomia Botanica won the MICA Book Award in 2014, and received an Honorable Mention at the 15th Carl Hertzog Award for Excellence in Book Design. In 2018, her book Deep Time won the Joshua Heller Memorial Award. Her artists books are held in over 40 public collections internationally, including the Library of Congress and Yale University. Currently, Radha is working on an artist book inspired by Mughal floral portraiture from the 17th century, for which all the paper will be hand made in the traditional Indo-Islamic style.

The Book in Movement: Experimentation & Craft in Autonomous Publishing Networks in Latin America

November 11, 2020. Online.

Over the past two decades, Latin America has seen an explosion of experiments with autonomy, as people across the continent express their refusal to be absorbed by the logic and order of neoliberalism. The autonomous movements of the twenty-first century are marked by an unprecedented degree of interconnection, through their use of digital tools and their insistence on the importance of producing knowledge about their practices through strategies of self-representation and grassroots theorization. The Book in Movement (University of Pittsburgh Press 2019) explores the reinvention of a specific form of media: the print book. Magalí Rabasa travels through the political and literary underground of cities in Mexico, Bolivia, Argentina, and Chile to explore the ways that autonomous politics are enacted in the production and circulation of books.

Candid Conversations: Booksellers & Librarians

November 5, 2020. Online.

This webinar – the first in a prospective series scheduled in conjunction with major book fairs – explores the necessarily close but complicated working relationship between special collections librarians and booksellers. Aiming to make the intersection of the two fields more transparent, and geared primarily to early career professionals in both librarianship and the trade, the BSA invites anonymous questions to be posed to a librarian and a bookseller as the basis of an informal and candid conversation between them, based on their own experiences.

In this session, taking place the week before the virtual Boston book fair, BSA members Charlotte Priddle, Director of Special Collections at NYU, and Heather O’Donnell, founder of Honey & Wax Booksellers, will respond to questions received in advance from audience members. The webinar will conclude with an opportunity for live questions (posed anonymously or not via Zoom webinar’s Q&A feature) and will be moderated by BSA Executive Director Erin McGuirl.

Book/Print Artists/Scholars of Color Collective: Tia Blassingame, Ashley Hairston Doughty, Kinohi Nishikawa, and Curtis Small

October 23, 2020. Online.

Book artist Tia Blassingame founded The Book/Print Artists/Scholars of Color Collective to build community and collaborations with BIPOC book/print practitioners and scholars. The Collective represents a growing community of more than twenty book artists, scholars, librarians, papermakers, letterpress printers, printmakers, and curators. All are passionate about book history, print culture, and the endless potential of artists’ books as vehicles of social change and cultural conveyors that uplift our communities, and tell our stories, histories.

This is the first in a series of three events generously funded by David Solo featuring presentations and discussions by Collective members. In this session, four members of the collective will share their artwork and scholarship. Presenters and their topics are:

Tia Blassingame will discuss representing Blackness in artists’ books. A book artist and printmaker exploring the intersection of race, history, and perception, Blassingame often incorporates archival research and her own poetry in her artist’s book projects for nuanced discussions of racism in the United States. Her artist’s books are held in library and museum collections including Library of Congress, Stanford University, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Bainbridge Island Museum of Art, and State Library of Queensland. Blassingame is an Assistant Professor of Art at Scripps College and serves as the Director of Scripps College Press.

Ashley Hairston Dougherty: Her talk will be an examination of personal identity through book arts and visual narratives. Doughty is a visual storyteller, explaining personal experiences through verbal and visual language. Much of her practice deals with socio-economic, racial, and gender-based issues, particularly those relating to cultural misconceptions and the development of personal identity. Although trained as a graphic designer, Doughty’s artwork often crosses multiple media, including typography, illustration, writing, fiber and materials, and book arts. She shares and encourages such art-making as an Assistant Professor of Art at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and through her design studio, Design Kettle. Doughty’s work is included in the Joan Flasch Artists’ Book Collection in Chicago and has received awards from the Caxton Club, the College Book Arts Association, and Arion Press.

Kinohi Nishikawa will offer a brief discussion of the folds, seams, and edges of contemporary Black book arts, with a particular focus on work by Tia Blassingame and Yolanda Wisher. His talk will attend to the object’s turning points as an important aspect of thinking critically about race in the present moment. Nishikawa is Associate Professor of English and African American Studies at Princeton University. His book Street Players: Black Pulp Fiction and the Making of a Literary Underground was published by the University of Chicago Press in 2018. He is currently at work on Black Paratext, a study of how book design has shaped modern African American literature.

Curtis Small will discuss “Reading danger” in Black women’s artists’ books, with a focus on work by Clarissa Sligh and Tia Blassingame. Small is a Librarian and Coordinator of Public Services for the Special Collections department at the University of Delaware Library, Museums and Press. In this position, he coordinates the reference, instruction and exhibition programs, and also serves as a curator for the rare book collections. In 2017, Curtis curated the exhibition Issues and Debates in African American Literature at UD Library. In 2019, he was a co-organizer of the Black Bibliographia conference, also at the University of Delaware. As a proud team member of the Colored Conventions Project, Curtis works on permissions and outreach. He has also done scholarly research on the print history of the Colored Conventions Movement and the importance of Haiti within the movement. Curtis also works to increase racial diversity among professionals in the fields of archives and Special Collections. He holds a PhD in French from New York University and an MLIS degree from the School of Library and Information Science at Simmons University.

The Screenplay as Material Text

October 1, 2020. Online.

Screenplays are bibliographical frankensteins. They are book-objects used to circulate the “same” text to multiple people in more than one printed copy. They are also manuscript-like, produced and circulated in multiple drafts over time, and most are never commercially published. Libraries tend to acquire them not for their value as stand-alone objects, but as part of personal or corporate archives. And last but not least, they were overwhelmingly produced by women tapping away on typewriters in Hollywood studio typing pools. Scripts challenge some of our most basic assumptions about printerly labor.

In this webinar, Kevin Johnson and Erin Schreiner will introduce screenplays as collectible, hybrid textual objects with research value for those interested not only in film studies, but also in the production and circulation of non-letterpress text in the 20th century. Kevin and Erin will also review several materially distinctive features of scripts including their format, binding, provenance, and the various office duplication machines used to print them.

Black Bibliography: Dorothy Porter’s “Early American Negro Writings” at 75

August 20, 2020. Online.

Since present practice does not provide for catalogue entries under the color or race of author, nor as a general rule does a library classification bring them together on the shelf, existing bibliographical apparatus was of very little use …” Dorothy Porter, “Early American Negro Writings” (click for free access via University of Chicago Press) (1945)

This year marks the 75th anniversary of Dorothy Porter’s (1905-1995) “Early American Negro Writings: A Bibliographical Study,” published in The Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America. Porter’s 1945 essay is a touchstone of Black bibliography; her insistence that African American writing merited a place in the Papers was – and remains – a critique of bibliographical studies more broadly. Through this essay and later work, such as Early Negro Writing (1971), Porter helped define a field of Black authorship that expanded the idea of how, where, and for what purposes Black writers used print in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Challenging a prevailing view of Black subjects as unlettered and absent from early literary history, she revealed a large and rich field of “Negro literature” located in hymn books, orations, almanacs, petitions, newspapers, satires, sermons, and organizational proceedings—as well as in poetry and narrative. For decades, Porter’s expansive and collective understanding of Black textuality has guided bibliographers, cataloguers, literary scholars, and historians.

Recent work from Laura Helton, Zita Nunes, and Autumn Womack has given us a new appreciation for Porter’s innovative cataloguing practices and use of resources as curator of Howard University’s Moorland-Spingarn Research Center. Her cataloguing system, for instance, centered the African diaspora and created a way of seeing blackness where it was not marked within dominant knowledge structures. As recent social justice movements have brought renewed attention to institutional collecting practices, this webinar convenes an interdisciplinary group of scholars and librarians to reflect on Porter, her unfinished mission to make Black print accessible, and the blueprint she provided to rethink bibliography, archives, and libraries today.

H(EX) LIBRIS: Tracing Occult Identities

July 31, 2020. Online.

The determination of occult textual identities has evolved beyond editing and interpreting of key texts, but rather tracing commonalities, typology, and cultural relevance to contemporary bibliographic sources. Particularly, it populates aspects of magical commerce, proprietary accumulation, and recognition of posthumous spaces.

It has also revealed the marginalization and failure of scholarship to recognize specific voices in occult book history. In this brief webinar, Kim Schwenk traces the nature of occult identities formed through marginalia, provenance, and art and design in print, with an effort to advocate for diverse narratives. Kim will be using examples of inscriptions, bookplates, and design features, intrinsic to occult practices and identities. For catalogers, bibliographers, and bibliophiles, the conversation will outline the need for advanced bibliographic description and cultural context for ‘hidden’ creators and relationships within occult materials to empower collection development and collaborative scholarship.

Kim Schwenk (MLIS) is a rare book cataloger at UC San Diego, Special Collections & Archives Library and an antiquarian bookseller with Lux Mentis, Booksellers. She has a specialization in American and European witchcraft history, history of early printed occult texts, and bibliographic studies of magical curses using plants and objects. She also is active in occult sciences and the occult book community both as a researcher and a practitioner. As of 2019, she is researching “occult ex libris,” otherwise known as “hex libris” or occult bookplates.


Toward Inclusive Bibliography, Los Angeles

October 12, 2019. Los Angeles.

With over 220 languages spoken, and vibrant populations from around the world, Los Angeles County is one of the most diverse regions of the United States. Despite this diversity, there has been little crossover between the region’s distinctive collections of rare bibliographical materials and the communities that surround them. This panel is intended to begin a new dialogue between bibliography as a field for enriching our appreciation of rare materials and Library Special collections.

The panel will begin with a keynote address by Marina Garone Gravier, Professor at Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Instituto de Investigaciones Bibliográficas, Professor Gravier will describe how a capacious bibliographic approach to the study of the Latin American imprint enriches our histories of the book and illustrates the significance of diverse library collections. This talk will be given in Spanish and simultaneously translated into English.

Following the lecture, a panel dedicated to describing community collections will feature two talks. The first, by Richard Soto, founder of the Chicano Research Center in Stockton California, will describe the center and the importance of making Chicano writings accessible to the community at large. He will be joined by Lizeth Ramirez, Librarian/Archivist for Los Angeles Communities and Cultures | Bibliotecaria/Archivista para Comunidades y Culturas de Los Ángeles, who will describe ongoing projects to document Los Angeles.

Question and answer periods will be moderated by event organizer and BSA member Devin Fitzgerald, Curator of Rare Books and the History of Printing, UCLA Special Collections.

Feminist Bibliography Workshop

October 11, 2019. Washington, DC.

The study of how books were made and how we interpret the signs of their making has been shaped predominantly by men. And while scholars and librarians are increasingly interested in women in the book trades, we still need to consider what a feminist praxis of studying the making of books could be. This three-hour workshop will draw on the Folger’s collections in order to collectively consider how feminist theory can shape the questions we ask of material texts and the pedagogies we use to introduce them. The workshop will not be teaching or reviewing the basics of bibliography; a prior familiarity with the subject or a comfort with not understanding physical bibliography will be needed.

An Introduction to Islamic Manuscripts

October 11, 2019. Houston, TX.

The arts of the book in the Islamic world encompass nearly 1,400 years of rich and varied production, from the earliest Qur’anic codices of the seventh century to the albums of calligraphy, painting, and drawing assembled by connoisseurs in the sixteenth to nineteenth centuries. This workshop will introduce religious manuscripts, literary manuscripts, and albums from the Islamic world through examples selected from the outstanding permanent and long-term loan collections at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Participants will learn to associate certain styles, materials, and formats with each genre, and will also gain insight about the collection and display of Islamic manuscripts in museums.

BSA members are encouraged to attend, but membership in the Society is not required. If you are interested in joining a growing, inter-disciplinary and inter-professional community of bibliographers and book historians, please find information about membership here.

This workshop will be led by Margaret Squires, curatorial assistant for Art of the Islamic Worlds at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Margaret holds a BA in Arabic language and literature and an MA in Islamic art and architecture. She has studied manuscripts from across Islamic lands and recently installed a new display focused on the arts of the book in the MFAH’s permanent galleries for art of the Islamic worlds. In addition to her art historical background, Margaret is also a trained Arabic calligrapher.

The Material Evidence in Incunabula (MEI) Database and American Collections

June 18, 2019. Baltimore.

Material evidence in Incunabula (MEI) is an international database, freely accessible, specifically designed to record and search the material evidence of 15th-century printed books: ownership, decoration, binding, manuscript annotations, stamps, prices, etc. The collaborative enterprise of over 400 European and American libraries, it contains over 40,000 high quality records and the identification of over 18,000 former owners.

MEI is hosted and maintained by the Consortium of European Research Libraries (CERL). MEI introduced an innovative approach to the recording of provenance: the application of geographical (GeoNames) and temporal indicators applied to every element of provenance, to track the movement of books over space and time during their 500 years of life. Now we are in the position to visualise the movement of thousands books, and to understand patterns and trends in the use and survival of early printed books. By integrating provenance data we are also reconstructing dispersed libraries and of course support the high-quality copy-specific cataloguing of every library with this kind of material.

A powerpoint will be distributed in advance; participants will be registered for editing the database in advance. This workshop will be held at the George Peabody Library, Johns Hopkins University, where participants will work with incunabula from the Peabody collections. Participants are responsible for getting themselves to the workshop, located about one mile from the conference hotel. Brought to you by the Bibliographical Society of America (BSA) and the Consortium of European Research Libraries (CERL).

Lead by Christina Dondi (University of Oxford)

Toward Inclusive Bibliography

June 3, 2019. London (Maggs Bros., Ltd.)

Click here to register.

Bibliography implies community. It focuses on understanding the creation and circulation of texts as physical objects; and implicitly recognizes that behind each surviving object, no matter how small, there are communities at work: booksellers and collectors, volunteers saving a local organizers’ flyers in their closets, the curatorial staff at a museum. Yet at the same time, bibliographical teaching and scholarship have historically focused on a narrow range of materials and creators, even while broadening in chronological range and subject matter. Having centered a canon defined by Western European values, the discipline has built a body of knowledge in which large gaps remain to be filled, especially regarding groups kept outside of centers of political and institutional power on the basis of their race, ability, class-background, gender identity or sexual orientation, or any combination of these factors.

This panel aims to highlight the work of people filling those gaps, with the explicit intention of demonstrating how bibliographical scholarship and practices can be channeled toward a more realistic understanding of historic and contemporary relationships between people and texts. Our conversation looks to expand bibliographies and the communities they connect by broadening our view of who does bibliography, and how.

Panelists Eyob Derillo (British Library), Hudda Khaireh (Thick/er Black Lines artist collective/OOMK) and Brooke Palmieri (Camp Books),  offer perspectives from traditional sites of bibliographical practice – the bookshop, the library, and the academy – as well as from marginalized or minority groups working as “bibliographers” on their own and for themselves. This panel aims to fill gaps not only to by enumerating and analyzing more material, but also by including and recognizing new voices and perspectives in the conversation. Fuchsia Voremberg (Maggs) will moderate.

Please click here for more information about the panelists, including biographical statements and abstracts of their presentations.

The Roads Taken, Or, The Obstacle Course

April 25-26, 2019. Princeton, NJ.

The Research Group on Manuscript Evidence’s 2019 Anniversary Symposium takes inspiration from its session organized by Barbara A. Shailor, showcasing case-studies at Yale University, on “The Peregrinations of Manuscripts:  Origin, Provenance, or Both”.  Our program and curated displays demonstrate myriad challenges and opportunities for assessing the origins, travels, and arrivals of manuscripts, documents, and rare books. The focus centers upon selected medieval and early modern materials, both Western and non-Western. We include reports of discoveries, work-in-progress, cumulative research, and collaborative projects.

Attention to the essence of “Location, Location, Location” — involving stages in the history, present homes, and resource potential of the materials — may also consider choices made by scholars, teachers, curators, collectors, and bibliophiles in shaping their paths towards chosen fields of concentration, methods of approach, and regional and international collaborations.

Considering “The Roads Taken” (obstacles included) by original materials in their patterns of production, use, collection, scholarship, and recognition, our event is designed to examine the nature of the evidence for locating the origins, travels, and homes of textual materials in diverse forms.

Full program information here.

Ethical Outreach with Culturally-Sensitive Content: Practices, Provocation, and Power

June 19, 2019. Baltimore.

Session at the Rare Books and Manuscripts Section Conference
Preparing timely and meaningful exhibits and outreach events is a crucial part of special collections and archives librarianship. Accomplishing this task in contemporary society often means engaging the public with materials that reflect histories of violence, racism, and oppression. Attendees of this seminar will learn from outreach specialists, collection curators, and faculty partners, who will share effective and responsible approaches to special collections outreach with these materials. Building upon previous conversations on this theme as it relates to other professional functions, this seminar turns the focus to the particular challenges related to outreach practices including exhibits, social media, and community events that purposefully engage the public with these materials and themes. Presenters will engage with questions such as: How do we present these materials ethically and conscientiously in the special collections outreach environment, and remain attentive to the risks of replicating these histories when presenting materials that document violent, racist, or oppressive acts? How do we call attention, in exhibits and outreach, to the materials that are missing both from the historical record and from our collections? How can we work to center voices representing oppressed communities both in the collections we highlight, and in the expertise we engage in all stages of the outreach process? How do we prepare special collections librarians and archivists in the profession to accomplish this work?


  • Myranda Fuentes, Institutional History Research Specialist, Dartmouth College
  • Ruth Anne Jones, Michigan State University
  • Grace Adeneye (moderator), University of Delaware
  • Dr. Courtney R. Baker, Associate Professor, American Studies & Chair, Black Studies, Occidental College
  • Allen Chen, Occidental College ’18
  • Elizabeth Tibebu, Occidental College ’19

Roundtable: Absence in the Archives: New Methods for Representing Exclusion

March 23, 2019. Denver, CO.

Session at American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies Annual Meeting

Chair: Lisa Maruca, Wayne State University

  • Margaret Ezell, Texas A&M University: “The Printer’s Mark: Finding Anne Maxwell”
  • Eleanor F. Shevlin, West Chester University: “Absence in the Face of Presence: Printer Mary Harrison”
  • Emily Friedman, Auburn University: “The Accidentally Anonymous”
  • Whitney Arnold, UCLA: “Uncovering Invisible Texts: Topic Modeling the Monthly Review
  • Lena Emelyn Zlock, Stanford University: “Beyond Rousseau and Montesquieu: Digitally Locating Individuals in Voltaire’s Library”
  • Bethany E. Qualls, UC Davis: “Secret Histories, Secret Signals, and Subalterity in the Hatian Revolution”

Bookbindings in their Cultural Context

March 18, 2019. Toronto.

Sessions at the Renaissance Society of America Annual Meeting

Organizers: Caroline Duroselle-Melish, Folger Shakespeare Library & Nina Musinsky, Nina Musinsky Rare Books
Chair: Nina Musinsky, Nina Musinsky Rare Books
Respondent: Nina Musinsky, Nina Musinsky Rare Books

Coptic Manuscripts Workshop

May 17, 2019, Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Egyptian Christian tradition has a long legacy of vibrant book production and circulation. The workshop will reflect on this legacy and the rich book culture of Egypt. Focusing on objects from the fourth century to the eighteenth century, we will study biblical, literary, and documentary texts on pottery fragments, papyrus and parchment leaves, and illuminated paper codices.

This workshop will be led by Andrea Myers Achi, Assistant Curator in the Department of Medieval Art at the Met and The Cloisters at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City. Dr. Achi specializes in late antique and Byzantine art, manuscript studies, and late Roman ceramics. Her doctoral dissertation at the NYU Institute of Fine Arts  investigated monastic books and book production from the medieval Monastery of St. Michael in Egypt.  In addition to her art historical research, she have been involved with numerous excavations in Egypt and Italy.

Registration is open only to BSA Members and is now closed as the event is fully registered.