Friday, April 27, 2007

Encyclopaedism before the Enlightenment
of Classics, University of St Andrews
13-15 June 2007

Over recent years there has been increasing scholarly interest in pre-modern intellectual practices and the scientific texts which they generated. Particular attention has been paid to treatises, handbooks and other shorter works. There have also been a series of important studies of Pliny's Natural History and its role as a proto-encyclopaedia. This conference will build on these strands of research to explore the nature and variety of encyclopaedic projects in the age before the work of Diderot and his contemporaries created the modern vision of an encyclopaedia.

We start with no preconceived definition of an encyclopaedia. Instead, we hope that connections, and differences, will emerge from discussion of a range of texts that broadly share the visions and claims to comprehensive and or varied knowledge associated with the modern genre. To this end we are bringing together a group of scholars with wide knowledge of large-scale compilatory and synoptic works of knowledge composed in antiquity and afterwards. Papers will address classical, Byzantine, Islamic, Chinese and early modern encyclopaedias and compilations. Our primary aim is to discuss encyclopaedic and miscellanistic projects from a comparative perspective. We will examine the social and political worlds in which they were produced, including in some cases the context of empire. The conference will build on ongoing work in the Logos Centre in St Andrews on the compilatory and scientific writing of the ancient world.

The conference is generously funded by the British Academy, the Leverhulme Trust, the Classical Association and the Hellenic Society.

Confirmed program:

Wednesday 13 June

Encyclopaedic beginnings/encyclopaedic ideals
2-2.45: Christopher Smith (St Andrews)—Varro and Republican antiquarianism
2.45-3.30: Myrto Hatzimichali (Cambridge)—The origins of encyclopaedism in the Alexandrian Library

3.30-4: TEA
4-4.45: Paul Magdalino (St Andrews)—Byzantine Encyclopaedism of the Ninth and Tenth Centuries
4.45-5.30: Mary Beagon (Manchester)—A Herculean Task: "molem illam Historiae Naturalis"
5.30-6.15: Hugh Kennedy (St Andrews)—Early-Islamic encyclopaedism (title tbc)

Thursday 14 June

Organising principles and technologies:
9-9.45: András Németh (Central European University, Budapest)—Procopius and Theophylactus in the Encyclopaedic Collections of the 10th Century Constantinople
9.45-10.30: Neil Rhodes (St Andrews)—Revisiting the Renaissance Computer

10.30-11: COFFEE

Organising principles and technologies after Aristotle:
11-11.45: Katerina Oikonomopoulou (Oxford)—Peripatetic encyclopaedism and Plutarch’s collections of Quaestiones
11.45-12.30: Daniel Andersson (Warburg Institute)—The Organization of Knowledge in the Early Modern Encyclopaedia: The Case of Aristotle

12.30-1.30: LUNCH

Questioning encyclopaedism
1.30-2.15: Daniel Harris-McCoy (University of Pennsylvania)—Artemidorus’ Oneirocritica as Fragmentary Encyclopaedia
2.15-3: William West (Northwestern University)—Irony and Early Modern Encyclopaedic Writing

3-3.30: TEA

Function and audience
3.30-4.15: Teresa Morgan (Oxford)— Encyclopaedias of virtue? Collections of moral exempla in Greek
4.15-5: Claudia Strobel (Oxford)—The lexica of the second century AD: The mystery of function and readership
5-5.45: Erika Gielen (Leuven)— Byzantine encyclopaedism of the 14th century: Joseph Rhakendytès

Friday 15 June

Practical knowledge and encyclopaedic form
9-9.45: Marco Formisano (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)—Late ancient culture: towards an encyclopaedia of practical knowledge
9.45-10.30: Harriet Zurndorfer (Leiden)— The Passion to Collect, Select, Protect, and Expurgate: Two Thousand Years of the Chinese Encyclopaedia

10.30-11: COFFEE

11-11.45: Claire Preston (Cambridge)—Dugdale's history of drainage and the dregs of England

11.45-12.30: Rebecca Flemming (Cambridge)—Celsus (title tbc)

12.30-1.30: LUNCH

Reception of Pliny
1.30-2.15: Paul Dover (Kennesaw State University)—'Reading Pliny’s Ape’ (the Polyhistor of Solinus) in the Renaissance'
2.15-3: Ernesto Paparazzo (Istituto di Struttura della Materia del CNR)—Augustine as a reader of the Naturalis Historia

3-3.30: TEA

3.30-4.15: Aude Doody (University College, Dublin)—Diderot's Pliny and the Politics of Encyclopaedism

4.15-5: Concluding discussion

Further details and booking form available on website.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Bibliographical Society of America
New Scholars Program

The Bibliographical Society of America each year invites three scholars in the early stages of their careers to present twenty-minute papers on their current, unpublished research in the field of bibliography as members of a panel at the annual meeting of the Society, which takes place in New York City in late January. The New Scholars Program seeks to promote the work of scholars who are new to the field of bibliography, broadly defined to include any research that deals with the creation, production, publication, distribution, reception, transmission, and subsequent history of texts as material objects (print or manuscript). Papers of New Scholars are published in the December issue of the Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America as part of the proceedings of the annual meeting

Junior (i.e., untenured) faculty and graduate students at the dissertation level are eligible, as are professional librarians, members of the book trade, and book collectors who are at the beginnings of their careers. Candidates should submit a letter of application, an abstract of not more than 250 words, and a curriculum vitae. Graduate students should also submit a letter of recommendation from their dissertation director. For submissions to be considered for the following January, materials should be received by July 31. Please address and send applications (preferably via email) to:

New Scholars Program
Bibliographical Society of America
P.O. Box 1537
Lenox Hill Station
New York, NY 10021

New Scholars selected for the panel receive a subvention of $600 toward the cost of attendance at the annual meeting and a complimentary one-year membership in the Bibliographical Society of America. For further information on the Society, see website. Inquiries regarding the program may be directed to Gregory A. Pass, Chair, New Scholars Program, at

The University of Queensland Postdoctoral Fellowship Scheme, 2008-2010
Closing Date: 18 May 2007.

The School of English, Media Studies and Art History would be particularly interested in receiving expressions of interest from applicants in the fields of book history, print culture studies and studies of reading.

Full details of the Fellowships are available here

Friday, April 20, 2007

The Munich Copy of the Gutenberg Bible
Now digitalized – available here

The Munich Gutenberg Bible is one of only two copies which contain the table of rubrics, a printed list of headlines which served as a guide to the rubricator. The Bible is printed on paper and contains some illumination and manuscript annotation, the latter can be ascribed to a Benedictine monk from Tegernsee. In 1803, the Bible was transferred to Munich from the Benedictine monastery of Andechs.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Illinois Launches Midwest Book & Manuscript Studies

The Graduate School of Library and Information Science (GSLIS) and Illinois’s Rare Book & Manuscript Library announce the creation of the Midwest Book & Manuscript Studies (MBMS) program. The program draws on leaders from the field to offer high quality, intensive courses on the history of manuscripts and books and the unique skills and approaches to librarianship that such collections require. Courses include the history of the book, special collections librarianship, archival studies, and printing history.

Unique to the MBMS program is a certificate in special collections librarianship granted from GSLIS, the nation’s number-one library and information science school. The certificate is earned after completion of 12 credit hours of course work. Also housed under the MBMS program is the Soybean Press, a fine press imprint dedicated to the promotion and teaching of letterpress printing; a series of Book Arts Workshops; and the Books in Culture/Culture in Books lecture series.

“I’m quite certain that the certificate in special collections librarianship from GSLIS will become a coveted credential in our field,” said Valerie Hotchkiss, director of the MBMS and head of the Rare Book & Manuscript Library. “Geographically, the MBMS sits between the venerable Rare Book School of the University of Virginia and the new school for special collections at UCLA. We hope to learn from our colleagues on the two coasts, while also exploring new and different ways to make our school unique.”

Among the faculty for the 2007 program are Christopher de Hamel, Librarian of Corpus Christi, Cambridge who will teach a course on medieval and early modern manuscripts; Sid Berger of The Phillips Library who will teach courses on the design and manufacture of paper and rare book and special collections librarianship; and Bea Nettles and Steve Kostell of Illinois’s School of Art & Design, who have special expertise in letterpress printing and the book arts. A complete list of courses is available on our Web site.

Summer classes begin May 21, 2007. For more information on registering for classes, contact Marianne Steadley at or by phone at 217-244-2751.

For further information on the MBMS program, visit website.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

New Exhibitions at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University

Trees in Fact and Fable
April 9 through May 25, 2007
The spreading chestnut, the Charter Oak, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, Yggdrasil, the olive branch, the laurel wreath. Trees and images of trees pervade our language, our history, our poetry, and our mythologies. This unsystematic romp through the collections of the Beinecke Library gathers books with representations of trees. Included are botanical books from four centuries, first trees, biblical trees, sacred trees, mythological trees, family trees, emblematic trees, and literary trees, from Ovid, Dante, and Shakespeare to Goethe, Longfellow, and Joyce Kilmer. [ca. 150 items]

Collecting an Empire: The East India Company (1600-1900)
March 26 through early June 2007
As the quintessential instrument of imperial conquest, the British East India Company, with its commercial, political, and aesthetic concerns, tells a rich, conflicted story of engagement between two cultures. This exhibit brings together a diverse, multi-lingual range of Indian and British objects, illuminated mythological manuscripts, maps, letters, official proclamations, diaries, ship logs, company dictionaries, travel journals, novels, and broadsides from various Beinecke Library collections. [ca. 60 items]

Monday, April 09, 2007

Call for Papers
"Textuality and Canon Formation in the Renaissance"
A Panel at SAMLA Convention
November 9-11, 2007, in Atlanta, GA
Textual and Bibliographical Studies Session

Papers are invited that explore the impact of textual and bibliographic practice on the emergence of a prominent corpus of English literary texts in the early modern period. Inquiries might include the relationship between manuscript and print; editorial decisions and textual presentation; the influence of reading communities; generic transformations and displacements; the convergence of English literature and nationalism; the politics of anthologizing; and so on. This panel will explore the textual means by which certain texts rise to prominence: What gets privileged, and how? Who makes these decisions in the period? Alternatively, what slips away (or is made to slip away), and why? How can textual and bibliographical studies reveal the mechanisms that determine reading preferences both then and now? Papers welcomed that focus on single authors, specific genres, or individual works, as well as those that adopt a more general approach.

By April 15, 2007, please send 250-500 word abstracts to Tricia A. McElroy, University of Alabama, via email ( or by post (Department of English, Box 870244, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0244).

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Non-Latin Typeface Design
18-19 September, 2007
St Bride Library, London, UK
and University of Reading, Reading, UK

The St Bride Library and the Department of Typography, University of Reading are collaborating on a two-day conference on non-Latin typeface design. The conference will be on Tuesday 18 and Wednesday 19 September 2007, and will comprise a day of talks at St Bride Library, London, and a day of hands-on sessions at the Department of Typography, Reading

Speakers at the conference at St Bride include Graham Shaw (Head of Asia, Pacific and Africa Collections at the British Library), Mammoun Sakkal, Maxim Zhukov, Victor Gaultney, and Nigel Roche. The hands-on day at Reading includes sessions working with original material from collections of both institutions. Sessions will be conducted by: Dr Martin Dodds (Principal Examiner for Urdu, Cambridge International Exams), Jo de Baerdemaeker, Gerry Leonidas, Thomas Milo, and Dr Fiona Ross. As sessions at Reading involve working with original artefacts, places will be limited to 30 persons.

The twin events will be accompanied by substantial exhibitions on the theme of the conference from the collections of both institutions. A lot of this material has rarely been seen before, and certainly not in this concentrated manner. The gems include original drawings for several reference non-Latin typefaces. The exhibitions will be curated by Fiona Ross and Rathna Ramanathan.

Registration fees are £60 for the Tuesday only, and £120 for both days; student fees are £40 and £80 respectively. Updates and registration information will be posted as soon as more information becomes available.

Conference website here