Saturday, December 15, 2007

Book History and Print Culture
A collaborative program at the University of Toronto

The Collaborative Program in Book History and Print Culture is designed to bring together graduate students from a variety of disciplines based on their common research interest in the physical, cultural, and theoretical aspects of the book. As a collaborative program, it is designed to augment the learning and research potential of existing master's and doctoral programs by pooling the expertise of U of T faculty members in this field from several disciplines. All students begin with the core course, which introduces scholarly approaches to the field. The core course is complemented by courses from other departments either cross-listed with or approved by the program. At the doctoral level, students in the program are required to undertake a practicum and bring their skills to bear on a major research project. Students who graduate from the program will have acquired a thorough knowledge of the emerging field of book history and print culture and will have demonstrated an ability to incorporate that knowledge into their research.

For more information, click here.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

London Rare Books School, 2008

The University of London's Institute of English Studies announces the second London Rare Books School (LRBS), a series of five-day, intensive courses on a variety of book-related subjects to be taught in and around Senate House, which is the centre of the University of London's federal system. The courses will be taught by internationally renowned scholars associated with the Institute's Centre for Manuscript and Print Studies, using the unrivalled library and museum resources of London, including the British Library, the British Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the University of London Research Library Services, and many more. All courses will stress the materiality of the book so you can expect to have close encounters with remarkable books and other artefacts from some of the world's greatest collections.

Each class will be restricted to a maximum of twelve students in order to ensure that everyone has plenty of opportunity to talk to the teachers and to get very close to the books.

In its second year the LRBS will be running for two weeks: 30 June - 4 July and 14 July - 18 July. The courses planned for 2008 are:

Week 1 30 June - 4 July

1. The Book in the Ancient World
Course Tutors: Professor Mike Edwards and others.

2. The Medieval Book
Course Tutor: Professor Michelle Brown

3. The Printed Book in Europe 1455-2000
Course Tutor: Professor John Feather

4. A History of Maps and Mapping
Course tutors: Mrs Sarah Tyacke and Dr Catherine Delano-Smith

5. Historical Bibliography
Course tutor: Professor Tony Edwards

6. Children's Books
Course tutors: Dr Jill Shefrin, Mr Brian Alderson and others

Week 2 14-18 July

1. The Carolingian Book
Course tutors: Professor David Ganz

2. The Early Modern Book in England: Exploring the Evidence
Course tutors: Dr Arnold Hunt, Mr Giles Mandelbrote

3. Modern Literary Manuscripts
Course tutor: Dr Wim van Mierlo

4. Modern First Editions
Course tutors: Mr Laurence Worms, Julian Rota, and others

5. Bookbinding Decoration
Course tutor: Professor Mirjam Foot

6. Map Production
Course tutors: Mrs Sarah Tyacke and Dr Catherine Delano-Smith

Each course will consist of thirteen seminars amounting in all to twenty hours of teaching time spread between Monday lunchtime and Friday afternoon. There will be timetabled 'library time' that will allow students to explore the rich resources of the University's Senate House Library, one of the UK's major research libraries. There will also be a full evening programme with an opening reception and talk, a major book history lecture, and a reception hosted by a major London antiquarian bookseller. For those able to stay on to the Saturday, there will be various additional book history-related activities on offer.

Postgraduate credit is available for these courses at the Institute, which is one of the ten member-Institutes of the University of London's School of Advanced Study. In order to achieve the award of credit a student will have to complete and pass a 5,000 word essay within two months of the course (an extra fee to cover marking and other costs will be charged).

The fee will be in the region of £500 which will include the provision of lunch, and coffee and tea throughout the week. It is likely that a small number of bursaries will be available, details will be provided later.

A range of different sorts of accommodation will be available including cheap student housing (on a bed and breakfast basis) close by Senate House; Senate House is next to the British Museum in the heart of Bloomsbury.

Application forms will be available by early February but you are invited to register your interest in a course or courses now (given the likely demand you would be well-advised to list a second choice). Those who register now will be the first to receive application forms. You can register your interest in LRBS 2008 by emailing your name and address (with an indication of preferred courses) to:

Further details can be found here.
Teaching the History of the Book to Undergraduates
A One-Day Symposium
Saturday 8 December 2007
Institute of English Studies, London

Organisers: Dr Ian Gadd, Dr Aileen Fyfe, Dr John Hinks, Dr Cathy Shrank and Professor Simon Eliot

History of the book, long the preserve of the graduate seminar, is beginning to find its way into the undergraduate curriculum, as tutors find that the questions history of the book raises, the methodologies it uses, and the perspectives it provides are increasingly useful to their students. Yet, how can something so interdisciplinary ‹ that is taught in departments of history, English, media studies, publishing and elsewhere ‹ and so material ‹ that needs access to books and archives ‹ make its way successfully into the undergraduate classroom? What disciplinary, institutional, pedagogical, and intellectual problems does it encounter? And what are the possible implications for history of the book as a field or mode of enquiry?

This one-day symposium, the first of its kind in the UK, brings together scholars from a variety of disciplines and universities, research librarians, and undergraduate students to debate these questions and to share experiences and good practice. We hope that it will be of interest to anyone involved in, or thinking about becoming involved in, teaching the history of the book.

The conference programme and registration form is available here. Registration is £30 (£20 concessions) and covers refreshments, but not lunch.

On the website, there is also information about a survey of Book History teaching in the UK and Ireland. We've already received a good number of responses, but we would welcome more!
Justin Winsor Prize of the American Library Association Library History Round Table

The Justin Winsor Prize is presented by the Library History Round Table of the American Library Association each year to recognize the best essay written in English on library history, including the history of libraries, librarianship, and book culture.

The award honors Justin Winsor, distinguished 19th century librarian, historian, and bibliographer. The winning essayist will receive a $500 prize and an invitation to submit the winner paper for consideration by the journal Libraries & the Cultural Record.

Eligibility and criteria. Manuscripts submitted should not have been previously published, submitted for publication, or under consideration for publication or for another award. Entries should embody original historical research on a significant topic in library history, based on primary source materials whenever possible, and written in a superior style. If a suitable candidate is not found, the award will not be presented in that year.

Essays should be organized in a form similar to that of articles published in Libraries & the Cultural Record, with footnotes, spelling, and punctuation conforming to the latest edition of the Chicago Manual of Style. Papers should not exceed 35 double-spaced pages (plus footnotes and bibliography). Please see for more information about the journal.

Submission process: Three copies of the manuscript should be submitted. The name and other information identifying the author should appear only on a separate cover letter. Fax and e-mail submissions are not acceptable. Applications must be received by
February 29, 2008. Send manuscripts to:

Letitia Earvin
Program Coordinator
American Library Association/LHRT
Office of Research and Statistics
50 E. Huron Street
Chicago, IL 60611

The Justin Winsor Prize will be presented at the Library History Round Table awards ceremony during the annual conference of the American Library Association.
Call for Papers
74th IFLA Conference
Quebec, Canada, 10-15 August 2008

Session Theme:
Expanding Frontiers of Knowledge:
Documents of Exploration, Discovery, and Travel

The IFLA Rare Books and Manuscripts Section invites librarians, researchers and others involved in this area of work to express their interest in making presentations at the Section's programme in Québec.

As the boundaries of the known world expand with explorations of land, sea, space, and parallel scientific experimentation, likewise institutional collections that document voyages, discoveries, scientific initiatives, and collected materials are developing and changing. This session is intended to complement the RBM Preconference on Maps which will be held at the Library of Congress, Washington DC.

Papers at the RBMS session in Québec should focus on records of explorations, diverse types of travel literature, and related documents of discoveries, including new media and electronic records. Materials and collections presented may be in any format (manuscripts, diaries, archives, prints, books, photographs (but excluding maps). They may date from any period, but should constitute a coherent and substantial group, either relating to discoveries made by individual explorers and their teams or from particular regions or periods. Collections may be preserved in a single instutition or distributed over several collections. Discussions of a range of different holding institutions, including museums and archives as well as libraries, are encouraged.

Materials presented should be placed in a broader cultural-historical context in order to demonstrate their relevance to a wide range of (academic) subjects and users, taking up the theme of IFLA president Claudia Lux for 2007-9: "Libraries on the Agenda" and the conference theme "Libraries without borders: Navigating towards global understanding". Papers therefore should not only introduce audiences to surviving materials and potentially under-represented collections, but also describe innovative and appropriate methods by which they are made accessible, for example by catalogues, preferably in electronic form (databases, websites) or through digitization projects. Provisions for access should not focus exclusively on historians and other scholars, but also comprise outreach programmes (exhibitions, educational activities) by which a wider group of users can enhance their knowledge of old and new worlds.

Send an abstract (c. 300 words) of the proposed paper and relevant biographical information of author(s)/presenter(s) and their institutional affiliation by 31 December 2007 via email to:

Dr. Bettina Wagner
Abteilung für Handschriften und Alte Drucke
Bayerische Staatsbibliothek
Ludwigstr. 16
D-80539 Muenchen
Fax. +89 / 28638-12982 oder 2266