St. Louis Mercantile Library Prize: Previous Recipients

Jerry Kelly & Misha Beletsky, and Elizabeth Moore Willingham, 2017

The Bibliographical Society of America awarded two St. Louis Mercantile Library Prizes in 2017. Jerry Kelly and Misha Beletsky received the prize for their book The Noblest Roman: A History of the Centaur Types of Bruce Rogers (David R. Godine, 2016), and Elizabeth Moore Willingham received the prize for her The Mythical Indies and Columbus’ Apocalyptic Letter (Sussex Academic, 2015).

Jerry Kelly is a calligrapher, book designer, and type designer. His work has been honored numerous times, and his book designs have been selected more than thirty times for the AIGA “Fifty Books of the Year.” In 2015 he was presented with the 28th Goudy Award from RIT.

Misha Beletsky is the President of The Typophiles and Art Director at Abbeville Press, a publisher of fine illustrated books in New York. He designs publications for a range of clients, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Harvey Miller, New York Public Library, Little, Brown, Pantheon Books, Princeton University Press, W.W. Norton, CBRE, Italian Trade Commission, and Longwood Gardens.

Elizabeth Moore Willingham is a medievalist, text scholar, and Romance linguist. She is series editor for the Old French Lancelot of Yale 229 for Brepols and has published critical work in Latin American fiction and film, including Laura Esquivel’s Mexican Fictions (Sussex 2010). She is Associate Professor in the Department of Modern Foreign Languages at Baylor University where she teaches Old Spanish, Romance Linguistics, and Hispanic literature and film.

Joseph J. Felcone, 2014

The Bibliographical Society of America awarded the 2014 St. Louis Mercantile Library Prize to Joseph J. Felcone for his book Printing in New Jersey 1754-1800: A Descriptive Bibliography (American Antiquarian Society, 2012).

Printing in New Jersey 1754-1800: A Descriptive Bibliography is a detailed catalogue of 1,265 books, pamphlets, periodicals, newspapers, and broadsides – all of the known products of every eighteenth-century New Jersey press. About of quarter of the imprints described are recorded for the first time and the extensive annotations are full of new information gleaned from archival sources.  The book also includes items that may have been printed in New Jersey, works which had been incorrectly attributed to New Jersey presses, and rich back-matter including three appendixes, an extensive list of sources, and three indexes.

Joseph J. Felcone has spent a lifetime collecting, studying, and writing about New Jersey books and the early New Jersey book trade. To compile this comprehensive work, he visited and fully surveyed 115 libraries, from the major repositories in the United States and England to county and local historical societies in New Jersey, and physically examined and recorded every eighteenth-century New Jersey imprint. Printing in New Jersey was published in 2012 by the American Antiquarian Society and designed by Jerry Kelly.

Andrea Krupp, 2011

The Bibliographical Society of America awarded the 2011 St. Louis Mercantile Library Prize to Andrea Krupp for her book Bookcloth in England and America, 1823–50 (Oak Knoll Press and The British Library, 2008).

American Antiquarian Society, 2008

The Bibliographical Society of America awarded the first St. Louis Mercantile Library Prize in 2008 to the American Antiquarian Society in recognition of its work in preparing and publishing A History of the Book in America, volume 3: The Industrial Book: 1840–1880, ed. Scott Casper, Jeffrey Groves, Stephen W. Nissenbaum, and Michael Winship (The University of North Carolina Press, 2007).

The Industrial Book provides an extraordinary overview of how American ideas and words were created, shaped, and turned into physical objects. Broad in scope but nuanced and precise in its detailed exploration of important figures and trends, it challenges us all to think creatively and thoroughly about the book in American history.