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Upcoming Events

In all BSA events, the material text – that is, the handwritten, printed, or other textual artifact, broadly conceived – as historical evidence, and/or the theory and practice of descriptive, historical, and/or critical bibliography, is a central concern to participants and organizers.

BSA programs take place both in-person and online; some events are hosted by other organizations.  Registration is required for most BSA events.

Most BSA virtual events are live captioned in English. Additional options may be offered, read full description for more information. Due to the technical challenges presented by simultaneous live interpretation and captioning, most events will feature only one or the other. BSA videos are captioned in English and Spanish on our YouTube channel.

To request ASL interpretation for any event, please email

Upcoming Events, In-person and online (listed chronologically)

      September 11-12, 2023 (In Person): The University of Georgia Symposium on the Book: Unbinding Book History

      This two-day event unites 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 will demonstrate 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):

      September 12, 2023, 6:30 pm ET, Online: Reading Pleasures with Tara A. Bynum | Register online (required)

      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.

      September 27, 6:30 ET, Online:  The Nature of the Page; or Seeing and Reading the Social Ecology of Texts | Register online (required)

      In this talk, Joshua Calhoun will discuss 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 will focus 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 will follow 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.

      September 29, 2023, 5:30 pm ET, In Person: Back to School! Join BSA at the Met’s Watson Library | Register online (required)

      Join your friends and colleagues for a “back to school” shindig at the Thomas J. Watson Library at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. We will gather for bibliographical camaraderie with nibbles and drinks at 5:30pm. Thanks to Watson Chief Librarian Kenneth Soehner (Council Class of 2025) for warmly welcoming BSA members and friends to greet each other at the start of the fall season. Attendance is open to all.

      Space is limited to 40 attendees. A waitlist will be started if demand exceeds availability.

      October 29, 2023, 3:00 pm ET, In Person at the Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair: Todd Pattison, “Good Enough to Read: The Myth of the Temporary Binding

      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 will discuss the role of paper bindings during this time period and challenge 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).

      November 10, 2023, 1:30 pm ET, Online: Secrets of a Lapsed Librarian: How I Use Library Resources as a Bookseller | Register online (required)

      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!

      Current bookseller and former librarian Patrick Olson will introduce 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).

      Recorded Virtual 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!