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Upcoming Events

BSA programs take place both in-person and online. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Society has canceled in-person events and is exclusively hosting virtual events for the time being. This page will be updated with details about resuming in-person events when it is safe to do so. Registration is required for all of the virtual 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, should be a central concern to participants and organizers.

All of the events listed below will be live captioned in English, with accompanying machine-generated translations of live-generated captions into Spanish. Additional options may be offered, read full description for more information.

To request ASL interpretation for any event, please email

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

      November 11, 7pm Eastern, Hybrid – Victor Hammer, the Man from Uncial with Richard Kegler 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.


      November 12, 1:30pm In-Person, Boston – The Trials and Triumphs of Collecting Romance Novels, a talk by Rebecca Romney @ 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

      Registration is not required.

      November 15, 5:30-7pm In-Person, NYC: Charles Lamb and the Bibliographical Relic: An Evening Colloquium on Annotated Association Copies at the NYPL with Dr. Denise Gigante – Registration

      MAXIMUM 15 ATTENDEES! Register now! Free and open to the public!

      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.


      December 7, 3pm ET, Online – Activating Aeromoto Library: Cultivating Community-Based Curation, Curiosity, and Imagination – co-sponsored by CalRBS

      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.

      Speaker bios and event description in Spanish forthcoming.

      February 17, 2:30pm In-Person, NYC: The Chinese Material Text in Intercultural and Historiographic Perspective, Part II – Session at the College Art Association conference – Conference Registration

      Building on a session presented at the 2022 conference, this session investigates the special significance of Chinese textual objects in intercultural and historiographic perspective. The surprising afterlives of ancient inscriptions, whether in stone, paper, embroidered cloth, or other materials play important roles in all four presentations. The afterlives are, however, highly varied. A purportedly supernatural, third-century rock inscription provides inspiration for a script that finds its way to Japan some 1600 years later. A Song dynasty inscription reproduced in diverse media is analyzed from a nineteenth-century perspective, when collectors’ engagement with the materiality of the inscription transformed their approach to the text. Likewise transformative was the engagement of nineteenth- and twentieth-century Chinese women with ancient inscriptions; their work sheds light on history as viewed from their standpoint and, by extension, records an overlooked aspect of modern Chinese intellectual history. The final paper considers how eighteenth-century Chinese catalogs of antiquities enabled Korean artists to visualize their patrons’ collecting practices. The interplay between Chinese intellectual history and aesthetic appreciation thus provides a means of addressing the broad historical and cultural significance of a diverse range of material texts.

      Chair: Jeanne-Marie Musto (New York Public Library), BSA Liaison to the College Art Association
      Discussant: Jennifer Purtle, Ph.D. (Yale), is Associate Professor of Chinese and East Asian Art History, University of Toronto

      Speakers: Amy McNair, Professor, History of Art, University of Kansas; Gillian Zhang, Curatorial Research Associate at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Shana J. Brown, Associate Professor, History, University of Hawai`i at Manoa; Ja Won Lee, Assistant Professor, Department of Art, California State University, East Bay

      March 6, 2023, 1pm ET, Online: Documenting Social Movement: Bibliography, Archives, and Protest

      Despite working under precarious and hostile circumstances, oppressed groups have produced an enduring archive of records and media that document their struggles. Preserving and accessing these materials poses various challenges. When collected at all, surviving documents are scattered across multiple collections of personal papers or organizational records in one or more repositories. To address this and other concerns, community-based institutions have been founded, with explicit mandates to collect such materials. Posters, pamphlets, and other protest ephemera have also increasingly been sought by academic libraries. Join us for a presentation by representatives from collecting institutions in Canada, England, and the United States of America who will discuss the history, status, and vitality of their social movement collections. Pre-recorded talks by representatives from three institutions will be followed by a live, moderated discussion.

      This presentation is sponsored jointly by the Bibliographical Society (UK), the Bibliographical Society of America, and the Bibliographical Society of Canada and will be presented in English, with captions in both English and French. Presentations will be broadcast on YouTube Premier, but registration is required to attend the discussion.



      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!