Tuesday, December 20, 2016

FABS Moscow Tour, 17–24 September 2017

            Details are now available for the FABS Tour to Moscow from 17– 24 September 2017. Up to 20 places are available. Full details may be obtained from the Tour Director, Professor William Butler, at webakademik@aol.com.  The cost is US$950.00, which is payable by the end of April 2017.
            The Tour is arranged in the FABS tradition: an intensive program of bibliophilic visits which includes no time for the usual tourist sites. If you want to see those, come early and/or depart late. A block of rooms has been reserved at Marriott hotels in Moscow and St. Petersburg at a special rate, both centrally located. You will need to follow our instructions to make reservations yourself at the FABS rate; if you are a member of Marriott incentive programs, their conditions will be relevant for upgrades.
            What the Tour Cost Includes: Farewell dinner in St. Petersburg on 23 September; rail transport between Moscow and St. Petersburg on the evening of 20 September; all relevant entrance fees to tour visits as a group; services of interpreter(s) throughout the visit; local transfers to site visits; visa support letters; trip briefing materials, including background readings on Russian bibliophily, printing, bibliography, and the like.
            What is NOT Included: airfare or other travel to and from Russia; return travel from St. Petersburg if your arrangements require that you return to Moscow for departure home; meals other than the Farewell Dinner; visa; transfers to and from Russian airports; baggage charges; trip cancellation, health, and evacuation insurance; incidental personal expenses such as hotel minibar, business center, and the like.
            Hotel rates in Moscow and St. Petersburg are quoted in rubles and will be subject to the exchange rates at the time. As of mid-December 2016, the ruble rate is about 65 per US$1.00. Single and double rooms are available.
            Visits and Events. Following an orientation on Sunday evening, 17 September, visits in Moscow are anticipated to include: Museum of the Book (Russian State Library); Exlibris and Miniature Book Museum; Leo Tolstoy Home and Museum; Moscow University Rare Book Library; perhaps a home visit to a private collection; antiquarian bookshop(s) and/or mini book fair for the group
            Visits in St. Petersburg are anticipated to include: Russian National Library (with perhaps special attention to the Voltaire personal library there); Library of the Russian Academy of Sciences; Library of The Hermitage; the Brodsky/Akhmatova Home Museum; possibly the Dostoyevsky Museum; a local atelier for livres d’artiste; and others.
            We hope to work in lectures on the history of Russian bibliophily, the Russian bookplate, and the Slavonic book.
            Places will be filled in the sequence of receipt.

FABS Texas Tour May 31-June 3, 2017

Edward Everett Hale once published a charming little pamphlet, A Tract for the Day. How to Conquer Texas, Before Texas Conquers Us (Boston: Redding, 1845). Many Americans have been pondering the implications of that ever since annexation. To help provide some perspective, the Book Club of Texas looks forward to welcoming FABS members to the Lone Star State in 2017 with a tour of various libraries and museums in Dallas and Austin, May 31-June 3.
The festivities begin on Wednesday evening, May 31, 2017, with an opening reception at the DeGolyer Library on the campus of Southern Methodist University. DeGolyer is best known for its holdings in Western Americana but has strong holdings as well in railroadiana, business history, photography, and the history of science and technology.
On Thursday morning, June 1, the group will tour the most recent addition to the SMU campus, the George W. Bush Library, followed by lunch at Café 43. In the afternoon, there will be a tour of Bridwell Library. Bridwell is part of the Perkins School of Theology and has an extraordinary collection of incunabula as well as extensive collections devoted to rare Bibles, theology and philosophy, Wesleyana, and fine printing. On Thursday night, we will venture beyond the campus to the Harlan Crow Library for a reception and dinner. Mr. Crow has one of the great private collections in the country, with strong holdings in Americana.
On Friday morning, June 2, we will head south on I-35, taking a chartered bus to Austin (with box lunch). In the afternoon, we’ll tour the Benson Latin American Collection, a library devoted to Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean island nations, South America, and areas of the United States during the period that they were a part of the Spanish Empire or Mexico. On Friday night, we’ll have a gala dinner at our conference hotel and hear a talk by Bill Fisher of San Antonio, who is amassing an extraordinary collection of Hispanic imprints.
Saturday morning, June 3, will find us at the recently remodeled Lyndon Baines Johnson Library, the first presidential library in the state, devoted to the life and times of LBJ. To experience even more things Texan, we’ll have lunch at House Park BBQ with plenty of time to spend mid-day at 12th Street Books, a thriving bricks-and-mortar shop. In the afternoon, the tour will end at the incomparable Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, where we’ll be given an inside look at its various collections and programs, capped by a reception that evening.
On Sunday, FABS members will depart from the Austin airport, or stay longer, if so inclined: many find it difficult to leave Austin behind. Conversely, for those who may wish to arrive early, Dallas offers attractions of its own. The Meadows Museum on the SMU campus has an extraordinary collection of Spanish art, for example (tickets are half price for FABS members), and the Nasher Sculpture Center and the Dallas Museum of Art are adjacent to each other downtown.
All attendees need to make their own travel and hotel reservations. Air travel will involve one-way flights to Dallas and departures back to your home cities from Austin. In Dallas, Southwest Airlines flies to close-in Love Field. All other carriers connect to the DFW Regional Airport.  In Austin, Bergstrom International Airport is served by all major airlines.
In Dallas, we’ve reserved a block of rooms ($169 plus tax) at the Hotel Lumen, across the street from the SMU campus.
In Austin, we’ve reserved a block of rooms ($199 plus tax) at the AT&T Conference Center, which is on the UT campus.
In both cases, ask for the FABS rate. To reserve your spot on the 2017 FABS tour, send your check for $750 payable to the Book Club of Texas, DeGolyer Library, Box 750396, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas 75275. The registration fee includes all lunches and evening meals and receptions, shuttle buses around each campus, the charter bus to Austin, a year’s membership in the Book Club of Texas, and one publication from the Club. Enrollment is capped at 50 people, first come, first served. Slots are expected to fill quickly, so don’t delay. If you have to cancel, please let us know before May 1, 2017, and we can refund your registration in full.  After May 1, we will try to refund as much as possible but may have to withhold a portion to help cover any of our fixed expenses.
If you have questions, please contact Terre Heydari at the DeGolyer Library, 214-768-3637, or theydari@smu.edu. Once we’ve received your payment to reserve your spot, we’ll send you a registration form, on which you can indicate any dietary or mobility restrictions.
In late May and early June our weather is still on the mild side. Or, as one optimistic promotional pamphlet proclaimed, Greater Southwest Texas: The Garden Spot of the World in the Domain of the Truckers’ Paradise (San Antonio, Tex.?: Southern Pacific Railway, 1905). We look forward to welcoming many FABS members to paradise in 2017!
--Russell Martin III

Monday, November 28, 2016

Long Island Book Collectors (November 2016 report)


Steven Lomazow, M.D., foremost expert on the history of American magazines, delivered a June lecture to a rapt audience of collectors and dealers in the book room of Joe Perlman’s home in East Northport.  Warming to his topic of War Time Magazine Publication in America, Mr. Lomazow explained that  historical magazines are windows into many disciplines; among them the founding of our nation, its unique literature, movies, television and radio shows, and its wars.
It was Benjamin Franklin who first conceived of the American magazine, even though it was Andrew Bradford’s American Magazine or Monthly View of the Political State of the British Colonies that was the first to be published by the colonies in January 1741. However it was Franklin who distributed the Boston based The American Magazine and Historical Chronicle, in Philadelphia from 1743 to 1746. It is in this magazine in 1745 that readers were given a map of the Battle of Louisbourg—a tradition that would soon become a feature of all wartime reporting.
The word “magazine” had been coined in London upon publication of Gentleman’s Magazine in 1731 in London.  Its origin comes from the naval term for storage on a ship.
The Royal American Magazine, published by Isaiah Thomas in 1774, took a pro-colonial stance against British governance. Paul Revere was one of its finest engravers, supplying the first anti-British cartoon. But it was Thomas Paine’s Pennsylvania Magazine that not only advocated for independence during the Revolutionary War, but continued to print engravings of battles and maps and published the “Ode to George Washington” written by Phyllis Wheatly, who was a slave. 
After the Revolutionary War, Boston Magazine became popular, followed by several strong and varied periodicals.  The Monthly Military Magazine became the first American periodical devoted to contemporary war reportage.  America’s history continued to play out on the pages of newsprint.  Analectic  Magazine published “Defense of Fort McHenry”, a poem that would later become “The Star Spangled Banner”.  The Civil War spawned the Abolitionist, Colonizationist, Anglo-African Magazine, American Cotton Planter and over the course of eighteen months The National Era captivated its readership with the serialization of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Magazine—1860s Portrait Monthly printed both Union and Confederate portraits.  While Northerners followed the war in Harper’s Weekly, the south looked to Southern Illustrated News.
When Dr. Lomazow clicked on a Life magazine cover of Norman Rockwell’s illustration of American soldiers singing against a background of night sky, the room grew progressively somber.  That same image would later   become the cover for sheet music of “Over There”, a rousing World War I tune by George M. Cohan. World War I magazines published the likes of Dashiell Hamet’s “The Fallen,” and “The Black Mask”. As the United States citizens followed the news from Europe in 1933 a New York Life headline asked:  “The Truth About Hitler: Beast or Man What is He?” and a Look magazine cover featured Charlie Chaplin in The Great Dictator.
In July 1942, in a show of patriotic solidarity diverse magazines including Vogue, Glamour, House & Garden, House Beautiful, and Look all featured an American flag on the cove.  Dr. Lomazow lingered on a cover of “Der Gag Bag”—including a parody of Hitler as Edgar Bergen and a Disney Studios “Dispatch from Disney” showing Donald Duck throwing a tomato in Hitler’s face  to The Saturday Evening Post’s Rosie the Riveter by Rockwell—on through Time and Life covers from the Korean War to Cold War publications published both in the US and in Russia.  He closed his thoughtful talk with a screen image of Life’s November 1968 iconic cover  of a young Vietnamese girl with her leg blown off. It supplanted the original cover of Martin Luther King, Jr..
Dr. Lomazow’s rich collection gives one pause.  Today journalists and photo journalists continue to follow fighters into armed conflict—streaming the horrors of war to the public in real time via cell phones, tablets, and laptops.
In September Ms. Meyerson spoke on “Hersey, Hiroshima and the Internet.  Looking back at John Hersey’s Hiroshima, first published in The New Yorker on August 6, 1946, she addressed some of the complexities inherent in the United States’ decision to drop the bomb on Japan. Her talk was based both on new Internet resources and on her own extensive collection of works by and about Hersey. Writing in a 1993 LIBC Journal, Ms. Meyerson observed that “in one form or another Hersey has [always] tried to juxtapose man’s violence, his struggles to survive and his will to live.” (His best known works include,  Into the Valley (1942), a result of Hersey’s Guadalcanal experience, and  The Wall  (1950) based on his experience as war correspondent for Time-Life, after meeting survivors of the Lodz Ghetto and touring the ruins of Warsaw .)
 In October, Roz Grand led a discussion on President Roosevelt and the Holocaust, showing documents and books from her extensive collection of Holocaust materials. Ms. Grand has devoted herself to acquiring materials published during the Holocaust in Eastern and Western European countries, as well as Jewish books, scholarly bibliographies and books on Jewish book collections.  Her expertise on U.S. immigration policy during World War II, replete with public opposition to aiding refugees at a time of economic depression, xenophobia, and anti-Semitic feeling speaks directly to today’s immigration crisis.
Please visit us at longislandbookcollectors.com or join us in the Hunt Room on the campus of Long Island University.    Meetings are held September through May at 2 P. M. on the second Sunday of each month. Our June meeting is hosted each year by the Antiquarian Book Dealers Association of Long Island (LIABDA).