This year’s society program began on September 11 with a lecture by Graham Arader, New York book dealer and gallery owner, who spoke about the importance of exposing students to primary source materials. At the same meeting, the winners of the 2012-13 Harris Fletcher Award and T.W. Baldwin Prize were announced. These prizes honor students, both undergraduate and graduate, who have written academic papers using the resources of the Rare Book & Manuscript Library (RBML).
On October 9 Marten Stromberg, Curator of Rare Books, and Patrick Fadeley, PhD candidate in English, guided attendees on a tour of their exhibition at the RBML entitled “Life on the Moon: Literary and Scientific Reflections.” The show features books from the collection, as well as a moon rock and items from the Apollo 16 mission, all on temporary loan.
Christian Dupont, Aeon software developer and former director of the Small Library at the University of Virginia, addressed the society on November 13th with a talk titled, “To Hell and Back: Illustrating Dante’s Inferno.” Dupont also led a master class utilizing the RBML’s extensive Dante holdings.
The society’s annual Holiday Cheer Party and Book Brag took place on December 11, when members brought in items from their own collections and shared the stories behind them. John Milton’s birthday was also celebrated at the party.
In the next semester, the society looks forward to a number of interesting presentations. On February 12, Henry Hébert, Rare Book Conservator at the University of Illinois Library, will discuss the conservation and care of rare materials. J. Kevin Graffagnino, Director of the Clements Library at the University of Michigan, will give a talk entitled, “Bibliophilia to Bibliomania,” on March 12. Members will have the opportunity to pull a piece of paper at the University’s very own Fresh Press on April 9, where they will also be able to find out more about what is happening in the book arts in our area. On May 14, Paul Gehl, Custodian of the John M. Wing Foundation on the History of Printing at the Newberry Library in Chicago, will speak about the University of Illinois Cavagna Collection.