Fifty Years of Promoting Library History Celebrated
On June 27, the Center for the Book hosted a program at the Library of Congress that marked the 50th anniversary of the American Library Association's Library History Round Table (LHRT).
The afternoon's events included formal greetings from library history associations throughout the world, reminiscences, a birthday toast, an exhibit about LHRT's history curated by Joy Kingsolver of the Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies in Chicago and brief remarks by seven distinguished library historians. The program was moderated by Donald G. Davis Jr. of the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Texas at Austin, who serves as editor of Libraries & Culture: A Journal of Library History and is a library history scholar and advocate.
The speakers and their topics were: Lee Shiflett, Louisiana State University, "Louis Shores and Library History"; John David Marshall, Middle Tennessee State University, "The Early Years of the Round Table," read by Edward G. Holley, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Laurel Grotzinger, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, "Library History: An Evanescent Existence"; Phyllis Dain, Professor Emerita, School of Library Service, Columbia University, "The Historical Sensibility"; Arthur P. Young, Northern Illinois University, "Clio, Sisyphus and Other Challenges"; Mary Niles Maack, University of California at Los Angeles, "International Dimensions in the History of Libraries and Print Culture"; and Louise Robbins, University of Wisconsin-Madison, "The Future of (Writing About) the Past." Concluding remarks concerning "The Future of Historical Research in Library Studies" were presented by a doctoral student, Andrew B. Wertheimer, who is completing work at the School of Library and Information Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Mr. Davis gave a brief report on Libraries & Culture, which he has edited since 1976, when the quarterly publication (then titled the Journal of Library History, Philosophy and Comparative Librarianship) moved from Florida State University to the University of Texas. Center for the Book Director John Y. Cole is a member of the advisory board. The journal has always been associated with the Library History Round Table. Further details about LHRT are available on its Web site and from the American Library Association, 50 E. Huron St., Chicago IL 60611.
Historian Henry Mayer to Speak on Jan. 26
Henry Mayer, whose critically acclaimed book All on Fire: William Lloyd Garrison and the Abolition of Slavery (St. Martin's Press, 1998) was a 1998 National Book Award finalist for nonfiction, will present a talk at the Library on Tuesday, Jan. 26, at 6 p.m. in the Mumford Room, sixth floor, Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E. Part of the Center for the Book's "Books & Beyond" author series, the presentation is free and open to the public.
Henry Mayer lives in the San Francisco Bay area with his wife and children. A previous biography, A Son of Thunder: Patrick Henry and the American Republic, was published in 1986. He was nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Reviewer's Citation in 1989 and currently is writing a biography of the photographer Dorothea Lange.
British Journal Expanded and "Relaunched"
John Cole is a member of the new editorial board of Library History, the only British periodical devoted exclusively to the study of libraries and librarianship. Established in 1967 as the journal of the Library History Group of the Library Association, the expanded May 1998 issue (vol. 14, no. 1) is the first to be published commercially by Maney Publishing of Leeds. The editor is Keith A. Manley of the Institute of Historical Research at the University of London. The May issue includes a directory of "special interest groups for library historians." The journal is now published twice a year. Subscriptions are available for $36 (individuals) or $82 (institutions) from Turpin Distribution Services Ltd., Blackhorse Road, Letchworth, Hertfordshire SG6 1HN, U.K.
Deadline Extended for Paper Proposals for "National Libraries" Conference in 2000
On Oct. 23-27, 2000, the Library of Congress will host an international conference on "National Libraries: Interpreting the Past, Shaping the Future." One of the Library's Bicentennial symposia, the meeting will focus on the national services offered by libraries throughout the world -- past, present, and in the future. Cosponsors are the American Library Association's Library History Round Table and three organizational units of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA): the sections on National Libraries and on Reading and the Round Table on Library History. Proposals for papers, no more than two pages in length, should be submitted by Jan. 31, 1999, to John Y. Cole, Director, Center for the Book, Library of Congress, Washington, DC 20540-4920, telephone: (202) 707-5221; fax: (202) 707-0269; e-mail: email@example.com.
Book Historians Meet in Vancouver
On July 17-21 in Vancouver, Canada, more than 200 people participated in the 1998 conference of the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading & Publishing (SHARP). The opening session was at the University of British Columbia; the rest of the conference, which featured more than 100 presentations, took place at Simon Fraser University's downtown campus. There were three plenary sessions: "The History of the Book and the End of Theory," "Copyright and Censorship" and "Future Directions for Publishing."
A major development in 1998, noted by SHARP President Simon Eliot of the Open University, was the launching of a new annual journal, Book History, published as a hardback book by Pennsylvania State University Press. It is edited by Ezra Greenspan of the University of South Carolina and Jonathan Rose of Drew University. Carol Armbruster of the Library of Congress is on the advisory board. The first volume contains an introduction to the field of book history and 12 scholarly papers.
John Y. Cole represented the Library of Congress at the Vancouver meeting. On July 17, with Ian Willison of the University of London Centre for English Studies, he chaired an informal roundup of book history projects around the world. Reports were presented on: progress on the six-volume History of the Book in Canada, the activities of the University of Toronto Centre for the Book, a proposed Centre for the Book in Canada, progress on the three-volume History of the Book in Australia, activities of the Centre for the Book at Monash University in Melbourne, progress on the project for the History of Print Culture in New Zealand, progress on the five-volume A History of the Book in America project at the American Antiquarian Society, the activities of the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, a report on plans for a new M.A. program in Book History at Drew University; the activities of the Center for the History of Print Culture in Modern America at the University of Wisconsin, progress on the seven-volume History of the Book in Britain and the three-volume A History of Libraries in Britain and Ireland; proposed publication by the end of 1998 of a history of the book in Wales; progress on the four-volume A History of the Book in Scotland; activities of the Scottish Centre for the Book at Napier University, activities of the Centre for the History of the Book at the University of Edinburgh and progress on the five-volume History of the Irish Book.
In addition, Mr. Willison provided a general overview of completed and contemplated projects in other parts of the world that might be considered contributions toward a "world history of the book."
The seventh annual SHARP conference will be in Madison, Wis., on July 15-18, 1999, and hosted by the Center for the History of Print Culture in Modern America, a joint project of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. For conference information, contact Jane Pearlmutter, School of Library and Information Studies, 600 N. Park St., Madison, WI 53706-1403, fax (608) 263-4849, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Two major conferences were announced. In May 2000, the University of Sherbrooke in Quebec will host "From Old Europe to New Worlds: The Changes in Publishing from the 18th Century to the Year 2000." The SHARP annual conference in 2000 will be held in Mainz, Germany, in cooperation with the Gutenberg Institut at the University of Mainz and the celebration by the city of Mainz of Gutenberg's 600th birthday.
Annual membership in SHARP, which includes Book History and the quarterly newsletter SHARP News, is $35. For information, contact membership secretary Barbara A. Brannon, Wesleyan College, 4760 Forsyth Road, Macon, GA 31210-4462.
Book and Library History Programs Listed on Center's Web Site
The Center for the Book maintains on its Web site a list of organizations and book centers that sponsor programs in book history, library history and the book arts. Visit the center's site and click on "Related Organizations and Programs." The organizations are listed by topic. Each listing includes address, phone number and, when available, fax number, e-mail and Web site address.