Tag Archives: history of the book

“The Very Act of Manufacturing Books”: or, an Update on Projects to Link Printing Trade Prosopographies

Printers

I’ve just returned from a visit to the British Library, where, in true antiquarian fashion, I couldn’t help but pretend to be Washington Irving's Geoffrey Crayon learning the "Art of Bookmaking" and studying the "very act of manufacturing books."  In reality (though not unrelatedly), I was there to partake in a meeting with other institutions ...

Marbled Madness!

Washington Irving, 1783-1859. Life of George Washington. New York: G.P. Putnam, 1859. This multivolume set has colorful marbled edges done with a wide-comb pattern.

Over the last couple years, the “MarbledMonday” hashtag has taken off on the AAS Instagram feed, becoming one of our most popular regular features (competing with other favorites like “Caturday” and “Frankenbooks”). Every Monday, we show off a striking example of what are the most colorful features on historical book bindings: their marbled papers, edges, ...

New Online Exhibition: From English to Algonquian: Early New England Translations

English to Angonquin screenshot

In addition to paging and returning collections materials, managing the desk schedule and the reference and reception staff, answering reference questions and compiling daily circulation statistics, my typical day as head of readers’ services usually involves meeting one or more researchers who are excited to arrive at Antiquarian Hall for the very first time. After ...

Emerson and Whitman: Sage Meets Free Spirit

A carte de vsite of Ralph Waldo Emerson

When preparing an exhibit for our recent Digital Antiquarian conference we included items related to the famous interaction of two writers at different points in their public careers: Ralph Waldo Emerson and Walt Whitman.  (This was prompted by the participation of the Whitman Project in our digital projects showcase.) Whitman used Emerson’s private correspondence to promote ...

Meet AAS Fellow Sean Moore

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Sean Moore is Associate Professor of English at the University of New Hampshire and recently completed an American Antiquarian Society-National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship at the Society. His work has received support from a variety of institutions, including the John Carter  Brown Library, the Folger Shakespeare Library, and the Fulbright program, and he has just ...

Big Data in Early America: Bibliometrics and The North American Imprints Program (NAIP)

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In recent years and in a variety of different ways, librarians are considering how different methodologies brought to bear on historical inquiry might shift their practices. Recent examples include Meg Phillips’s post in which she asks whether distant reading practices should inform archival appraisal practices to support more distant reading. Doing so would mean that archivists ...

Our Need, Now an Employment Opportunity

On March 30-31, 2012, as part of our bicentennial programming, AAS hosted a symposium titled “Research Libraries in the Digital Age: Needs and Opportunities.” This symposium was intended to provide the AAS Council and staff with a set of perspectives that would help inform its vision of how AAS can best position itself to remain ...

Celebrating the Retirements of AAS Staff Members

The 200th annual meeting provided the opportunity to celebrate many accomplishments and transitions, but among the most poignant were the retirements of three long-time colleagues:  Gigi Barnhill and Caroline Sloat (who retired this summer) and John Keenum (who will retire at the end of the year).  A blog post about Gigi’s retirement will appear in ...

Bibliothanatography

About two years ago, I found myself looking at an 1892 Bibliobroadsheet. It advertised the Bronson, Michigan, store of J. Francis Ruggles, the most unusual bibliopole ever working in Bronson, for sure. Michael Winship, professor of English at the University of Texas at Austin and an editor of the recently published five-volume series A History ...

Audubon at the American Antiquarian Society

The record-breaking price for a double elephant folio edition of John James Audubon's Birds of America in London on December 9, 2010, prompts the question: Does the Society own a copy. The short answer is no — not the double elephant folio edition — but the story is more interesting than that. Indeed, AAS ...