Book People | January 2010 | Nicholas Basbanes

Bibliography Week in New York

Only in New York is something so totally bookish like Bibliography Week possible, certainly on the scale of this event, which is mounted each year during the last week of January when the major national organizations devoted to book history have their annual meetings in the Big Apple, and get together at a number of related events, many of which are free and open to the public. (Image at right: Broadway Under Snow, by Rudolph Ruzicka, The Grolier Club, 1915.)

The week kicks off on Tuesday, January 26, with the Sixteenth Annual Bibliography Week Lecture, to be given this year by Michael Suarez, SJ, noted book historian and recently appointed director of Rare Book School, at Columbia University. His talk, scheduled for 6 p.m. in the Faculty Room of Low Library (116th St. at Broadway), is titled "Learned Virtuosity, Virtuously Displayed: Cultural Elits and Deep Purses in Restoration and Eighteenth-Century Illustrated Books."

A talk at the Grolier Club (47 East 60th St.) on Wednesday, January 27 by Milton McC. Gatch titled "Bibliotheca Parisina 1791: A Tale of Two Cities, or An Auction in Revolutionary Times," 2 p.m., is free, and public. A reception later that evening to mark the opening of an exhibition at the Grolier, "Mary Webb: Neglected Genius," featuring materials from the collection of Mary Crawford, is for members, but the show is open the public from January 12 to March 12.

Thursday, January 28: In Brooklyn, the latest works of book artists will be on display at the Open Salon, 37 Greenpoint Avenue, 4th floor, hours 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The shop, founded in 1999, describes itself as an "artist-run, non-profit, consensus-governed, artist and bookmakers organization located in the up-and-coming neighborhood of Geenpoint." Sounds like fun, and very definitely worth checking out.

On Friday, January 29, again at the Grolier Club, the Bibliographical Society of America holds its annual meeting, with papers being presented by new scholars. Eric Holzenberg, director of the Grolier Club, will speak on "The Bibliophile as Bibliographer." The event is open to the public.

Saturday, January 30: The annual meeting of the American Printing History Association, to be held at the New York Public Library (Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street), 2 p.m. For those who have never visited the Center for the Book Arts (28 West 27th St., 3rd floor), a Winter Open House is on from 2 to 5 p.m. Demonstrations, tours, exhibits are on tap. All in all, a great week for bibliophiles, and a nice warm-up for those planning to attend the 43rd annual California International Book Fair in Los Angeles, Feb. 12-14.