Literary ... Rochester?

When you think of literary cities you might visit in the U.S., what comes to mind? New York City; Concord or Amherst, Massachusetts; Hannibal, Missouri; Monterey, California--you get the drift. But Rochester, New York? According to LiteraryTourist.com’s recent ‘literary audit,’ Rochester has a rating of 93 due to its rare book collections at the University of Rochester, the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), Eastman House, and the Strong Museum; plus two literary landmarks; and six (!) used bookstores. (Also, Yesterday’s Muse in Webster, NY, is just east of town.)

Did anyone else know that calligrapher and type designer Hermann Zapf held a professorship at RIT from 1977 to 1987? Or that the Strong Museum holds “the largest and most comprehensive public collection of video and electronic games (35,000 and counting), and game-related historical materials in the United States”?

I was also excited to see/hear this interview with Curator Steven K. Galbraith and Assistant Curator Amelia Hugill-Fontanel of RIT’s Cary Collection of graphic arts. It just so happens that in our current issue of FB&C, we have a short piece on printers’ medals, and the Cary Collection houses one of the largest collections of them in the country.

It’s wonderful to see some overlooked bookish sites get their due. Where to next? According to a press release, Literary Tourist intends to undertake other Literary Tourist City Audits™ that can help local tourism officials attract “a new,  unexplored consumer market:” book lovers.
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