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About us


In its first year, the Book Initiative hosted inaugural lectures by Isabel Hofmeyr and Jill Lepore. Since then, we have co-organized transcribe-a-thons with the Colored Conventions Project and Alexander Library, sponsored graduate student field trips to area libraries and letterpresses, granted graduate student fellowships to Rare Book School, sponsored an undergraduate class in bookmaking as well as co-sponsored a rare book exhibition. Recent events include talks, bookbinding studios, and scavenger hunts with Javiera Barrientos, Jesse Erickson, Denise Gigante, Melina Moe, Heather O’Donnell, Matt Rubery, Andrew Stauffer and Corinna Zeltsman. As soon as social distancing permits, the Scarlet Letterpress will be open to print student projects, dissertation and honors thesis title-pages, protest posters and more.

Upcoming Events


Independent Publishing Perspectives from the Hispanophone World

This conference convenes editors, publishers, and writers from Latin America and Spain to participate in a multi-day, multi-university conversation on the state of independent book publishing in the Spanish-speaking world. Events will take place at Rutgers, Columbia, CUNY, and NYU, and will include a series of roundtables and discussion of current issues in literary publishing and distribution, followed by a one-day book fair. Events will be in Spanish and English, as indicated in the Conference Program.

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The Black Bibliography Project Is Hiring!

Do you have an interest in Black Print Culture? Do you want to help revolutionize Black bibliographic study?

The Black Bibliography Project is looking for Graduate Students to join our team and share our mission of creating a database that highlights the social and aesthetic practices unique to Black Print Culture.

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Making Posters at the Scarlet Letterpress!

Past Events

Papermaking Workshop with Katherine DeLamater

Papermaking workshop with the artist and papermaker Katharine DeLamater (she/her), MFA from the University of Iowa Center for the Book in 2020. She is now the studio collaborator at Dieu Donné. Outside of the studio, she has scholarly interests in collaborative art practices and pedagogy in the book arts.

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Panel Discussion of Denise Gigante’s Book Madness: A Story of Book Collectors in America

Book Madness: A Story of Book Collectors in America tells the story of bibliophilia and book collecting in mid-nineteenth-century America when the country’s major libraries were being formed.

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Mexico’s Workers of Thought: Rethinking Press Freedom and Political Culture Through Printing

October 12, 2022 | 4pm – 6pm

Corinna Zeltsman is assistant professor of history at Princeton University. She is the author of Ink under the Fingernails: Printing Politics in Nineteenth-Century Mexico (University of California Press, 2021), which received the Howard F. Cline Book Prize in Mexican History from the Latin American Studies Association.

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RIB Lecture Series presents Matthew Rubery: Podcasts, Audiobooks, and Podiobooks

April 12, 2022

Matthew Rubery is a professor of modern literature at Queen Mary University of London. He is the author of The Untold Story of the Talking Book (Harvard University Press, 2016) and the coeditor of Further Reading (Oxford University Press, 2020), part of the series Oxford Twenty-First Century Approaches to Literature.

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