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Initiative launch


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, and sponsored an undergraduate class in bookmaking. 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 – please add your ideas to the list.


Upcoming Events

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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Past Events

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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Book Traces with Andrew Stauffer, University of Virginia

Andrew Stauffer of the UVA Department of English guides a scavenger hunt for annotated 19th-century books in the PS and PR sections of the Alexander stacks, as a session of the Book Traces project on the afternoon of April 19th.

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The Motley Emblem

Please do check out a project from Prof. Sean Silver here in English at Rutgers—The Motley Emblem! From the project description: Smack in the middle of Laurence Sterne’s 18th-century novel Tristram Shandy is a single leaf of marbled paper.

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