Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A Bibliophilic Evening

Tonight the Ticknor Society* hosted a delightful event at the Boston Public Library: Society members Roger Stoddard, Thomas Horrocks and Nicholas Basbanes discussed their recent publications and then talked about their personal writing styles and answered many questions from the audience before signing copies of their works.

Stoddard, who worked in the Harvard library system for many years before retiring in 2004 to work on his many bibliographic projects, brought along his 2007 book Jean-Charles Brunet, Le Grand Bibliographe: A Guide to the Books He Wrote, Compiled, and Edited and the Book-Auction Catalogues He Expertised (Quaritch). Stoddard's enthusiasm for Brunet was evident, and it was really great to hear his tales of research and discovery in bibliography.

Horrocks, the current Associate Librarian for Collections at Houghton, talked about his Popular Print and Popular Medicine: Almanacs and Health Advice in Early America (UMass Press, 2008), and Basbanes discussed his two most recent books, Editions and Impressions (Fine Books Press) and A World of Letters: Yale University Press, 1908-2008 (Yale University Press, 2008). He talked mainly about the composition of the latter, the first history of a single press that he's undertaken.

A very nice, well-attended talk, and a fine way to spend a rainy evening.

* If you live around Boston, you really should consider joining. Dues are super-cheap ($20 a year) and the Society arranges a number of interesting events each year.