Tuesday, June 02, 2009

An Evening with the Ticknorites

Tonight was the annual meeting of the Ticknor Society, a great group of Boston bibliophiles. We had a very nice (and very well-attended) reception and business meeting at the St. Botolph Club, followed by a wonderful speech by Robert Darnton, the Carl H. Pforzheimer University Professor and director of the Harvard University Libraries.

Darnton spoke on how "old books and e-books" can complement each other, offering a glimpse into his latest book project. This promises to be incredibly fascinating - it will be a survey of the book trade in pre-Revolutionary France, in the form of a printed monograph supplemented by a vast range of online content allowing the reader delve deeper into various aspects of the trade, through additional commentary, biographical sketches, and translated transcriptions/digital versions of original documents. By combining formats and using technology, Darnton said, we can "bring across book history with a vividness and a detail that would have been impossible say fifteen years ago." I know I'll be waiting impatiently for the book now, that's for sure!

The Ticknorites have also done me the great honor to elect me a member-at-large of the board, so you should all expect some lobbying efforts in which I urge anyone who is not yet a member of this active and interesting group to join up!