The Friends of the Columbia University Library are pleased to announce that G. Thomas Tanselle will deliver the 17th Annual Bibliography Week Lecture, “A Defense of Association Copies.” Tanselle, whose influential scholarship in bibliography, textual studies, and the history of the book is widely read, often quoted, and always admired, is Adjunct Professor emeritus of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University and Vice President, retired, of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. The lecture and a reception immediately following take place at 6:00 p.m., Tuesday, January 25, 2011, in the Kellogg Center on the 15th floor of the School of International and Public Affairs, 420 West 118th Street.
In this lecture Tanselle will address books that collectors, scholars, and librarians call "association copy"—that is books which were owned or annotated by their authors or which belonged to someone associated with the author or the book’s production. In his discussion, Tanselle will address such questions as, why should scholars concern themselves with a book’s previous owner? In doing so, he'll provide a more precise definition of "association copies," explain their particular importance to scholars as historical evidence, and survey the history of and interest in collecting such books. In the process, he’ll place association copies in a broader historical context, defending the collecting of these books against the charge of sentimentality.
Bibliography Week happens each year in New York City at the end of January when the principal national organizations devoted to book history have their annual meetings. For more details about Bibliography Week, see the Grolier Club's homepage, http://www.grolierclub.org/
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