2019-2020 Book History Colloquium at Columbia University

The Book History Colloquium at Columbia University, open to any discipline, aims to provide a broad outlet for the scholarly discussion of book history, print culture, the book arts, and bibliographical research, and (ideally) the promotion of research and publication in these fields. Our presenters include Columbia faculty members and advanced graduate students, and scholars of national prominence from a range of institutions.

Unless otherwise noted, all sessions take place at 6:00pm in Butler Library, Room 523, on the Columbia University Morningside Campus. These talks are free and open to the public. However, please note that as of August 2016 registration is required. To pre-register, please use the buttons below each event. Non-Columbia affiliates should register as guests.

FALL 2019

BHC Raisch

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Original Copies: The Pre-History of the Facsimile
Jane Raisch, University of York (UK)

Called “the nightmare of book collectors” by John Carter and Nicolas Barker, facsimiles do not hold a particularly revered position in bibliography and book history. The opposite of the venerated “original,” facsimiles are seen as a compromise at best and a downright deception at worst. This talk looks to re-examine the idea of the facsimile by exploring its pre-history in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Before the invention of lithography and photography in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries (not to mention current advances in digital reproduction), scholars and printers employed creative technical strategies to reproduce the visual qualities of particular textual artefacts like inscriptions or manuscripts. Exploring a few case studies, this talk will think about how and why early print copied material objects that came before – and, in the process, rethink and expand our understanding of what facsimile means. RSVP Here

BHC Mulroney

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

“Deluxe Edition, Tinfoil-bound”
Lucy Mulroney, Yale University

Just in time for the holiday shopping season of 1967, Random House published Andy Warhol’s index (book). It came in a hologram cover with Campbell’s Tomato Juice endpapers, several 3-D pop-ups, and a flexi disc donning Lou Reed’s portrait. For counterculture bibliophiles, there was a deluxe edition, tinfoil-bound. The process by which Warhol’s book came together was so complex—and unusual—the publisher recounted it in an internal memo that was itself written like a children’s book. Through documents in the Random House records held at Columbia University’s Rare Book & Manuscript Library and interviews with Warhol’s collaborators, art historian Lucy Mulroney sheds new light on this iconic twentieth-century artist’s lifelong interest in publishing. RSVP Here