Symposium and Exhibition to Celebrate James G. Nelson: Scholar and Book Collector

(NEW YORK, February 5, 2009) Columbia’s Rare Book & Manuscript Library will host a symposium on February 18, 2009 honoring James G. Nelson, author, scholar and book collector. The symposium, to be held in Room 523 of Butler Library, is co-sponsored the Friends of the Columbia Libraries. Following the symposium there will be a reception to celebrate the opening of the new exhibition, “Victorian Imprints: Selections from the James G. Nelson Library,” in the Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Butler Library, 6th Floor, East.

Image from the exhibition "Victorian Imprints: Selections from the James G. Nelson Library"

Beginning at 6:00 p.m., the symposium “A View From the '90s,” will present two topics: “The Art of the Book” by Sharon Marcus, Orlando Harriman Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University; and “Distractingly Beautiful Books of Poetry from the Late 19th Century” by Erik Gray, Assistant Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University. G. Thomas Tanselle, Vice President Emeritus of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation and Adjunct Professor of English and Comparative Literature will make the introductory remarks. The symposium is free and open to the public.

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James G. Nelson is renowned for his definitive scholarship on avant-garde writers and artists of the British 1890s and the publishers who dared to print them. Equally respected for his discernment as a book collector, Nelson has assembled a significant library of poetry and literature focused on the 1890s, but ranging from the Pre-Raphaelites to early modernists such as Yeats and Pound. Selected works from his collection of over 2,000 titles from this period over will be on display in the Rare Book & Manuscript Library from February 18 to May 29, 2009.

Columbia University Libraries/Information Services is one of the top five academic research library systems in North America. The collections include over 10 million volumes, over 100,000 journals and serials, as well as extensive electronic resources, manuscripts, rare books, microforms, maps, graphic and audio-visual materials. The services and collections are organized into 25 libraries and various academic technology centers. The Libraries employs more than 550 professional and support staff. The website of the Libraries at /content/libraryweb is the gateway to its services and resources.