Book History Colloquium at Columbia Series Begins September 16
NEW YORK, September 8, 2010 –

Columbia University's Rare Book & Manuscript Library is pleased to sponsor the Book History Colloquium, a continuing series exploring book history, print culture, the book arts, and bibliographical research. This Fall's series will feature faculty members, advanced graduate students, and scholars from around the country. The series is free and open to the public.


The series begins with Oliver Harris, Professor of American Literature, American Studies, Keele University, speaking on September 16, 2010. His talk "Confusion's Masterpiece: re-editing William Burroughs' First Trilogy," will take place in 523 Butler Library on Columbia's Morningside Campus at 6:00 PM.

Burroughs wrote his first trilogy of novels over a four-year period (1950-1953) but the publishing history of Junkie (1953), The Yage Letters (1963), and Queer (1985) not only confused the continuity of their composition but also shaped the identity of each text. Following new edition of Junky: the definitive text of "Junk" (2003) and The Yage Letters Redux (2006), the publication in 2010 of Queer: 25th Anniversary Edition, completes the trilogy re-editing. Is the result an end to confusion? Isaac Gerwirtz, Curator, Berg Collection, NYPL, will introduce the speaker and serve as interlocutor for this talk.

Copies of the newly released Queer: 25th-Anniversary Edition will be available for purchase at the event.

All events will be held on Columbia's Morningside Campus in Butler Library’s room 523 from 6:00–7:30 PM. For detailed speaker information, please visit /content/libraryweb/indiv/rbml/exhibitions/bhc.html or e-mail Gerald Cloud at

The Rare Book & Manuscript Library owns over 500,000 rare books in some 20 book collections and almost 28 million manuscripts in nearly 3,000 separate manuscript collections. It is particularly strong in English and American literature and history, classical authors, children‘s literature, education, mathematics and astronomy, economics and banking, photography, the history of printing, New York City politics, librarianship, and the performing arts. Individual collections are as eclectic as they are extensive. For more information, please see: /content/libraryweb/indiv/rbml.html

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 22 libraries and various academic technology centers. The Libraries employs more than 550 professional and support staff. The website of the Libraries is the gateway to its services and resources:  

9/8/10 LMK