UNC Curator of Rare Books and outgoing BSA President Claudia Funke presided at the annual meeting of the Bibliographical Society of America last Friday at New York City’s Grolier Club.
There, she had the great pleasure of introducing the BSA’s annual speaker, Matthew Kirschenbaum, associate professor at the University of Maryland and one of the leading researchers and thinkers in the digital humanities.
Prof. Kirschenbaum gave the talk everyone in the bibliographical community needed to hear: “Operating Systems of the Mind: The Bibliographical Description and Analysis of Born-Digital Texts.” Exploring John Updike’s use of his first computer, as well as his typewriter ribbons, Kirschenbaum highlighted key aspects of technology that have serious implications for analyzing computer-generated texts. The address was both profound and witty, and beautifully plotted and illustrated.
Those who were unable to attend in person, look for the lecture’s printing in the December 2014 issue of the Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America.
Today in NYC, Bibliography Week begins: five days of events and meetings hosted by the nation’s leading organizations for the study of books and their history.
Just a stone’s throw from some of the principal proceedings, Bergdorf Goodman, one of NYC’s upscale department stores, is oddly in sync. Its Fifth Avenue windows feature a collection of “vintage books” for sale through its Decorative Home department.
Bibliography Week, however, looks at books as more than mere wallpaper or window dressing. Topics to be examined in lectures include the unauthorized publication of James Joyce’s Ulysses and the bibliographical analysis and description of born-digital texts. The annual meetings of the Grolier Club, the Bibliographical Society of America, and the American Printing History Association will also highlight ongoing programs, publications, and business.
And of course, there will be plenty of time for informal but serious book talk over a glass or two. . . .