The fifty-eighth Annual Meeting of the Bibliographical Society of the University of Virginia was convened at 4:00 p.m. in the auditorium of the Harrison Institute/Small Special Collections Library.
President G. Thomas Tanselle began the meeting with thanks to the Council and staff for their hard work. The Society, he noted, received recognition in two ways during the past year. First, the Society’s journal, Studies in Bibliography, was one of five scholarly journals reviewed in the “Learned Journals” issue of the Times Literary Supplement. Dr. David McKitterick, librarian of Trinity College, Cambridge, discussed the continuing vitality of Studies. Mr. Tanselle congratulated editor David Vander Meulen and Assistant to the Editor Elizabeth Lynch on their splendid work. The most recent volume, vol. 55, is the first, he noted, to include color plates, eight illustrations for “The Art Deco Book in France,” Mr. Tanselle’s edition of Gordon Ray’s 1985 Lyell Lectures. An additional innovation is the inclusion on the Society’s website of all 173 extant color slides that accompanied the original Ray lectures. Slide numbers appear in the margin of the printed text, so a reader with access to the Web can view all the slides as he reads. Mr. Tanselle thanked Matthew Gibson and Cindy Speers of the Etext Center at the University of Virginia for their “cordial and expert” help in mounting the images on the website.
The second recognition came in January when the Society was awarded the 2005 Institutional Award by the American Printing History Association at its annual meeting in New York. The text of Mr. Tanselle’s remarks on the occasion is available on the Society’s website.
The minutes of the 2004 Annual Meeting were approved. Council member David Seaman, formerly director of the Etext Center at UVa and now Director of the Digital Library Federation, under the auspices of the Council on Library and Information Resources in Washington, DC, was reelected to another term on the Council. The current officers of the Society had been reelected at the Council meeting, Mr. Tanselle reported.
The President then introduced the afternoon’s speaker, Terry Belanger, founder and director of Rare Book School, University Professor, and Honorary Curator of Special Collections at the University of Virginia. Mr. Belanger’s talk, “If They’re So Rare, Why Are There So Many of Them? Virginia’s Rare Books in a Digital Age,” addressed the question of what gives a particular artifact value and was illustrated by a colorful handout showing a range of valued artifacts. A reception followed the talk in the rooms of Rare Book School.