February 22, 2013
Dear Fellow Members,
The Society’s next annual meeting will be held on Friday, March 22, at 4:00 p.m. in the auditorium of the Harrison Institute / Small Special Collections Library. Following a brief business meeting, we will hear a talk by David Whitesell, Curator in the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library at UVA. He has had unusually wide experience in the book world, having been in the antiquarian book trade, then a cataloguer at the Houghton Library at Harvard, and then a curator at the American Antiquarian Society (in which capacity he organized AAS’s great bicentenary exhibition). Recently he was the editor of Roger Stoddard’s bibliography of pre-1821 American verse. One of his specialties is reflected in the title of his talk: “Lope de Vega Meets Shakespeare: Spanish Golden Age Drama Bibliographically Considered.” Following the talk, there will be a reception in the rooms of Rare Book School on the first floor of Alderman Library.
In the business part of the meeting, preceding David’s talk, the winners of the Battestin Fellowships for this year will be announced. These fellowships are a new program of the Society, named in honor of Martin Battestin, emeritus professor of English at UVA, and his wife Ruthe, a literary scholar and long-time member of the Society’s Council, who has made extraordinary contributions of many kinds to the Society. The aim of the fellowships is to provide summer support for research in the UVA library by graduate students who are working on bibliographical or textual projects. Three awards will be given this year, selected by a committee consisting of Michael Suarez, David Whitesell, and me. Acknowledgment should be made here of the work of our Projects Committee (Terry Belanger, Nicole Bouché, and Anne Ribble, chair), which set up the framework for the fellowship program.
Also in the business part of the meeting, we will vote on the election of two Councilors. First, we must fill the vacancy created by Karin Wittenborg’s resignation. The demands on Karin’s time as University Librarian are so great that she has decided she must give up her position on the Council. We have been lucky to have had the benefit of her advice for eighteen years, during which time she has been of immense assistance as liaison with the university administration. We shall miss her, but we certainly understand her decision. To fill her unexpired term, running to 2017, the nominating committee has proposed David
Whitesell, whose qualifications have been recited above.
The other election (in this case re-election) is that of David Vander Meulen, whose current term on the Council ends with this year’s annual meeting. As you all know, he is one of the leading bibliographers working today, and his scholarship and high standards are reflected in his editing of our journal, Studies in Bibliography. And as our Vice President, he handles a great many other aspects of Society business. His presence on the Council is essential to
the Society’s well-being, and it is proposed that he be re-elected for a term ending in 2020.
Our meeting, as usual, is part of the Virginia Festival of the Book. This year’s Festival, the nineteenth, runs from March 20 through 24, and its roster of programs can be seen on its website, at www.vabook.org. We hope that many of our out-of-town members will find more reasons to come to Charlottesville at that time because there will be many events to attract them.
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During the past year, work has continued on several publications. A new volume of Studies in Bibliography, the fifty-ninth, is nearing completion and will be published soon. We are grateful for the extraordinary work that David Vander Meulen and his assistant, Elizabeth Lynch, do to carry on the great tradition of this journal. Also in preparation is a volume of collected essays by Paul Needham, one of the greatest scholars of fifteenth-century books in the history of bibliography. Gordon B. Neavill’s bibliography of the Modern Library,
which will be a major contribution to publishing history, will in due course be added to our substantial list of electronic publications. And a volume of my essays on bibliographical history is expected to appear late in 2013.
Each new volume of Studies is distributed by the University of Virginia Press, and the Society’s Secretary-Treasurer has a limited supply of most earlier volumes. All of the Society’s other available publications in printed form can be ordered from Oak Knoll Books. Let me remind you that members of the Society who identify themselves will be given a 10% discount. If you don’t receive Oak Knoll catalogues and would like to, just write to 310 Delaware Street, New Castle, Delaware 19720; or phone 302-328-7232 or 1-800-996-2556; or fax 302-3287274; or email email@example.com. Oak Knoll’s complete catalogue can also be browsed at www.oakknoll.com.
Although I’ve already mentioned some of the members of the Council, I now want to thank them all as a group for their loyal service to the Society: Ruthe Battestin, Terry Belanger, Nicole Bouché, David Seaman, and David Vander Meulen. I also want to give special thanks to our Secretary-Treasurer, Anne Ribble, for smoothly and gracefully handling the Society’s day-to-day business, which was increased this year by the establishment of the fellowship program.
Finally, let me repeat my perennial request. The Society, like all scholarly organizations at present, needs more membership support. I hope all of you will publicize the Society and the importance of its work, especially its active publication program in printed and electronic form. And when membership-renewal time comes, I hope you will consider increasing the level of your membership. On behalf of the Council, I thank all of you for your support. I look forward to seeing many of you at the annual meeting, and I send best wishes to you all.
G. Thomas Tanselle