President G. Thomas Tanselle called the 65th Annual Meeting of the Bibliographical Society of the University of Virginia to order at 4:05 p.m. Friday, March 23, 2012, in the auditorium of the Harrison/Small Special Collections Library. He said that once again it was a pleasure to be participating in the Virginia Festival of the Book. He referred members to his annual letter (copies available at the back of the room) for a chronicle of the year’s activities. He noted that the latest of the Society’s publications, his Book-Jackets: Their History, Forms, and Use, contains revised versions of his essays on the subject, a listing of 1,900 pre-1901 book jackets, and 24 pages of illustrations. He thanked David Vander Meulen and Elizabeth Lynch for the photos used on the book-jacket (designed by Julie Burris) and in eight of the illustrations within the book. He also expressed thanks to Nicole Bouché, Head of Special Collections, and Heather Riser and Gayle Cooper of the staff for giving him access to the book-jackets in Special Collections last spring. Having the book published by the Society was especially valuable, Mr. Tanselle emphasized, because he was able to count on the remarkable editorial care of David Vander Meulen and his assistant, Elizabeth Lynch. Upcoming publications include a volume of essays on incunabula by Paul Needham and a digital bibliography of Modern Library editions, to be published jointly with the UVa library.
The minutes from the 2011 annual meeting were approved, subject to any corrections later offered to the Secretary-Treasurer. Ms. Ribble reported that the Society currently has 350 members, and the University Press has an additional 53 standing orders for Studies in Bibliography. In addition, through the Journal Donation Project, the Society supports thirteen libraries in developing countries with a complimentary subscription to Studies. The journal is available digitally on the Society’s website and on Project MUSE; back issues are available on JSTOR. Income this fiscal year-to-date, Ms. Ribble reported, is $42,332; expenses in the same period totaled $29,245. The current balance of available funds is $228,731.
The Council member up for re-election this year is David Seaman. Mr. Tanselle praised his informed and thoughtful advice on electronic matters. Mr. Seaman’s re-election was unanimous. Mr. Tanselle announced that at the Council meeting held earlier in the afternoon the officers of the Society were re-elected: Mr. Tanselle, President; Mr. Vander Meulen, Vice President; Anne Ribble, Secretary-Treasurer. Mr. Tanselle expressed his deep appreciation to all the members of the Council; every one, he added, makes an important contribution to the work of the Society.
Mr. Tanselle introduced Ruthe Battestin to present the prizes for the 49th Student Book Collecting Contest sponsored by the Society. He thanked Mrs. Battestin, chair of the contest committee, and Nicole Bouché, and Fred Ribble for serving as contest judges. Nine students, from third year through Ph.D. candidates, submitted entries, Mrs. Battestin said. The winners were:
• First Place, $300, and the BSUVA Rare Book School Fellowship (worth $1,095)—Andrew Ferguson for “The Bibliographic Puzzle of R. A. Lafferty”;
• Second Place, $150— Katia Fowler for “Collecting the Works of Jeanne G. Pennington: An American ‘Authoress’ at the Turn of the 20th Century”;
• Honorable Mention, $75— Natasha L. Mikles for “The Printed Manifestations of the Tibetan Epic, Gesar of Ling.”
All the contestants will receive gift certificates generously donated by thirteen local booksellers. Selections from the winning collections will be on display in the Harrison Institute/Small Special Collections Library at the University through April. Mrs. Battestin extolled the value of developing a focused collection of books and urged the contestants to take advantage of the opportunity for advice from Ms. Bouché who will be meeting with the contestants later in the semester.
Mr. Tanselle introduced graduate student Elizabeth Ott, who introduced the afternoon’s speakers:
• Christine Schott on “A Digital Presentation of Medieval Annotations,”
• Tess Goodman on “Judging Books by Their Covers in the Nineteenth Century”
• Margaret Marshall on “An Investigation of the Printing of the First Edition of Eliot’s The Waste Land.”
The meeting was adjourned at 4:45 p.m. A reception followed in the Press Room of Rare Book School.