TheTicknor Society
a fellowship of book lovers -

P.O. Box 380342
Cambridge, MA  02238

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A Look Back at Past Events

2001-2002 2002-2003
2003-2004 2004-2005
2005-2006 2006-2007
2007-2008 2008-2009
2009-2010 2010-2011
2011-2012 2012-2013
2013-2014 2014-2015
2015-2016 2016-2017

Sid Berger discusses The Dictionary of the Book
Tuesday, April 3, at First Church, 6:00PM

Sid Berger gave us a fascinating talk about his new book, The Dictionary of the Book, which provides a much-needed update to John Carter's ABC For Book Collectors. Ticknor Society members, like thousands of others in such organizations--and like librarians, booksellers, and collectors everywhere--need to talk the same language when they are talking about their libraries and books. For more than half a century they relied on Carter's ABC For Book Collectors as a guide to their vocabulary. But this book had many problems--and many kinds of problems. For decades, while people loved Carter's style and panache, they complained about his old definitions, his inaccuracies, his misinformation, and the lack of images in his compilation. Sidney Berger spent a half century using this book, assigning it to his students, listening to his students' complaints about it, and vowing to do something about it. And he did. This talk is about Berger's supplying the world with a companion to Carter: what he did, how he did it, and what the results of his efforts are. Along the way we learned the correct definitions of terms like shooting sticks, vatman's tears, folios and octavos, shunga, manicules (images of pointing hands used to highlight items on a page), and tete-beches (books that can be read either from the front or, by turning them over, from the back.

Letter Locking at MIT Wunsch Conservation Laboratory
Tuesday, March 27, 5:30-8:00 pm
MIT Libraries Wunsch Conservation Laboratory, 160 Memorial Dr, Cambridge, MA

Ticknorites met at MIT's Wunsch Conservation Laboratory to meet Jana Dambrogio, Thomas F. Peterson (1957) Conservator, and Ayako Letizia, Rare Book and Manuscript Conservator and Conservation Associate. They gave an enjoyable presentation about the Unlocking History team's research on letterlocking, the folding and securing of an epistolary writing substrate to become its own envelope. We all received a locked letter to open and take away.

Here's a video demonstrating a type of letterlocking called a Triangle Lock:


Stanley Cushing, "Reminiscences of a Life of Books"
Wednesday, January 17, 2018. Reception: 6:00, Address: 6:30 First Church,66 Marlborough St.

Stanley Cushing gave a fascinating, witty talk to a large Ticknor Society audience about his nearly half-century career at the Boston Athenĉum. In 1970, Stanley Ellis Cushing began as a temporary employee at the Boston Athenĉum. Within months, he was hired to work in the Conservation Department under Captain Cunha. Cushing studied history at BU, but his admiration for historical objects began as a child, was fostered by his grandparents, and honed by his mentors Kathleen Wick and Philip Hofer. He became head of Conservation in 1973 when Cunha left to found the NEDCC. In 2002, the Athenĉum named Cushing its first Curator of Rare Books. His extensive knowledge of the fine printing and historic books informed his careful nurturing of the Athenĉum's outstanding collection of artists' books. In his 47 years, he has trained and mentored several generations of professional librarians and conservators.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017
First Church, 66 Marlborough St.

Four Ticknor Society members shared their biblio-enthusiasms at the annual, ever-popular Show-and-Tell meeting of the Ticknor Society:

Robin Bledsoe

Robin is a former editor of scholarly art history books, and since 1983 has shared an antiquarian bookshop in Cambridge with Harvey Mendelsohn. She specializes in equestrian material of all kinds, and she and Harvey also sell titles on art history, architecture, the book arts, photography, landscape design, European children's books, and other fields in the visual arts and humanities. Robin showed us a Yearbook of the United States Polo association.

Richard Oedel

Dick described his Boston collection, highlighting visual images, ephemera and manuscript material. From the earliest days, Boston has been a place of intrigue and romance - where cow paths became streets and farms morphed into business districts. This collection, of books, ephemera and manuscript material, has been collected over the past century and provides an exciting glimpse into the old city.

Michael Barton

Our president, Michael Barton, spoke about the sketchbook of artist Jack Casey, one of the handful of Americans who enlisted in the French Foreign Legion at the outbreak of the First World War.

Chris Morgan

Chris brought several books by Dai Vernon from his magic collection (which now numbers over 700 titles). Dai Vernon was Houdini's teacher, and one of the greatest magicians of the twentieth century, though not known to most of the public, since he performed mostly for other magicians. Chris got to meet and talk with him several times, which he said was an unforgettable experience. He also performed a magic trick for us!

The Collector's Roundtable at the Boston Antiquarian Book Fair
This Year's Theme: Travel Book Collections
Saturday, November 11 at 1:00pm
Hynes Convention Center, Boston

Our panel was chaired by Ticknor Society President Michael Barton. Our panelists were:

Laura Davidson, a Boston book artist. Her interest in travel books began early in life when her father told stories of walking through Paris using itineraries from his guidebook while on leave from the Army. Her unconventional collection is mostly Baedeker's and Touring Club Italiano guides in various states of disrepair. She uses these books and their maps as inspiration as well as for materials used in her books. Laura's work can be found in several collections including the Library of Congress, the Boston Athenaeum, Houghton Library, the National Gallery Library, and the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Robert Stephenson, founder and coordinator of the Library of The Antarctic Circle, a non-commercial, non-profit forum and resource on historical, literary, artistic, and cultural aspects of Antarctica and the South Polar regions. The library, located in Jaffrey, New Hampshire, has extensive resources that may be consulted by researchers. Robert Stephenson created and has maintained the Antarctic Circle website for 21 years. He has traveled to Antarctica several times.

Mary Warnement, William D. Hacker Head of Reader Services the Boston Athenĉum, where she started her professional library career as a reference librarian in 2002. She earned her BA in Humanistic Studies and History from Saint Mary's College, Notre Dame, Indiana, her MA in Medieval Studies from the University of Toronto, and her MS in Library and Information Science at Simmons College. She spoke about her collection of travel guides from the 1950s, intended for soldiers and their families abroad. Most were produced by the US government in order to inform as well as indoctrinate.

Tour of Altered States: Sex, Drugs, and Transcendence in the Ludlow-Santo Domingo Library
Thursday, October 19, 2017, 6-7:30 PM
Houghton Library, Harvard Yard, Harvard University

Altered States showcased one collector's quest to document the history of the human search for something beyond the limits of ordinary experience. Leslie Morris, Curator of Modern Books and Manuscripts at Houghton Library, lead an in-depth tour exploring the social impact of the different paths taken in the hope of achieving transcendence-opium, cocaine, hallucinogens, marijuana, sex, and social protest-through a display of rare books, manuscripts, photographs, posters, prints, comics, and ephemera. Light refreshments were served.

Visit to "The Mount," the Estate of Edith Wharton
Sunday morning, September 17, 2017
Lenox, Massachusetts

Two dozen Ticknorites accompanied Ticknor President Michael Barton to The Mount, Edith Wharton's remarkable home in Lenox, Massachusetts, on September 17, 2017. The house is surrounded by beautiful gardens, and Anne Schuyler, Visitor Services and Group Tour Manager, led us on a tour of its many rooms. Edith Wharton designed the house herself. (She was a noted expert on home decoration, and wrote best-seller books about the subject.) She felt The Mount's 113 acre house and gardens was "her first real home." The library comprises volumes she collected throughout her lifetime and includes significant association copies and books annotated in her own hand. Upon her death in 1937, Wharton's will bequeathed the library to the sons of two close friends: William Royall Tyler and Colin Clark. The portion now at The Mount was left in trust to art historian Kenneth Clark for his six-year-old son, Colin. In 1983, Colin sold the books to London booksellers, who in turn sold them to George Ramsden, a book dealer in York, England. Ramsden cataloged the collection, then sold the collection to The Mount in 2005.
Nynke Dorhout, The Mount's Librarian and Lecture Series Coordinator, conducted a delightful tour of Wharton's library, and got to see signed books by Henry James and Teddy Roosevelt, dedicated to Wharton. The library contains Wharton's copies of her own books, and many of them contain one or more of the three different bookplates she used over the years as she relocated from one location to another. One book in particular reveals Wharton's personality. Her publisher insisted that The House of Mirth be illustrated by A. B. Wenzell. Wharton reluctantly agreed, but later tore out all the illustrations from her copy, and scratched out the name of the illustrator on the title page!

Annual Meeting of the Ticknor Society
Wednesday, May 24, 2017
New England Historic Genealogical Society
99-101 Newbury St., Boston, MA 02116
5:30 Annual Meeting
6:00 Reception
6:30 Keynote Address by Paul Messier

The Ticknor Society held its fifteenth annual meeting at the impressive New England Historic Genealogical Society building on Newbury Street. We were given a warm welcome by the Society's Vice President and Chief Operating officer, Ryan J. Woods, who gave us some background on the Society. Established in 1845, it is the largest Society of its kind in the world.

During our business meeting, a new slate of officers was elected, comprising: President, Michael Barton; Vice President, Mary Warnement; Treasurer, Chris Carter; Recording Clerk/Secretary, Chris Morgan (continuing); and Elizabeth Roscio, Membership Chair (continuing). Also elected were three new board officers: Jay Moschella, Dale Stinchcomb, and Shannon Struble.

Our keynote speaker was Paul Messier, the Pritzker Director of the Lens Media Lab (LML) at Yale's Institute for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage. Founded in 2015, the LML develops data-driven approaches for preserving and interpreting art and cultural material. Messier's research goals are focused on the creation, dissemination, and interpretation of large datasets derived from museum collections as well as from reference materials. Paul's fascinating speech showed how analyzing the fiber content of photographic paper, along with its thickness, warmth of color, glossiness, and roughness/smoothness, can offer significant forensic clues in identifying the age of a sheet of photographic paper, and can help expose fraudulent claims for the age of photographic prints.

Our Host, Ryan J. Woods, Vice President and Chief Operating officer of the New England Historic Genealogical Society

Elizabeth Roscio, Membership Secretary, updated us on new members

Beth Carroll-Horrocks spoke about two Ticknor Society members who recently passed

Chris Carter gave us a Treasurer's report

Marie and Beth Carroll-Horrocks

Marie and Heather Cole

Marie and Tom Michalak

Marie and Todd Pattison

Marie and Janet Steins

Marie and Cheryl Mariolis

Marie receives a book gift from Tom Michalak

Our appreciative audience

Our guest speaker, Paul Messier

Paul's glyph, showing four attributes of photographic paper: rough, warm, thickness, and matte

Visit to the Museum of Printing
15 Thronton Avenue, Haverhill, Massachusetts
Saturday, April 29, 2017, 10:00 AM

The Ticknor Society was treated to a wonderful presentation by Frank Romano of The Museum of Printing, located in North Andover. It was founded in 1978 as a non-profit, and moved into new and expanded space in Haverill in September, 2016. Located just 35 miles from Boston, the new museum holds one of the world's largest collections of printing and typesetting hardware and ephemera. Tasked with saving and preserving printing equipment and library materials associated with the graphic arts, the museum has galleries, a store, two libraries, and meeting and workshop areas. For a map and easy-to-follow directions, see the museum's website here.

Our visit included a buffet lunch at no charge to Ticknor members. Frank has an encyclopedic knowledge of the modern history of printing, and he gave us a detailed presentation about the evolution of printing from the Gutenberg era to the twenty-first century. He showed us his remarkable library devoted to the history of printing. Frank has worked with many famous people over the years, including Steve Jobs, and Steven Spielberg's movie staff approached him to find an authentic printing plate to use in an upcoming film about the Washington Post during the Watergate era.
Our thanks go to Janet Steins for organizing this field trip.

The museum stays open until 4:00 PM on Saturdays.

A printing sample at the Museum of Printing

Our host, Frank Romano, at the entrance to the Museum's remarkable history of printing library.

Frank gave us some background on this impressive Columbian press, invented by George Clymer in 1813. It was designed to allow a full newspaper page to be printed with one pull. The press was manufactured for over a century.

Janet Steins looks on as Frank Romano explains the design of this working Linotype machine. Linotypes were manufactured from 1883 to 1972. They revolutionized the printing industry by allowing faster and more efficient typesetting.

Chromolithography specimens.

Some woodblocks.

An 1888 "Acorn" hand iron press, invented by Isaac adams, an American inventor. It is named "acorn" because it is shaped like one.

An 1890 Monotype caster, at left, and its keyboard. Compared with a Linotype machine, which cast slugs (lines of type), the Monocast machine cast individual letters, making changes easier and cheaper than with the Linotype.

A Vandercook 20 Roller Series Proof Press, 1915.

Tom Michalak examines a Hoe and Company Rotary Flat Bed Press, 1846. This enormous press, the largest in the museum, was used to print the Hingham MA Gazette for 88 years.

Chris Morgan takes a look at the museum's comprehensive collection of early personal computers, as well as the first iPhone and iPod, and early flip-phones.

A wall of typewriters, including many early models.

An Electromatic typewriter (1925-1940), one of the earliest electric typewriters.

The Hell Chromagraph CP 341, an early color scanner. This million dollar machine was very successful, though today's desktop scanners can match its quality.

A rescued Vandercook SP 15 Repro Press from the early 1960s, being brought into the museum.

The history of printing library.

Ticknorites chat with Frank Romano in the library.

Ticknorites Beth Carroll-Horrocks, Claudia Hill, and Janet Steins.

Visit to the Boston City Archives
Remarks by Marta Crilly, Archivist for Reference and Outreach
201 Rivermoor Street, West Roxbury, MA
Wednesday, April 12, 2017, 5:30-8 PM (Reception 5:30-6:00)

Ticknorites turned out in impressive numbers to visit the Boston City Archives in West Roxbury, where Marta Crilly, Archivist for Reference and Outreach, gave us a fascinating talk on "Private Voices and the Public Record: Women in Municipal Records," and conducted a tour of the impressive archives.

Since 1989, the City Archives has worked to enable Bostonians to easily access the records that affect their daily lives and preserve the memories of their diverse communities. In this effort, through a variety of collaborations, they have scanned over two million pages of City records and over 13,000 City photographs to make them available to the public online. Marta gave us a sense of the vast variety of information available at the City Archives and how one accesses it. She also displayed materials from a few specific and special collections to highlight how very fortunate we are to have this great resource. Of particular interest to us was an 1886 real estate record book for the Back Bay with an entry for Anna Ticknor's house, and listing her occupation as "Single." (See photograph below.)

Marta Crilly, Archivist for Reference and Outreach at the Boston Archives

The Archives processing room

An 1886 Real Estate listing for the Back Bay containing an entry for Anna Ticknor's house. (See photo at right.)

An 1886 entry for Anna Ticknor's house, listing her occupation as "Single."

Some items in the processing room

A 1932 Boston Fire Department alarm box

Visit to the Woodberry Poetry Room at Harvard University
Talk, Tour, Listen and Learn - a presentation by Christina Davis, Curator and Mary Walker Graham, Assistant Curator
Tuesday, March 21, 2017, 6-8 PM Woodberry Poetry Room, Lamont Library, Harvard University

The Ticknor Society's first spring meeting at The Woodberry Poetry Room in Harvard's Lamont Library was a great success, with an excellent turnout. The Poetry Room features a circulating collection of 20th and 21st century English-language poetry, an encyclopedic array of poetry journals and literary magazines, a landmark collection of audio recordings (from 1933 to the present) and the Blue Star collection of rare books, broadsides, chapbooks, typescripts and ephemera. It was founded in 1931 in Widener Library, in honor of Harvard alumnus, poet and scholar George Edward Woodberry (1855-1930). It is now located in the Lamont Library in a room designed by the renowned Finnish architect Alvar Aalto in 1949.

Christina Davis, Curator, gave us some fascinating background about the poetry room, noting that the Room began making pioneering recordings of important poets in 1933. Their label was "Harvard Vocarium Records." She played some examples of recordings by T. S. Eliot, Marianne Moore, Robert Frost, Ezra Pound, and many others, reading their poems. For many of the poets, listening to their recordings was a revelation, because they had never heard their voices before. She played recordings of several famous poets reading the same poem at different times over several years. The differences in the recordings of Allen Ginsberg reading "Howl" and Robert Frost reading "The Road Not Taken" over a period of decades were striking.

Next, Assistant Curator Mary Walker Graham gave us a guided tour of several rarities from the collection, including: several 78-rpm large-format recordings of famous poets; an open-reel tape recording by Sylvia Plath; and an annotated typescript manuscript of Plath's poem, "Tulips." Of particular interest was a copy of poems by Elizabeth Bishop, who could be a reluctant reader of her poems. In this copy she annotated her famous poem, "One Art," to indicate where to pause and where to emphasize words. For example, in the last line of the poem, "though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster," she underlined the word "look" and wrote "slow" in the left margin. Our thanks go to Christina and Mary for their wonderful presentation!

A great turnout for our meeting at Harvard's Woodberry Poetry Room in the Lamont Library

Christina Davis (at right), Curator of the Woodberry Poetry Room, gave the Ticknorites some fascinating background about the poetry room

Assistant Curator Mary Walker Graham (at right) gave us a guided tour of several rarities from the collection

A poetry reading by Marianne Moore recorded in 1944 on Harvard's Vocarium Records label

T. S. Eliot reads "The Hollow Men"

A 1958 open-reel tape box of recordings by Sylvia Plath.

"Seven Poems" by E. E. Cummings

Elizabeth Bishop's annotations in her copy of "One Art," showing where to pause and which words to emphasize when she recited her famous poem. She was often a reluctant reader of her own work. Here she has written "slow" in the left margin, referring to the underlined word "look" in the last line.

Wallace Stevens reading "It Must Change."

Ticknorites Heather Cole, Beth Carroll-Horrocks, and Tom Horrocks sample some of the Woodberry Poetry Room's extensive holdings.

Lawrence C. Wroth: Pioneer of the "Bibliographical Way"
A talk by Richard Ring,
Head Curator of the Watkinson Library at Trinity College, Hartford, Connecticut
January 10, 2017, 6:00PM -8:00PM
First Church Boston, 66 Marlborough Street, Boston

Richard Ring, Head Curator of the Watkinson Library at Trinity College, Hartford, Connecticut gave the Society an informative, well-received talk about Wroth's remarkable life and career. Scholar-Librarian Lawrence C. Wroth (1884-1970) was an acknowledged authority of colonial American history, bibliography, and cartography. A learned wordsmith who for 65 years generated seminal works on the history and print cultures of the Americas, Wroth directed the John Carter Brown Library at Brown University for nearly four decades, was a consultant to the Library of Congress for 11 years, and to the Pierpont Morgan Library for over 30 years.

Ring's talk was in celebration of the publication in 2016 of his book featuring a selection of Wroth's "Notes for Bibliophiles," a column that appeared in The New York Herald Tribune in the 1930's and 40's. Only a few copies remain available. Interested Ticknorites can contact him directly at for more information.

Richard Ring and his book about Lawrence C. Roth

Richard describes Lawrence C. Wroth's remarkable career

Richard's new book

The Book Arts in Early Mexico, by Lawrence C. Wroth, one of several books Richard brought to show the Society

December 6, 2016, 6:00PM to 8:00PM
First Church Boston, 66 Marlborough Street, Boston

The Ticknor Society's Show-and-Tell meeting is a member-participation favorite, and our 2016 installment was no exception! The meeting highlighted the breadth and depth of the memberships' interests and was followed by a convivial holiday reception.

The presenters were:

Jennifer Herbert Stewart, Chief Operation Officer of More than Words, accompanied by one of the More Than Words students, Nash. They told us about their book-selling mission, "Empowering youth to take charge of their lives."

Stuart Walker spoke about his favorite binding designer, Sarah Whitman, and the mysterious fate of the last major design she did for Houghton Mifflin.

Ken Rendell brought the first book from his Western Americana collection, and told us what started it all and how it has developed into a very significant collection of material.

Sam Ellenport's first collecting interest was natural history. He brought Eleazer Albin's A Natural History of English Insects, London 1720, and his Natural History of English Songbirds, London 1741, both plate books.

Scott Guthery discussed a two-volume folio of French engineering drawings that Alexander Parris read while designing the rope-walk at the Charlestown Navy Yard and the Saddleback Ledge Lighthouse.

Jennifer Herbert Stewart and Nash

Stuart Walker

Ken Rendell

Sam Ellenport

Scott Guthery

Shakespeare Unauthorized: Experience the Original Works of "The Bard"
Talk and tour with Jay Moschella, Curator of Rare Books
Wednesday, November 9, 2016
Boston Public Library
700 Boylston Street, Boston

2016 marks the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare's death and the Boston Public Library and the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center is honoring the Bard's lasting legacy with two exhibitions at the Central Library this fall. The Boston Public Library holds one of the largest and most comprehensive collections of Shakespeare in a public institution, including the first four folios of his collected works, 45 early quarto editions of individual plays, and thousands of volumes of early source material, commentaries, translations, manuscripts, and more!

Jay Moschella gave us a half-hour talk about the impressive exhibit. We then explored the exhibit, and also saw the remarkable renovation of the library.

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Shakespeare Unauthorized poster

BPL Curator of Rare Books Jay Moschella conducting a tour of the BPL's Shakespeare Unauthorized Exhibit for the Ticknor Society

Chatting with the Ticknorites

An example of the exhibit layout

One of the exhibit's striking blue wall backdrops.

The First through Fourth Folios of Shakespeare's works, including a reissue of the Third Folio.

Title page of the First Folio, 1623

The Romeo and Juliet fourth edition quarto, 1623, one of only five surviving copies

In the first edition of the play, Othello compares his actions to those of a "base Indian." But in the First Folio text, published one year later, he compares his actions to those of a "base Judean," affecting the meaning of the play. Because of the writing style of the day (when J and I looked identical), it would have been easy for a scribe to misread the handwritten text. This graphic shows an example of the typical penmanship of the day. No version of the play in Shakespeare's handwriting survives to settle the score.

This copy of the 1631 Taming of the Shrew is from the now-lost library of Frances Wolfreston, one of the best-known female book collectors of the 17th century

Nancy Rice Clark's 1924 Drama Dial in Shakespeare, published in Ohio in 1924. Rice believed that all of Shakespeare's plays were written by the English philosopher, Francis Bacon, whom she claimed embedded secret codes and messages into the texts of the plays. She created this elaborate "drama dial" by which one could decipher the secret messages. The dial lacks only railroads, hotels, and a jail for competeness' sake.

The Musick in the Tragedy of Macbeth, composed by Richard Leveridge for a 1702 adaption of Macbeth. Audiences from the 17th through 19th centuries would have expected Macbeth to be full of songs and elaborate musical interludes.

Collectors Roundtable: Librarians Who Collect
Saturday, October 29, 2016, 3PM
International Book Fair, Hynes Convention Center

The Ticknor Society's Collectors Roundtable was held at the International Book Fair this year and hosted by Beth Carroll-Horrocks. It featured three fascinating presentations by speakers who are librarians, or who work in libraries, and who have interesting collections outside of their institutional holdings.

Christian Dupont (Boston College) and Silvia Dupont (Newton North High School) collect Italian grammar books from the mid-18th to mid-19th century that were published for French speakers who wanted to learn the language and literature of Italy. They described some interesting editions, including one by Longfellow.

Joshua Lupkin (Harvard University) discussed a collection he stewarded at his previous job at Tulane University, using an endowment for buying books about cats and dogs, and how he continues to build interest in the collection through social media at dog and cat comics, supertaxicab, and charleelachatte. Among other things, he showed some unusual self-published comic books from around the world that have dog and cat themes.

Mindell Dubansky (The Metropolitan Museum of Art) spoke about her remarkable collection of blooks (objects that look like books but aren't books). She also showed her beautifully-designed catalog of the 2016 Grolier club exhibit of her blooks. You can find her blook blog here.

The 2016 Collectors Roundtable panel with moderator Beth Carroll-Horrocks (standing)

Christian Dupont and Silvia Dupont

Joshua Lupkin

Mindell Dubansky

Tour of Pleasure & Piety
Beyond Words: Illuminated Manuscripts from Boston Collections
October 6, 2016 6-8 PM
McMullen Museum of Art, Boston College
2101 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02135

The October 6, 2016, meeting of the Ticknor Society was a field trip to see the remarkable Beyond Words exhibition at the McMullen Museum of Art at Boston College

Beyond Words is one of three exhibitions highlighting medieval and Renaissance illumination manuscripts from Boston collections, the other being at the Houghton Library at Harvard University, and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Two hundred and six outstanding manuscripts and printed books dating from the 9th to seventeenth centuries were selected from eighteen Boston-area repositories. (The exhibition web site, which covers all three venues, is here.)

Beyond Words, on display through December 11, 2016, is in McMullen's new location, the recently renovated neo-Renaissance palazzo on Boston College's Brighton campus which was originally the residence of Boston's archbishop. The exhibition is accompanied by a catalog, with essays written by eighty-five American and European scholars, including Francois Avril, Susan L'Engle, James Marrow, Scot Mckendrick, Lillian Armstrong, Federica Toniolo and Maria Thiesen. The catalog was edited by Beyond Word's curatorial team---Jeffrey F. Hamburger, Dr. William P. Stoneman, Professor Nancy Netzer, Dr. Lisa Fagin Davis, Dr. Anne-Marie Eze--and is published by Boston College.

Brian MacQuarrie's background article on this exhibit, "Exhibit to Shine Light on Illuminated Works," appeared in the Boston Globe Metro Section Monday, August 1, 2016.
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Photos from the McMullen Museum of Art's exhibit, "Beyond Words: Manuscripts for Pleasure and Piety," at Boston College through December 11, 2016.

Detail from the circa 1470 Commendation of Souls Book of Hours, most likely from London. From the Houghton collection.

The first section of the remarkable Historical Geneology of Christ by Peter of Poitiers, circa 1200. Probably originating in Northern France, the roll is nearly twenty feet long, and is a diagrammatic, linear depiction of the descent of Jesus from Adam through King David. Houghton collection.

Ticknorites take a closer look at the 800-year-old Historical Geneology of Christ roll, shown at left.

This magnificently illustrated Tournament Book by René d'Anjou was written in France, circa 1460-70. The text offers a detailed account of a fictive tournament between partisans of the Dukes of Brittany and Bourbon. This image shows the Dukes themselves in conflict. Houghton collection.

An early twentieth-century forgery of an illuminated manuscript from Harvard's Houghton Library, done by the so-called "Spanish Forger," one of the most skilled and prolific forgers of all time.

Drawings of the brain in a miscellany for preachers, Italy, circa 1500. The description tag notes that "an anonymous draftsman of modest skill endeavored to copy a well-known fifteenth-century wood block print depicting the brain's ventricles and the internal senses of the brain." From the Boston Medical Library.

Detail from Tracts on the care of humans, horse, and birds of prey, Italy, circa 1300 - 1350. The book is "expertly sketched in lead paint and washed with colored pigments. Tiny vignettes picture horse ailments and cures described by Jordanus Rufus with remarkable fidelity and precision." Houghton.

A folded almanac from the diocese of Bourges, France, circa 1300 - 50, Houghton. These portable books consisted of small numbers of parchment leaves folded up, bound at one end, and attached to a physician's belt with a cord. They were used for treating patients. Knowledge of the heavens was used to determine when procedures might safely be undertaken.

An unfolded facsimile of the folded physician's almanac shown at left. Houghton.

A disbound Book of hours by Jean Bourdichon (illuminator), Tours, France, circa 1515 - 20, from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Because this book is currently disbound to allow for restoration, viewers have the rare opportunity to see many of the illuminated pages at once, as this case shows. As the description notes, this truly is a "splendid, jewel-like book."

Detail from the Bourdichon Book of hours at left.

Detail from the Bourdichon Book of hours above.

Gospel lesson: Matthew writing his gospel. From the Bourdichon Book of hours above.

Gospel lesson: John the Evangelist on Patmos. From the Bourdichon Book of hours above.

Detail from the Bourdichon Book of hours above.

The Pentacost Gradual, monastic or parish use, Workshop of Pacino di Bonaguida (illuminator), Florence, italy, circa 1300 - 20. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. This gradual is a choir book containing the sung parts of the Mass. The description notes that "Pacino's manuscripts were often dismembered to meet the demand of avid collectors."

On Animals and Other Things; or, the Gilded Dove, Hugh of Fouilloy, Northern France, circa 1230 - 50. Houghton. The description notes that this thirteenth-century model book for a moralizing treatise on various mythical and real animals is unique in comprising two sections, one for text, the other for pictures. This let the scribe and the illuminator go about their tasks separately.

Chronique Anonyme Universelle [Anonymous]. As the catalog notes, this is "a magnificently illuminated roll that records the history of the world in French, from Creation to the fifteenth century."

Detail from the Chronique Anonyme Universelle at left.

Young man in courtly attire, from On the Game of Chess by Jacobus de Cessolis. Vienna, Austria, circa 1390. Houghton. The catalog notes that this manuscript is a German translation of de Cessolis's "stupendously successful and widely disseminated book on chess." The foppishly dressed young man is "one of eight pawns . . . who represent the common man."

Genealogical role of English kings, England, circa 1300. Houghton. The descent of the kings of England from Aethelstan (d. 939) to Edward I (d. 1309) is set out here in a parchment roll.

Coronation of Hannibal. Livy, Roman Histories. Master of the Harvard Hannibal and Boucicaut Masters (Illuminators). Paris, France, circa 1450.

Birds of prey: their food, size, and places of nesting. Frederick II of Hohenstaufen, The Art of Falconry. Master of the Flemish Boethius (illuminator), Jan van Kreikenborch (scribe).

Consanguinity table. Gratian, Decretum. Northern France, c. 1200. The catalog notes that "This is an unfinished, detached leaf from Gratian's collection of canon law. It reveals the type of detailed drawings that often underlay painted illuminations."

Leaf from an Antiphonal. Bologna (?) Italy, circa 1250 - 75. From the catalog: "This leaf from a dismembered thirteenth-century Italian choir book was recycled in the eighteenth century for use as a wraparound book cover." Boston Public Library.

Book of hours, Limoge (?), France, fifteenth or sixteenth century. In Latin and French. Boston Athenaeum. The catalog notes that two of the paintings in this book "are among the most profound and powerful of late medieval images. One of them, the red, mouth-like form framed in blue at the right, represents the 'measure of the side wound,' that is, the precise dimensions of the gash made by the holy lance."

Stoning of St. Stephen Mass in Gradual, Common of Saints, Workshop of Jean Pichore. Paris, France, 1510 - 20. Houghton. This deluxe Gradual (a book of chants for the Mass) is one of the largest made at the time. The chant for a martyr's Mass is shown here by Beth Carroll-Horrocks.

Movable Book Society Conference
Thursday-Saturday, September 15-17, 2016
Boston Park Plaza Hotel, 50 Park Plaza at Arlington Street

This conference was jointly presented by the Movable Book Society and the Ticknor Society. Over a dozen institutions and libraries in and around Boston mounted pop-up "Pop-Up Book" exhibits of materials in their collections. Click here to see the complete listing of the Special Tours, Exhibits (both physical and virtual), and Collections that were organized by the Ticknor Society Conference.

Saturday, September 17, 2016 was the joint conference day for Ticknor Society Members and Movable Book Society conferees. Ticknor members in good standing were able to attend the Saturday daytime events free of charge. We had an excellent turnout. The entire conference was a great success, and we thank the Movable Book Society for their generosity.

The Saturday events included presentations from 8:30-5:30 (see details below), as well as a silent auction, book sales, swaps, and signings. A pdf of the complete conference schedule is available here.

The Saturday joint conference day began at 8:30 AM with a welcome by Ann Montanaro Staples and Shawn Sheehy. Ann then conducted a brief business meeting, followed by presentations from:

Denise Price, creator of the Freedom Trail Pop-Up Book, presented A Love Letter to the City of Boston;

Matt Shlian gave the Keynote, Working Sculpturally and Mechanically with Paper;

Ellen Rubin and Ann Montanaro Staples gave a joint Brief History of Pop-up Books;

The Candlewick Press gave a panel presentation on Producing a Trade Pop-up Book, Trends and Forecasts, with Chris Paul, Creative Diector/Associate Publisher; Andrea Tempa, Senior Editor; and Karen Lotz, president and Publisher.

Paper Engineer Kyle Olmon next discussed Movable Books That Move Me: a Survey of Contemporary Pop-up artist's Books,

Kelli Anderson, author of This Book is a Planetarium and other amazing works in paper, discussed The Hidden Talents of Everyday Things.

The day's events also included book sales, swaps, signings, and silent auction.

There were also two contests and an award: an emerging engineer/artist prize for the best undergraduate/graduate movable book, the Meggendorfer prize for the best professional artist book, and an award for the best trade pop-up book produced in the past two years. The awards were given out Saturday evening at the celebratory banquet.

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The combined Movable Book Society and Ticknor Society audience

A Biblical-themed Pop-up Book

Ann Montanaro Staples welcomes the group

Shawn Sheehy joins Ann in welcoming the audience to the Saturday session

Denise Price presented A Love Letter to the City of Boston, describing the complex journey her book, Freedom Trail Pop Up Book of Boston, took from initial concept to final product

Paper Engineer Matt Shlian gave the KeyNote address on Working Sculpturally and Mechanically With Paper, showing how paper engineering has made important contributions to both the arts and the sciences

Ellen G.K. Rubin gave the first of a two-part presentation on The Origins
of Movable Paper: An 800 Year History of Paper Engineering, covering the topic up to the beginning of the twentieth century

Ann Montanaro Staples completed the discussion of The Origins of Movable Paper by covering the topic up to the present day

Members of the Candlewick Press gave a panel presentation on Producing a Trade Pop-up Book, Trends and Forecasts. From left to right, they are: Chris Paul, Creative Director/Associate Publisher; Andrea Tempa, Senior Editor; and Karen Lotz, President and Publisher.

Paper Engineer Kyle Olmon next discussed Movable Books That Move Me: a Survey of Contemporary Pop-up Artist's Books

Kelli Anderson discussed The Hidden Talents of Everyday Things

A rapt audience

Detail from Shawn Sheehy's limited-edition A Pop-Up Field Guide of North American Wild Flowers

PinBox 3000, a KickStarter project for an all-cardboard pinball machine

Detail from Journal of Inventions: Leonardo da Vinci, by Jaspre Bark, David Lawrence, and David Hawcock

My Granny's Purse pop-up book by P. Hanson

A pop-up greeting card from lovepop

Detail from the Pop-up book Mommy? by Maurice Sendak, Arthur Yorinks, and Matthew Reinhart

Ticknor Society 2016 Annual Meeting

Tuesday, May 10, 2016, Massachusetts Historical Society
1154 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 5:30PM - 7:30PM
Guest Speaker: Ticknor Society Board Member-at-Large Jeremy Dibbell

The 2016 annual meeting of The Ticknor Society was held on Tuesday, May 10, 2016 at the Massachusetts Historical Society, 1154 Boylston Street, Boston, MA, from 5:30PM to 7:30PM.

Ticknorites who came early were treated to a delightful private tour of the exhibit, "The Private Jefferson: From the Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society" given by the Society's Librarian, Peter Drummey.

The business meeting was conducted by President Marie Oedel, and began at 5:30PM. After that, there was a featured talk by Ticknor Board Member-at-Large Jeremy Dibbell entitled "A Bibliophilic Friendship," on the relationship between George Ticknor and Thomas Jefferson.
Following Jeremy's well-received speech, Marie presented Jeremy with a custom case she designed to hold the first numbered copy of the 2016 Ticknor Society Keepsake, to be given to the Massachusetts Historical Society Society. The keepsake is a beautiful, hand-sewn limited-edition pamphlet entitled "The best bibliograph I have met with" -- George Ticknor Visits Monticello, 1815. It was edited by Jeremy Dibbell and printed by John Kristensen of the Firefly Press. It features four letters and a journal entry relating to George Ticknor's initial visit to Monticello: they include letters of introduction on Ticknor's behalf from Boston Athenaeum founder and librarian William Smith Shaw to John Adams, and from Adams to Thomas Jefferson.

Jeremy noted that the idea for the keepsake emerged from a conversation between him and several Ticknor Society members at the 2015 Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair. All Ticknor members in good standing will receive a copy of the keepsake.

A reception with light refreshments and wine followed Jeremy's talk. Afterwards, eighteen Ticknorites gathered for a convivial dinner at Sonsi restaurant.

Foyer of the Massachusetts Historical Society

The Private Jefferson Exhibit

Peter Drummey gives us a tour of the exhibit

The tour in progress


Jefferson letter in which he says "I cannot live without books"

Marie Oedel conducts the business meeting

Jeremy Dibbell gives his talk on Ticknor and Jefferson

Jeremy's title slide

The 2016 Ticknor board with some of our Past Presidents


March 15, 2016

Tozzer Library, Harvard

Janet Steins is collections librarian at Harvard's Tozzer Library as well as the Ticknor Society's long-standing treasurer. This past February she treated us to an extensive guided display of some of the library's remarkable items. The Tozzer library started life as a bookshelf holding one book in the Peabody Museum of American Archaeology and Ethnology in 1866. As any Ticknorite will witness, a one-book bookshelf has a half-life comparable to the most exotic trans-uranium element. The bookshelf became a stand-alone library in 1974 and joined the Harvard College Library system in 1979. Here are just a few of the riches Janet shared with us:

Janet Steins displays some of the Tozzer library's rarities

A 1908 Old Testament Bible in the Cree language.

One of several layouts of library highlights

More library highlights

Illustration from the 1996 Qauqaua: a San Folk Story from Botswana

Detail from McKenney's 1837 History of the Indian Tribes of North America

Rebecca Rego Barry on Rare Books Uncovered

February 11, 2016

First Church Boston

No doubt we've all dreamed about finding a Tamerlane in our attic, and many of us have our own tales of best book "finds" that we enjoy sharing with fellow bibliophiles. Rebecca Bego Barry, author of Rare Books Uncovered, spoke to us about more recent discoveries and put to rest the notion that the Internet has made scouting extinct. Her entertaining and instructive talk included such examples as: a first edition of Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird purchased at a Philadelphia flea market for a few dollars in 2014; a first edition of Jorge Luis Borges' El Aleph bought for 50 cents at an estate sale in Louisiana in 2011; a first edition in dust jacket of Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman owned by William Shirer; A first edition of Darwin's On the Origin of Species found in an Oxfordshire home guest's bathroom, which sold for over 100,000 pounds at Sotheby's in 2009; a presentation copy of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein found in 2011 and inscribed to Lord Byron; a "family bible" under a sofa that turned out to be a 14th century illuminated Italian bible; a multi-million dollar set of early American comic books, including the first appearance of Superman in the June, 1938 issue of Action Comics; early historic Chicago maps; a five-volume set of the 1845 The Laws of God worth $3750; the 2015 discovery of the earliest extant manuscript draft translation of part of The King James Bible; the 2015 discovery of a map of Middle-Earth drawn by Tolkien; and many others.

Katherine McCanless Ruffin on Carl Purington Rollins

Wednesday, January 20, 2016, 6:30PM

First Church Boston, 66 Marlborough St., Boston

Katherine Ruffin, the Book Studies and Book Arts Program Director at Wellesley College, presented a wonderful talk to the Ticknor Society about Carl Purington Rollins (1880--1960), and discussed the history of the Bibliographical Press at Yale University, which was established by Rollins. The Press provides an important historical context for the inclusion of hands-on processes in book studies today. In 1927, Rollins established the Bibliographical Press in affiliation with the Yale University Library in order to teach the traditional practices of book production. Between 1928 and 1939, Rollins taught a course called "18th Century Printing Office Practice" to graduate students, librarians, and undergraduates. Rollins taught his students the practices of paper-making, composition of type, and printing on the hand press. Katherine Ruffin holds an A.B. in Philosophy from Bryn Mawr College, an M.F.A. in the Book Arts from the University of Alabama, and a Ph.D. in Library and Information Science from Simmons College. Her dissertation was titled Carl Purington Rollins and the Bibliographical Press at Yale University."



December 9, 2015, 6:30PM

First Church Boston, 66 Marlborough St., Boston

The Ticknor Society's Show-and-Tell meeting is a member-participation favorite. For 2015, we highlighted the breadth and depth of our memberships' interests. We thank our speakers, who entertained and enlightened us.

Dorothy Africa spoke about items in her collection relating to Boston book culture in the late nineteenth to mid-twentieth centuries, and showed us some items representing historic styles of bookbinding. Though the latter exhibit distinct bindings, they were also selected because of their content and/or interesting provenance, and they included some fascinating Ethiopian bindings.

Michael Barton spoke about some World War I books he acquired from A. Piatt Andrew's home, Red Roof. Sadly, this fascinating home, which harbored a rich trove of World War I books in a dank basement, has since been demolished. But fortunately, Michael rescued some beautiful books, including a wonderful French album of color illustrations shown in the photos here.

Scott Guthery told us that, in the course of studying antebellum reading in experimental philosophy at the Boston Athenaeum, as reflected in the organization's books borrowed registers, three titles of a distinctly non-scientific nature made noticeably frequent appearances on the registers' pages. He began with a brief overview of the registers, offered some light commentary on the three titles, and concluded with a few remarks on the feasibility of text search in handwritten documents.

Owen Gingerich spoke next. He will be well-known to Ticknorites who have heard him speak to us in the past about matters astronomical, including a wonderful talk about Galileo. He said he had been wondering for some time about how accurately astronomers could predict the celestial positions of the planets in the days of Copernicus, Kepler, and Newton. One consequence of asking this question is that he now has the world's largest collections of ephemerides from this period. He brought several of these to show us. He chased one manuscript volume in vain in the great libraries of England, and then, to his amazement, accidentally acquired it at auction. He traced its fascinating ownership history for us.

Thomas Michalak told us how a comic book about Harry Truman, which he first saw at the age of eight, influenced and changed his life. As an adult, he wanted to reconnect with the comic book, and told us how he did this via Ebay.

Next, Richard Oedel presented a talk entitled "The White Mountains and the allure of Mt. Washington." He is a fourth generation hiker in the Whites and, for him, the draw of the mountains is strong. As a high school student, he began collecting books, ephemera, and original documents related to New Hampshire. Over time, the collection changed and he began focusing on Mount Washington, the tallest peak on the Eastern Seaboard. He brought along some intriguing books, pamphlets, and stereopticon slides of the hotels at the top of the mountain and the construction of the cog railway that runs to the top of the mountain, a remarkable engineering feat completed in the mid-nineteenth century.

Dorothy Africa

Examples from Dorothy's collection

Michael Barton

One of Michael's World War I era French illustrated books

Scott Guthery asks, "What were they reading?" at the Boston Athenaeum

Tom Michalak with Truman comic book

Owen Gingerich with one of his ephemerides

Owen's copy of The British Tables

Richard Oedel discusses the White Mountains

From Richard's collection of White Mountain books, stereopticon slides. etc.

Ticknor Society President Marie Oedel, who introduced the evening

Beth Carroll-Horrocks examines one of Dorothy Africa's Ethiopian bindings

Chris Morgan on Lewis Carroll's Games and Puzzles

Boston Athenĉum, 10½ Beacon Street, Boston

Wednesday, November 18, 2015, noon

The Ticknor Society and the Boston Athenĉum jointly hosted a noon-time talk by Chris Morgan. The address, "Lewis Carroll's Games and Puzzles and the Alice Books: The Surprising Connection" was based on Chris' recently-released book, The Pamphlets of Lewis Carroll: Games, Puzzles, and & Related Pieces,, published by the Lewis Carroll Society of North America and distributed by the University of Virginia Press. Chris will also be speaking at Philadelphia's Rosenbach Library on January 21, 2016 in connection with the library's "Down the Rabbit Hole" exhibition which runs from October 14, 2015 to March 27, 2016. His talk was part of the worldwide celebration of the 150th anniversary of the first publication of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland in 1865. Other events are described at

Chris demonstrates Lewis Caroll's handkerchief mouse trick to Athenaeum audience member Mary DiZazzo

Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair

November 13 to 15

Roundtable on Saturday, November 14, 4PM

Hynes Convention Center. Boston

The theme of the Ticknor Society's Collectors' Roundtable at this year's Antiquarian Book Fair was Collecting Political Americana, a timely topic for this season. We had three active collectors discussing how they got started as collectors, exactly what they collect, how they find new items, and how they keep track of what they have. Our speakers were: Kenneth Florey, a retired a member of the English Department at Southern Connecticut State University, on his collection of Woman Suffrage Artifacts and Memorabilia; Cambridge librarian and historian Thomas A. Horrocks on his collection of 19th-century presidential campaign biographies; and Bruce DeMay of New Hampshire, whose talk on "Political paper" covered his general collection of all types of political memorabilia, from late 18th century to current, with concentrations in New Hampshire campaign ephemera, nineteenth century 3-D items, and political paper, including broadsides, posters, and ballots. The speakers brought examples from their collections to share with the audience.

Moderator Beth Carroll-Horrocks (standing) with panelists Bruce DeMay, Kenneth Florey, and Thomas Horrocks

Samples from the panelists' collections

Stuart Bennett on Trade Bookbinding in the British Isles 1660--1800

October 22, 2015, 6:30 pm

150 North Street, Boston

Stuart Bennett brought his illustrated lecture on historical English bookbindings to the North Bennet Street School October 22, 2015. Bennett's 2004 publication, Trade Bookbinding in the British Isles 1660-1800, examined booksellers' and bookbinders' records as well as thousands of historical bindings to offer a new analysis of how books came to be bound in early modern Britain. One reviewer called the study "a tool for the discerning book connoisseur [which] fills a long-standing gap in the bookbinding literature that, in retrospect, is as self-evident as a missing front tooth."

A joint presentation

Our audience

Stuart Bennett with a remarkable binding of his book

The pre-event reception

Tuesday, September 29, 2015, 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

Bryn Mawr Bookstore Visit

On Tuesday, September 29, approximately 20 members of the Ticknor Society inaugurated the fall 2015 season with a visit to the Bryn Mawr Bookstore in the Huron Village section of Cambridge to hear Mary Maples Dunn speak about the history and mission of the bookstore. The store, founded in 1971 and managed and staffed by Bryn Mawr alumnae and volunteers including Mary Maples Dunn, sells fine used and rare books in support of scholarships for students from New England to Bryn Mawr College in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. Dr. Dunn earned her PhD from Bryn Mawr, and then held academic and administrative positions there before becoming President of Smith College, then director of the Schlesinger Library on the History of Women at Radcliffe, then interim president of Radcliffe College and acting dean of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. After Radcliffe, she and her husband Richard S. became Co-Executive Officers of the American Philosophical Society in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Thanks to three additional bookstore volunteers, Ticknor members, many of whom were first-time visitors to the bookstore, had plenty of time to contribute to the bookstore's September profits.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015, 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

Houghton Library, Harvard Yard, Harvard University

Such a Curious Dream! Alice's Adventures in Wonderland at 150

The first program in our 2015-2016 season was a field trip to an extraordinary exhibition at Harvard's Houghton Library. It was a great success, with over forty Ticknorites in attendance. The exhibition, which has been drawing large crowds and runs through September 5, 2015, is curated by Heather Cole, a librarian at Houghton Library as well as a long-time Ticknor Society member and past Membership Secretary. It is one of over ninety world-wide events celebrating the 150th anniversary of the publication of Lewis Carroll's timeless tale.

Our new President, Marie Oedel, introduced Heather, who gave us a brief tour of the exhibition, and highlighted some of her favorite items from the exhibit. After that, Ticknor board member Chris Morgan encored his dazzling Dodgson magic show we enjoyed at the Providence Public Library in 2014, and mentioned that his new book, The Pamphlets of Lewis Carroll: Volume, 5, Games, Puzzles and Related Pieces, is now available.

Heather Cole Describes the Carroll exhibit

Some items from the exhibit

Chris Morgan performing some of Lewis Carroll's magic

Lewis Carroll's handkerchief mouse trick

Tuesday, May 26, 2015, Trinity Church, 206 Clarendon Street, Copley Square, Boston, 6:00PM
Ticknor Society Annual Meeting
Guest Speaker: Matthew Battles

The annual meeting of The Ticknor Society was held in the beautiful Trinity Church in Copley Square in 2015, and was conducted by our outgoing President, Scott Guthery, and Beth Carroll-Horrocks. We expressed our thanks to outgoing Social Secretary Christine O'Neill and Board member Alan Tannenbaum for their service to the Society, welcomed in the new board members and members at large, and thanked Scott for his excellent service to the Society over the past two years. Our incoming President, Marie Oedel, presented Scott with a special book gift on behalf of the Society.

We were delighted that Matthew Battles of Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet & Society was our featured speaker. Matt is associate director of metaLAB at Harvard and a fellow at the Berkman Center. He has written extensively on the history and changing role of libraries in society. Matt gave a fascinating talk about some of his current projects, and screened a 24-minute documentary he helped to produce, called Cold Storage. It describes Harvard's ten-million item offsite storage archive south of Boston, and the challenges of safely storing massive numbers of library materials over a long period of time. Matt's book, Library: An Unquiet History, has been in print for over a decade and is still lighting the way.

Trinity Church Meeting Room

Marie Oedel and Scott Guthery

Matthew Battles

Wednesday, April 15, 2015, 5:30PM, 21 Unity Street, adjacent to Old North Church, at the Clough House, North End, Boston
A Visit to the Printing Office of Edes & Gill

Gary Gregory, Executive Director and Print Master of the Printing Office of Edes & Gill, gave a delightful, well-attended talk to the Ticknorites on Wednesday, April 15, 2015 at his 18th century Print Shop, located along Boston's Historic Freedom Trail, adjacent to Old North Church at the Clough House.

Gary demonstrated his printing press by printing an etching and inviting our members to try their hand at it. Gary received his training from master printers at Colonial Williamsburg and has done extensive research into colonial printing equipment and methods. He demonstrated the trade for more than a year on his colonial printing press at the Museum of Printing in North Andover, where he also taught extensive hands-on seminars. Gary is also the founder of Lessons on Liberty, which provides walking tours of Boston's Freedom Trails. He has reenacted the Battle of Lexington and Concord, the Battle of Monmouth - and others! He is a member of the 10th Massachusetts Continental Regiment, a group known for its historical accuracy.

Edes and Gill Print Shop, North End

Gary Gregory

The type case

Greg shows some type examples

Ticknor Treasurer Janet Steins inks the etching

Dick Oedel completes the printing

The finished product!

Thursday, March 12, 2015, First Church, 56 Marlborough St., Boston, 6:00PM
Gifting Your Collection

The vision and care that form the sinew of any collection are hard to describe and even harder to convey. And yet such ephemeral properties of a collection among a welter of other more practical aspects come to the fore when one starts to plan for the future of their collection. Thomas Michalak and Marie Oedel organized a well-attended Ticknor Society meeting that reviewed the myriad of considerations that go into gifting your collection. Tom spoke from first-hand experience having recently gifted his Edward Gorey collection to the Loyola University Chicago Library.

We were also fortunate to have Sidney Berger, Director Emeritus of the Phillips Library, Peabody Essex Museum and Devon Gray, Director of Fine Books and Manuscripts, Skinner, Inc. as presenters with Tom. The audience joined in with many interesting questions.

Gifting your Collection:

Devon Gray and Sidney Berger

Tom Michalak

Tuesday, February 24, 2015, Old State House, 206 Washington Street, Boston, 6:00 PM
Just Take a Little off the Top

The Ticknor Society's Membership Secretary, Elizabeth Roscio, was front and center as the Bostonian Society's archivist at the opening of a century-old time capsule at the Old State House. (See a story about Elizabeth and the time capsule here). At our Ticknor gathering on February 24, Elizabeth gave Ticknorites a first-hand look at what was in the time capsule, how it got to be there, and what we have learned so far about these cryptic messages from a century ago. Many thanks to Elizabeth!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015, John J. Burns Library, Boston College
An Exhibition on Conservation Bookbindings, by Mark Esser

This event was a joint meeting with the New England Chapter of the Guild of Book Workers. The Ticknor Society joined The New England Chapter of the Guild of Book Workers and members of the Boston College faculty and staff as guests of the John J Burns Library at the closing reception of this wonderful exhibition. Mark Esser was on hand to receive a gift in appreciation of his contributions to book conservation and bookbinding.

Many thanks to Ticknor Society members Barbara Hebard, Burns Conservator, and Christian Dupont, Burns Librarian, for their kind invitation to this very special event.

Conservation Bookbindings Exhibit:

Christian Dupont

Our attendees

Barbara Hebard

Mark Esser

Part of the Exhibition Display

Marie Pellissier's "Girdle Book"


Wednesday, December 10, 2014, First Church, 56 Marlborough St., Boston, 6:00PM
Membership Show-and-Tell

The 2014 Show-and-Tell program was hosted by Beth Carroll-Horrocks, and featured six Ticknor Society members who showed examples of books and other materials they collect, and told us how they became interested in collecting them. The meeting, as usual, was a joy.

Beth spoke about the project for conserving and digitizing the State Librarys Bradford Manuscript.
Mary Warnement spoke about being a Slight Collector. She collects books that are handy and easy to hold in the hand.
An Sokolova discussed the topic, Does a Bear Like Honey? She gave an overview of seven decades of book gathering, and read brief excerpts from an essay by Francis Bacon.
Janet Steins brought along some wonderful historical postcards with images of libraries in Eastern Massachusetts.
Sharon Pattison spoke about French paper bindings, which are often hard to find in really good condition.
Chris Morgan spoke about Joseph Beeby Wise's monograph, "A Treatise on Dialling," which features volvelles, and also brought along a copy of the first paper ever written about artificial intelligence, written by Alan Turing in 1950.

Saturday afternoon, November 15, 2014, 2PM, Room 108, Hynes Auditorium, Boston
Collectors Roundtable at the Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair

The 2014 panel topic was Ephemera! Participants included:

Diane DeBlois, a dealer of ephemera and editor of The Ephemera Society of America's Ephemera Journal, who spoke on what ephemera is, why people collect it, and what people can do with it.
Nancy Rosin, current Ephemera Society president, collector of antique valentines, and founder and current president of the National Valentine Collectors Association, spoke on valentines as ephemera.
David Freund, an academic, artist, and collector, talked about Victorian scrapbooks. Audience members saw samples from the speakerscollections.
Our moderator was Beth Carroll-Horrocks, Ticknor Society Member-at-large.

Collectors Roundtable Photos:

Stalking, Taming, and Loving the Wild Ephemera

(Standing): Moderator Beth Carroll-Horrocks
Our panelists (L to R): Diane Deblois, David Freund, and Nancy Rosin

A full house!

Chatting with the audience afterwords.

Kenneth Carpenter and Benjamin Franklin's Way to Wealth

On October 8, 2014, Kenneth Carpenter presented a talk about Ben Franklin's Way to Wealth. Franklin's essay began its
existence in Philadelphia as the untitled preface to Poor Richard's Almanac for 1758. Despite not having a formal titleor
author's nameand despite being published on the periphery of the British Empire, it gradually spread around the world,
eventually being published in twenty-six languages, in well over a thousand appearances.

Contemporary Bindings in Private Press Books

On Tuesday, November 4, 2014, we held a joint event with the New England Chapter of the Guild of Book Workers, to view the exhibit, Contemporary Bindings in Private Press Books, at Harvards Houghton Library in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It featured many spectacular contemporary bindings.

Thursday, May 29, 2014: The Ticknor Society 2014 Annual Meeting

Our 2014 Annual Meeting was held at the American Meteorological Society's beautiful Bulfinch-designed building on Beacon Hill in Boston. It featured a presentation by Thomas Horrocks, President ex-officio, founder, and past President of the Ticknor Society, based on his 2014 book, Lincoln's Campaign Biographies. Marie Oedel was our host for the evening.

2014 Annual Meeting:

Saturday, April 12, 2014, from 10:30 AM till 3 PM

A Visit to the Library of the Antarctic Circle

During this special day trip to Jaffrey, New Hampshire, Ticknorites visited the home of Robert Stephenson to enjoy his remarkable collection of Antarctica books and artifacts. Robert's collection includes personal belongings of several Antarctic explorers, rare photographs, and copies of Shackleton's rare South Polar Times, printed on a printing press carried on the expedition! We also visited David Godine's home in New Hampshire to see his remarkable book collection.

Robert Stephenson's NH Antarctica Collection

Robert Stephenson welcomes the Ticknorites

In Search of the South Pole

Pipe owned by Antarctic explorer Robert Falcon Scott

The South Polar Times

Signatures of visitors who have been to the South Pole

David Godine's book collection at his New Hampshire home

Thursday, March 27, 2014. 6:30 P.M.

A Ticknor Webinar!

Ticknor Society member Jeremy Dibbell from hosted a special Ticknor Webinar, live from the Rare Book School! In 2013, Jeremy spoke to the Ticknor Society about database options for cataloging book and artifact collections. In 2009, he also gave us a curator's guided tour of the Massachusetts Historical Society's exhibit, "Gluttons for Books: John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and Their Libraries"

Tuesday, March 4, 2014. 5:30 P.M.

A presentation by Karen Nipps about Lydia Bailey

Houghton Library, Harvard Yard, Harvard University

Former Ticknor Society President, Karen Nipps, discussed her new book, Lydia Bailey: A Checklist of Her Imprints, part of the Penn State Series in the History of the Book. Lydia Bailey was a leading printer in Philadelphia in the early nineteenth century. Karen's monograph is the first about a woman printer during the handpress period.

Ticknor Holiday Book Swap

December 4, 6:15 P.M.

First Church, 66 Marlborough Street, Back Bay, Boston

Ticknorites brought wrapped books valued at $20 or less to exchange with other attendess. It was a lot of fun -- and suspenseful -- because recipients could swap books if they wanted to!

Ticknor Collectors' Roundtable: Women in the Book Trade and Their Collections

Saturday Afternoon, November 16, 3:30 P.M.

Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair, Hynes Convention Center

Our Annual Collectors' Roundtable was hosted by Chris Morgan of the Ticknor Society. The 2013 theme was "Women in the Book Trade and Their Collections." Our panel featured:

Susan Krinsky, of Brandywine Antiques & Books in Amherst, NH. She specializes in early illustrated books, illustrated children's books, early science fiction and fantasy, and horror. She will be speaking about her personal collection of science fiction. Two of her interests are William Timlin's Ship That Sailed to Mars and Eleanor Vere Boyle's Beauty and the Beast.

Teri Osborn, an Americana Cataloguer at the William Reese Company in New Haven, Connecticut. She has a passion for the book as an historical artifact and a particular fondness for early American bindings. Her current collecting interests focus on her home state of Indiana. She'll be bringing some favorites from her Indiana-ana collection to show to the audience.

Heather O'Donnell, of Honey & Wax Booksellers in Brooklyn, NY. Drawing on her experience in research libraries and the rare book trade, she specializes in unusual and unique copies of literary classics, with an emphasis on association copies. Shell be sharing some of the books that inspired her to start Honey & Wax two years ago.

The Magic of Providence

Saturday, October 5, 10:30 AM

Providence Public Library, 150 Empire St., Providence, Rhode Island

On October 5, 2013, The Ticknor Society visited Providences John Russell Bartlett Society at the Providence Public Library for an engaging day of magic and fun. Jordan Goffin, Special Collections Librarian at PPL, showed us materials from the John H. Percival Collection of Books about Magic, and Ticknor member and amateur magician Chris Morgan demonstrated some of Lewis Carrolls favorite magic tricks, as well as more recent effects inspired by Carrolls books. Following Chriss presentation, the group had lunch, and then went bookstore browsing in the area.


2013 Ticknor Society Annual Meeting,
featuring a talk by Greg Gibson on Used Books of the Future

Thursday, May 23, 2013, First Church in Boston, 66 Marlborough Street, 6:15PM
Featuring Complimentary Wine and hors d'oeuvres

The annual business meeting started promptly at 6:15 P.M. It was followed by Greg Gibson of Ten Pound Island Book Company, Gloucester, MA, speaking about "Used Books of the Future". He discussed the forty years it took to produce his latest novel, The Old Turk's Load, and the manifold ways in which publishing has changed in those four decades. Greg noted that his talk was an author's rumination, a worm's eye view, not the summary of an industry. Read Greg's Bookman's Blog, a weekly blog of news, gossip, recent adventures and acquisitions, and deep thinking about the antiquarian book trade, at

Annual Dinner following the Annual Meeting

The annual meeting dinner was held at 9:00 P.M., immediately following the Annual meeting and reception, at Paparazzi Restaurant.

The Annual Business Meeting Agenda:

The agenda included the President's Report, Treasurer's Report, and Membership Report. There was also a report from the Nominating Committee for Election of Officers and Members at Large to the Board


President: Scott Guthery (Currently Member at Large)

Vice President: Marie Oedel (Currently Member at Large)

Members at Large: Christine O'Neill, Elizabeth Roscio

Other Nominations

Election of Officers


A 40 Year Career in Bookbinding—A Talk By Sam Ellenport

Thursday, February 7, 6:00pm  8:00pm
North Bennet Street School, 150 North Street, Boston's North End
Refreshments will be served

The Ticknor Society, The North Bennet Street School, and The New England Chapter of the Guild of Book Workers held a program by Sam Ellenport, noted local bookbinder and past President of Harcourt Bindery, about his 40+ years as a bookbinder and historian and the changes in the craft during his career. Todays bookbinders bridge the gap between the traditional craft of producing multiples and the current practice of making unique items. Today, they navigate in a world where the transfer of knowledge and information happens through a constantly advancing world of electronics. Sam made comparisons between our times and important transformations that occurred during the second half of the 15th century and early 16th century.

Sam Ellenports influence on the bookbinding field in New England cannot be overstated. He was instrumental in establishing the bookbinding program at North Bennet Street School in Boston, was the first Chair of the New England Chapter of the Guild of Book Workers and is past President of Harcourt Bindery. Sam is a highly skilled bookbinder, collector, lecturer and writes about the history of bookbinding. His most recent publication Reflections of Two Craftsmen: Sam Ellenport & Ron Gordon [Boston: Club of Odd Volumes, 2012] was written with Gordon, his former roommate at Amherst College.


Thursday, December 13, 2012
From Austen to Zola: Amy Lowell as a Collector  Houghton Library, Harvard

On December 13, 2012, Houghton Library Curator of Modern Books and Manuscripts, Leslie Morris, led us on a tour of the exhibit, From Austen to Zola: Amy Lowell as a Collector. Amy Lowell, a controversial, cigar-smoking, outspoken, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, collected works by leading literary lights such as Jane Austen, Ludwig von Beethoven, William Blake, Charlotte Brontë, John Keats, Michaelangelo, Walt Whitman and Émile Zola. One of the few women competing in the male-dominated world of collecting, she began at age 17 by purchasing Sir Walter Scotts Waverly novels with her Christmas money. Thanks to her inheritance and her income as a poet, critic and lecturer, Lowell continued collecting throughout her life.

Leslie Morris gave a fascinating tour of the highlights of the exhibit, explaining how Amy Lowell worked closely with book dealers to get the books she particularly wanted. In many cases, she told dealers to spend whatever was necessary -- within limits -- to get especially prized books and letters. Upstairs was a display of items purchased using the funds bequeathed by Amy Lowell to continue the growth of the collection. On view were some of James Joyce's page proof corrections to Ulysses, and an Elizabeth Bishop letter.

Curator of Modern Books and Manuscripts, Leslie Morris, gives Ticknorites a tour of the exhibit, From Austen to Zola: Amy Lowell as a Collector.

Friday - Sunday, November 16 - 18, 2012
Collectors Roundtable at the Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair

In addition to having a booth at the Boston Antiquarian Book Fair (November 16-18, 2012), the Ticknor Society also held its annual Collectors Roundtable, hosted by Ticknor Society Recording Secretary, Chris Morgan. It featured the following panelists:

The Ticknor Booth. Photo by Steve Dunwell.

Collectors Roundtable Photos:

Bob Frishman discussing his collection of clocks and books about clocks.

Patrick Olson discussing his "History of the Book" teaching collection.

Michael Blake discussing his collection of fishing books.

Chatting with the audience afterwords.

Thursday, November 15, 2012
Skinner Auctioneers Wine and Cheese Reception and Gallery Walk

On November 15, 2012, Devon Gray, Director of Books and Manuscripts at Skinner Auctioneers in Boston, gave the Ticknor Society a special reception and gallery walk to view the fine and rare books and manuscripts to be auctioned on Sunday November 18th. She discussed highlights from the auction and answered many questions from the enthusiastic group. We were able to examine objects first-hand, and learned about what makes an item interesting, collectible, and valuable.

Ticknorites turned out in force for the Skinner Auction reception in Boston.

Devon Gray, Director of Books and Manuscripts at Skinner Auctioneers in Boston, speaks to the Ticknor Society.

Some of the many auction lots on view at Skinners.

A variety of posters, paintings. prints, and photographs were on display.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Gallery Tour of Magnetic Resonance Exhibit and Wunsch Conservation Lab at MITs Hayden Library

On October 24, 2012, the Ticknor Society gathered at MITs Hayden Library for a fascinating gallery tour of the book exhibit, Magnetic Resonance: Four Centuries of Science from the Vail Collection, led by Stephen Skuce, Rare Books Program Coordinator. The tour took place in the Institute Archives Reading Room. The Vail collection, presented to MIT in 1912 by Theodore Vail, president of the American Telephone and Telegraph Company and MIT Corporation member from 1913-1920, contains many early works on magnetism, telecommunications, electricity, ballooning, aeronautics, and animal magnetism. The collection spans the late 15th century to the early 20th, and includes important landmarks in the history of science and technology, as well as popular works and some juvenilia. The collection comprises roughly 13,000 volumes and was assembled by George Edward Dering, a reclusive but prolific British inventor who died in 1911. Mr. Vail purchased Dering's library, and donated it to MIT. The exhibit featured scientific classics, copies inscribed by notable scientists, a selection of late-19th century publisher's bindings, works relating to Franz Anton Mesmer and animal magnetism, and volumes that belonged to Mr. Dering, the collector, as a youth. Among the most remarkable items on view was an association copy of a scientific paper signed by both Maxwell and Faraday, two seminal figures of nineteenth century mathematics and electrical enginering.

After the tour, Nancy Schrock, Thomas J. Peterson Jr. Conservator of the Wunsch Conservation Lab, gave us a special tour showcasing many rare books from the Vail Collection, and demonstrated techniques for book conservation. Among the many treasures on view was the library's copy of the very rare Eliot Bible, the first bible printed in America. The copy was undergoing restoration work in the lab. The Library of Congress notes that Eliot bible was "printed in Cambridge, Massachusetts, between 1660 and 1663. The Eliot Indian Bible, as it is now known, was the first complete Bible printed in the Western Hemisphere. John Eliot, an English Puritan clergyman and pastor in Roxbury, Massachusetts, translated the Bible into the Natick dialect of the regions Algonquin tribes to aid in the propagation of the scriptures."

Some of the many highspots from the Vail collection on view at the Ticknor event at MIT's Hayden library.

Nancy Schrock, Thomas J. Peterson Jr. Conservator of the Wunsch Conservation Lab, gives Ticknorites a special tour.

The rare Eliot Bible, the first bible printed in America.

A miniature book from 1897, featuring a text by Galileo.

Stephen Skuce, Rare Books Program Coordinator, giving Ticknorites a tour of the Magnetic Resonance exhibit.

Popular Electric Lighting, one of many stylish 19th century engineering books in the Vail collection.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012
A Special Ticknor Tenth Anniversary Presentation

The Ticknor Society began its 2012  2013 season by celebrating its tenth anniversary on September 18, 2012 with a program about George Ticknor, presented at the First Church of Boston in the Back Bay.

George Ticknor (1791-1871) made three extended tours of Europe, during which he immersed himself in library and book culture. Houghton Library staff member Peter X. Accardo presented a fascinating survey of the private, academic, ecclesiastic, and state libraries visited by Ticknor, and recounted the memorable experiences he had in them. From his personal collection, Ticknor member Charles Rheault brought the writing desk George Ticknor used on his travels to share with the attendees. We also distributed the Ticknor Societys 10th Anniversary Keepsake, printed by the Firefly Press and presenting a brief history of the organization.

Ticknor President Tom Michalak toasts the Society's tenth anniversary.

The Houghton's Peter Accardo, discussing George Ticknor and his travels.

Ticknor member Charles Rheault shows off George Ticknor's original writing desk, used on his travels.

A close-up of George Ticknor's writing desk.

Saturday, June 9, 2012
All-day program in conjunction with the 2012 FABS Book Tour and Symposium
Sheraton Commander Hotel, 16 Garden Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Options for Ticknor Society members:

Symposium on Boston and the Book Arts
1:00 P.M.-4:30 P.M. Mount Vernon Room, Sheraton Commander Hotel

The Ticknor Society hosts a symposium on “Boston and the Book Arts” featuring:

Bookseller’s Showcase
Twenty-four booksellers and the North Bennet Street School exhibited in conjunction with the “Boston and the Book Arts” Symposium.

Fellowship of the American Bibliophilic Societies and The Ticknor Society Annual Reception and Dinner with Nick Basbanes as Dinner Speaker. 
George Washington Ballroom, Sheraton Commander Hotel

Saturday, May 19, 2012 (Armed Services Day), 3:30-6:00PM
Ticknor Society Annual Meeting
The Museum of World War II
Natick, Massachusetts

For those who missed the Ticknor Society's first amazing trip to the Museum in 2002--and for those who were there and wished to get back in that Sherman tank--Museum Director Kenneth Rendell generously opened his doors to us once again for our 2012 Annual Meeting.

The Museum of World War II, Inc., with 10,000 square feet of display area, has been described by Londons Imperial War Museum as "the most comprehensive display of original World War II artifacts on exhibit anywhere in the world." Fragile items, important letters and documents, handguns, small spy weapons, and the like, are in museum cases, but everything else is openly exhibited. Most of the artifacts are not behind glass!

The afternoon began with beverages and the ALWAYS BRIEF Annual Meeting, with a review of the past years events, a quick mention of our upcoming tenth anniversary celebration, officer reports, and the election of new board members.

Ken introduced us to his collections, providing a little history and context. After this, people were free to go exploring on their own or to use an Acoustiguide, with three and a half hours of commentary on the individual exhibits.

Saturday, April 7, 2012
A visit to Alan & Alison Tannenbaum’s Collection of Lewis Carroll

Alan is a completist, and when it comes to Carroll and Alice that means a many-faceted array of collecting directions. He has an extensive selection of first editions of most of Carroll’s works, including his mathematics, politics, and poetry, as well as the nonsense and children’s books for which Carroll is famous. He owns some original artwork for Carroll’s book illustrations, original letters, and original photographs. He has books from Carroll’s own library as well as books from the real Alice’s shelves.  His library, which he built in 2006 to house his collection, has areas for books, but also displays vintage/collectible non-books such as figurines, tea sets, and antique advertising pieces, which helps in making the library a living space. He has an extensive collection of Alice popular culture items including items ranging from theatre and film-related to the only two known models of Alice pinball machines.




Tuesday, March 13, 2012, 6:00 PM
Owen Gingerich on “Leaves from a Bibliotec’s Casebook”

First Church of Boston Auditorium
66 Marlborough Street, Boston

A passionate puzzle solver, Owen Gingerich plays bibliographic detective as he chases Copernicus and Galileo.

Owen Gingerich is a senior astronomer emeritus at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and Research Professor of Astronomy and of the History of Science at Harvard University.  In the past three decades Professor Gingerich has become a leading authority on the 17th-century German astronomer Johannes Kepler and on Nicholas Copernicus, the 16th-century cosmologist who proposed the heliocentric system.   

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Tuesday, December 6, 2011, 6:00 PM
Ticknor Society Show & Tell Evening
First Church of Boston Auditorium, 66 Marlborough Street, Boston

Fifty Ticknorites attended the Society's first Biblio Show and Tell evening, held at the First Church of Boston auditorium in the Back Bay. Nine of our members shared stories about their collections, and described favorite books and other collectables. Thomas Michalak also gave an update about the Fellowship of American Bibliophilic Societies Annual Book Tour that the Ticknor Society will be managing in June 2012, along with a Symposium on "Boston and The Book Arts", to be held on June 9, 2012 in celebration of the Ticknor Society's Tenth Anniversary.

Over fifty Ticknorites gathered at the First Church of Boston auditorium for the Biblio Show and Tell evening, with nine Ticknor members presenting. This is the first time we have been to this welcoming venue.

Beth Carroll-Horrocks displayed part of her ruler collection, specifically, those rulers related to books, libraries, and bookstores. She explained how she became interested in this sub-specialty, which developed from the broader collection policy for her entire collection of over 7,000 rulers.

David Godine discussed his newest title, The Best of Both Worlds: Finely Printed Livres d'Artistes, 1910 to 2010, and described the challenges of finding the right kind of acid-free paper in China to use for printing it. He offered copies of the book for sale to the audience at a special discount.

Scott Guthery discussed his collection of books of mathematical tables, a special kind of book that flourished from the 1500s to the mid-twentieth century. He sketched the history of mathematical tables, and exhibited several intriguing examples from his collection, including very large and very small books of tables.

Tom Harakal told entertaining ancedotes about John Kenneth Galbraith, whom he met while a Teaching Fellow at Harvard. Galbraith signed a number of his books for Tom, including some very rare items. He plans to compile an enumerative bibliography of Galbraith's works.

Philip Mallard brought a Websters 20th Century Unabridged Dictionary to show us. It was given to his family in the early 1950s by his stepfather. The book is a treasure to him, though it is not a first edition or finely bound. It serves as a connection to a man whom Phillip greatly reveres, and who became an important part of his life.

George F. Murphy spoke about Stobaeus' 1575 Eclogae, and presented a theory, worked out through some clever detective work, as to how its owner, Rudolph Snellius, and his student, Hugo Grotious, may have altered the evolution of 17th century stoicism.

Ken Rendell, who will be well-known to those Ticknorites who visited his World War II Museum in Natick some years ago, gave us an update on his World War II collection, an also described his extensive American West collections. He brought along two strikingly beautiful fine bindings to show us.

Margaret Shepherd, a well-known authority on calligraphy, brought along a generous sampling from her collection of miniature almanacs, which she has been collecting for just a few years. She explained how they were prototypes of today's smartphone Apps, since people carried them with them and referred to them to get information about the weather, finance, and much more. She typically tries to keep her budget to no more than $200 per almanac.

Alan Tannenbaum showed slides of his extensive Lewis Carroll and Alice in Wonderland collection, which he has been amassing for more than twenty five years. He noted that, since Alice touches just about all domains of collecting, he has acquired quite a varied number of "things" in areas besides books, such as two pinball machines with Alice's image on them. He showed images of rare Alice-related lantern slides, Vue-master slides, and other pictorial representations of the Alice books.

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Saturday, November 12, 2011
The Ticknor Society Collectors’ Roundtable at the Boston Antiquarian Book Fair
The Hynes Convention Center, Boston

For the past ten years, The Ticknor Society has hosted the popular Collectors Roundtable at the Boston Antiquarian Book Fair, where several collectors share the process and pleasures of collecting in many different fields. This year the panelists were:

Thomas Harakal, the 2009-2010 Katherine Pantzer Fellow in Descriptive Bibliography at Harvard's Houghton Library, discussed a single title: Jack London's first book, "The Son of the Wolf", (Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1900). He has been collecting this book for many years, and researching its printing and publication history. He started collecting Jack London first editions in 1986. By 1995, his interest in London took an academic turn. He brought several of his copies of the book for display/discussion, including what he believes to be the earliest possible copy.

Addie LaBraico, a long-time Ticknor Society member, discussed her extensive collection of bookends, and brought some examples to show to the audience. She has been collecting bookends for over twenty-five years, and is also an eclectic book collector. She also collects revolving bookcases and library stairs.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Curatorial Tours by Ronald Grim, Curator of Maps, of
“Torn in Two: The 150th Anniversary of the Civil War”
Boston Public Library, McKim Building, Boston, MA

The Boston Public library's Curator of Maps, Ronald Grim, gave Ticknorites a special curator's tour of this fascinating exhibit. It examines the Civil War from the perspective of the many maps produced before, during, and after the war. Some were aimed primarily at the military, others at the public. The exhibit is beautifully designed and laid out, and has broken records for attendance at BPL special exhibits. It features many rarities and fascinating documents, in particular, a map showing the density and distribution of the slave population in the American South at the beginning of the Civil War. Abraham Lincoln is known to have frequently consulted this map.

The exhibit is rich with details of the underground railway, examples of out-of-date maps having disastrous effects on military campaigns, and remarkable aerial panoramas concocted from the imagination of the mapmaker. Also on special loan from the St. Gauden House in Vermont are five striking bust studies done for his famous Robert Gould Shaw Memorial on the Boston Common. The exhibit runs through December, 2011.
Exhibition website:


Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Curator's Chat and tour of the exhibition: "The Adventures of Thackeray in his Way Through the World"
Houghton Library, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA

This fascinating exhibit about William Thackeray was the first event of the Ticknor Society 2011 - 2012 season. Heather Cole, the Ticknor Society's Membership Secretary, gave us a curator's tour of the exhibit. Thackeray was a major novelist in the 19th century, but his star has unfortunately dimmed today. Vanity Fair is the only one of his novels still widely read, and his novel, Barry Lyndon, was adapted by Stanley Kubrick for his movie of the same name.

Thackeray began his career hoping to become an illustrator, and the exhibit features many charming examples of his drawings. But his art career did not turn out as hoped. He submitted a drawing for a proposed book cover to Charles Dickens, but Dickens rejected it. (The two writers eventually fell out, and the rift continued for many years.) His writing career, on the other hand, was a major success, and he was widely read and appreciated throughout his relatively short life (he died at the age of fifty-two).






June 8, 2011
Annual Meeting of the Ticknor Society
Boston Public Library, Boston Room

Talk by Andreas Brown, Owner, Gotham Book Mart, Trustee of the Edward Gorey Charitable Trust, and Member of the Board of Trustees of the Edward Gorey House, Yarmouth Port, MA.

The Ticknor society met for their annual meeting on June 8, 2011 at the Boston Public Library main branch. The guest speaker was Andreas Brown, owner of the Gotham Book Mart, Trustee of the Edward Gorey Charitable Trust, and Member of the Board of Trustees of the Edward Gorey House, Yarmouth Port, MA. He spoke about Edward Gorey, giving us some fascinating background about the famous illustrator and cartoonist, whose work had been featured throughout the spring of 2011 at the Boston Athenaeum in a special exhibit that broke all records for attendance at the institution.

Afterwards, attendees gathered for a reception at Papa Razzi restaurant on Newbury Street. Many stayed for dinner afterwards, during which John Kristensen of the Firefly Press ( distributed beautiful letterpress keepsake menus he designed and printed.


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Firefly Press: Guided tour conducted by proprietor John Kristensen
Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Allston, MA

On April 26th, 2011, over two dozen Ticknorites visited the Firefly Press, a letterpress facility in Allston, Massachusetts. We were treated to a guided tour by Operator John Kristensen and his assistant, Jesse Marsolais. Early in his career, John told us, he had wanted to become an architect, but soon realized that he really preferred all the many aspects of the printing process. He decided to devote himself to that instead, a decision he has never regretted. Running a letterpress shop lets him "do everything," he says.

John and Jesse demonstrated some of the many printing machines on the premises, which include: Linotype and Monotype typesetting machines; a Chandler & Price platen press; a Miehle Vertical cylinder press; and a Vandercook SP20 proof press. Several Ticknorites got the chance to turn the crank of a real, live letterpress, weighing hundreds of pounds. After that, printing out a computer file on an inkjet printer seems dull, indeed! On display throughout the Press were dozens of wonderful letterpress bookplates, keepsakes, booklets, invitations, menus, and many other specimens, all designed and produced at the Press. John is an eloquent spokesman for the letterpress art, and his enthusiasm is infectious. The tour was a delight, and we thank both John and Jesse for sharing the wonders of the letterpress art with us.

We recommend visiting the Press's website ( and viewing the delightful video there --  a guided tour of the Press by John that has become a big hit on YouTube!

John is a frequent lecturer and instructor of printing history and technique. He is the Cruft Reader at the Boston Athenaeum, and was the American Printing History Association’s 2009 Lieberman Scholar.

Jesse studied creative writing at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado. He came to Firefly Press in 2007, and has launched his own imprint, the Marsolais Press.

Paper Museum: “Before Paper,” Guided Tour, Brookline, MA
Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Twenty-eight Ticknorites gathered for a special guided tour of the International Paper Museum's exhibit, Before Paper, conducted by the Museum's Director, Elaine Koretsky. The exhibit is on view through December, 2011 ( The Museum is hidden gem, tucked away in a carriage house in Brookline, not far from Coolidge Corner. 

We began in the main-floor conservatory, which contains examples of live plants that have been used for writing over the ages, including palms, bamboo, and papyrus. Then we went upstairs to the main exhibit, past striking decorated wall hangings made of beaten tree bark. Elaine spoke with great enthusiasm and animation about the many items on view, made of stone, clay, vellum, parchment, papyrus, palm leaves, bamboo strips, wood, plant leaves, animal skins, rice paper, metal and bone.

Among the fascinating and esoteric items on view were: a Sazigyo, a woven cotton band from Yangon, Myanmar, with Burmese calligraphy and images woven into it; a nineteenth-century Coptic prayer book with Coptic script on parchment, with sewn binding and wood covers; and a nineteenth-century Harvard diploma made of real sheepskin!  We ended with a wine and cheese reception.

The Museum sells beautifully-printed catalogs, books, and hand-made paper. Our thanks to Elaine for her gracious hospitality!

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Wednesday, February 9, 2011 
The Caricatures of the Queen Caroline Affair (1820) and the Roles of
Publisher William Hone and the Caricaturist George Cruikshank: An Illustrated talk by Thomas J. Michalak
Houghton Library, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA

Tom Michalak, the Secretary of the Ticknor Society, gave an informative and amusing lecture about the Queen Caroline affair to the Ticknor Society. The affair became an obsession with the early nineteenth century British public, sparking the creation of hundreds of caricatures and related material. Tom has an extensive personal collection of Cruikshank caricatures, some of which he brought to the event. The Houghton augmented these by presenting a special exhibit of Criukshank caricatures from the library's collection. Our thanks go to Bill Stoneman and Karen Nipps at the Houghton for their help, and for kindly hosting the Ticknor Society.

The activities of George as Prince of Wales, Regent (1811-1820), and as King (1820-1830), and those of his wife Caroline of Brunswick (Queen Caroline), stimulated the publication of hundreds of caricatures, broadsides, and pamphlets.   William Hone, a popular and influential political satirist, pamphleteer, publisher, and bookseller collaborated with the young caricaturist and illustrator George Cruikshank to produce a number of popular pamphlets depicting King George’s domestic battles with Queen Caroline. These pamphlets established Cruikshank’s reputation as the leading caricaturist of his time.

Throughout most of the 1700s and early 1800s, satirical prints were wildly popular in England. Artists created scathing satires of politicians and society that were published in editions of hundreds and even thousands of copies. Gentlemen, lords and even royalty formed large collections of prints and brought them out to share with their guests. King George IV, when he was Prince of Wales, collected hundreds of them (most of them now at the Library of Congress). Print collections were preserved in portfolios and bound volumes and many of them are now in the collections at Yale, Cambridge, NYPL, The Pierpont Morgan Library, and Harvard, among others.

During this time, the Italian term caricatura — which means to load or charge — was adopted in England and Anglicized into the word we use today: caricature. London printshops and booksellers used caricature to define a genre that included virtually any print with a satirical or humorous theme.

In response to popular demand, print shops opened and displayed the prints in their storefront windows, as evident in James Gillray’s famous print “Very Slippy Weather”. Crowds of customers — as well as people who couldn’t afford to buy prints — jammed the sidewalks to see new works by Gillray, Rowlandson,  Bunbury, the Cruikshanks and others. Savvy viewers could be heard explaining subtle details in the prints. Many of these shops rented out caricatures. “Folios of caricatures lent out for the evening,” became a byline of one of the largest publishers and print sellers, Thomas Tegg.

Some background on Tom Michalak:

From November 2002 until his retirement in July 2005, Tom Michalak served as the founding director and publisher of the Open Collections Program established by Harvard in 2002 with the support of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.  From 1996 to 2002, he served as Executive Director, Baker Library at the Harvard Business School.  During his tenure at the Business School, the extensive manuscript and archival business collections of Baker's Historical Collections were rejuvenated through the appropriate use of web technologies to create new forms of access to resources.

Prior to the Harvard Business School, his academic career spanned a number of leading research institutions: Carnegie Mellon University, Columbia University, and Indiana University.  He has a broad range of experience in managing libraries and in developing research collections and supporting services in fields as diverse as economics, political science, the sciences and engineering, and business information.

In 1989 Michalak was the second recipient of the American Library Association's Hugh C. Atkinson award for leadership, innovation, and management of information technology in libraries.

He is currently active with the Town of Winchester Finance Committee, The Ticknor Society, The Edward Gorey House, and his collections of 19th century British caricaturists and his collection of Edward Gorey.

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Thursday, December 9, 2010, 6:30 PM
Michael Russem Discusses Postage Stamps By Type Designers
Boston Public Library, Orientation Room, Boston Public Library, Copley Square

Michael Russem, a book designer with Kat Ran Press in Cambridge, gave a delightful, informative lecture about the many charming and little-known postage stamps designed by famous typeface designers, such as Eric Gill, Jan Van Krimpen, Hermann Zapf, and others. They created postage stamp lettering, calligraphy and graphic designs. Michael gave away free stamp samples to the Ticknor audience.

Michael grew up in North Andover, Massachusetts, before moving to Syracuse, Florence, Athens, and now Cambridge (and Florence). He spent three years working at the Press & Letter foundry of Michael & Winifred Bixler, where he learned almost everything he knows about the minutiae of letters and spacing and pages. He worked very briefly at Wild Carrot Letterpress, Horton Tank Graphics, and Warwick Press, before establishing physical offices for Kat Ran Press in 1999. (He spent New Year's Eve painting the floor.) When he's not designing or printing books, he's looking at books or buying books or reading books or riding his bike or running or drawing or shopping or looking at stamps.

He has a new book out about postage stamps and type designers, called Notes on Postage Stamps. It discusses Eric Gill's exacting and pointed opinions about postage stamps, their purpose, and their design. Accompanied by nine of Gill's previously unpublished preparatory drawings and sketches for stamps, Notes on Postage Stamps is a short, previously unpublished essay by Gill in which he succinctly lays out his philatelic ideas—some of which were a little too idealistic and some of which were spot-on. It contains fifty-six full-color illustrations, most of which will be completely unfamiliar to historians and enthusiasts of Eric Gill's work. An afterword chronicles Gill's seven attempts at stamp design—only two of which resulted in published stamps. For more details, visit


Saturday, November 13, 2010, 3:00 PM
Collector’s Roundtable, Boston Antiquarian Book Fair
Hynes Convention Center, Boston.

The Ticknor Society’s 9th annual Collectors’ Roundtable took place on Saturday, November 13th at 3 PM during the Boston Antiquarian Book Fair at the Hynes Convention Center. Three New England collectors shared their collecting passions and adventures with audience questions, and brought some of their special books and other collectibles to show.  Each panelist spoke briefly, and then took questions from the audience. Ticknor Society president Chris Morgan moderated. The panelists were:

Alan Tannenbaum, who discussed his extensive collection of Lewis Carroll itemsAlan Tannenbaum

Alan Tannenbaum is a life-long collector. For the past 25+ years his focus has been on Lewis Carroll  books and ephemera, with the obligatory voyage down the rabbit hole of Alice in Wonderland memorabilia. He is a ‘completist’, with practically none of the myriad collecting paths off limits. His extensive collection of rare, collectible, and popular culture qualifies him as an expert on the subject, and he regularly gives talks on Carrollian biographical and bibliographical topics. He is the immediate Past-President of the Lewis Carroll Society of North America, a member of The Ticknor Society, and now a retired technologist of 33 years at IBM. He has built a library for his collection onto his 1770 house in Chelmsford, where he and his wife live.                                                                    

Todd Pattison, who discussed his collection of books bound by Benjamin Bradley

Todd PattisonTodd Pattison collects books bound by Benjamin Bradley, a pioneering book binder who established one of the first cloth binderies in Boston in 1832. He bound many of the publications of Ticknor & Fields, and also did binding for numerous other publishers. At one point, he employed upwards of 80 people and the bindery was able to turn out 3000 bound volumes in a day. Mr. Pattison owns about 400 signed bindings by Bradley. Todd Pattison worked as a book conservator at the Northeast Document Conservation Center in Andover, Massachusetts for twenty years. In September, 2010, he begins working at Widener Library as the Harvard College Library Collections Conservator. He studied bookbinding with Fred Jordan in western New York state in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and later studied with Hugo Peller and Edwin Heim in Ascona, Switzerland. He has an undergraduate degree in Art History from Nazareth College and an MLS from the University of Alabama.

        Dan Johnson, who discussed his collection of Frank Brinkley's works on JapanDan Johnson

Dan collects Brinkley's works in all their variations. He will describe the process of hand-coloring albumin photographs, and discuss the collotypes of Ogawa. Originally from Spokane, Dan as been collecting books for most of his life. Within the last ten years he has discovered the works of Captain Frank Brinkley and the folios of hand painted albumin photos of the people and scenes of Japan, along with wood blocks and other samples of Japanese goods. He lives in Bridgewater with his wife, Yulia.

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Saturday, November 13, 2010, 6:00–8:00 PM
Special Joint Ticknor Society/Grolier Club Reception
Back Bay Hilton Hotel, Adams Room, 40 Dalton Street, Boston

Over forty Ticknor Society members who attended the 2010 Boston Antiquarian Book Fair also came to a special joint reception, sponsored by the Grolier Club and the Ticknor Society, hosted by Grolier Club President Eugene Flamm and Director Eric Holzenberg. It was a memorable evening of drinks, hearty hors d’oeuvres, and book-chat. Following the Grolier reception, Ticknor President Chris Morgan spoke to a dinner of Grolier Club and Ticknor Society members on the topic, "Is the Physical Book in Danger?" The text of his speech is HERE.

Katherine Wolff: Boston's Early Bibliophiles & Their Athenæum
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Boston Public Library, Copley Square

Katherine WolffKatherine Wolff 2

For our inaugural Fall event, Katherine Wolff, author of Culture Club: The Curious History of the Boston Athenæum, discussed "Boston's Early Bibliophiles & Their Athenæum." The Boston Athenaeum's founders--many of them devoted book collectors--worked hard to build a community of like-minded amateur intellectuals. In the early decades of the nineteenth century, these gentlemen looked to Great Britain for their cultural heroes. A careful reading of Athenaeum documents reveals passion, anxiety, and veiled assumptions about class. Indeed, the values of the nascent institution became a kind of scaffolding for one notion of American culture. Our society's namesake, George Ticknor, was among the bibliophiles whose taste and motivation helped solidify the early Athenaeum. Katherine Wolff is an independent scholar, who received her doctorate in American literature and history from Boston University.

First-Ever Ticknor Scrabble Slam!
North Bennet Street School, North End, Boston
Thursday, October 28, 2010

The first-ever Ticknor Scrabble Slam was held at the beautiful North Bennet School in the North End with a special guided tour of the school conducted by Marie Oedel. Marie is a board member of both the Ticknor Society and the North Bennet school. The North Bennet Street School is an internationally renowned craft and trade school in Boston, and offers programs and workshops in woodworking, bookbinding, cabinet & furniture making.

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Annual Meeting
Boston Public Library, Copley Square, Boston Room
Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Featured speaker Jeff Mayersohn discussed “Books on Demand and the Bookstore of the Future”.  Jeff demonstrated his remarkable on-demand book-making machine.  Jeff Mayersohn is co-owner, along with his wife, Linda Seamonson, of Harvard Book Store, an independent bookstore founded in 1932. Since Jeff and Linda assumed ownership in 2008, HBS has initiated same-day “green” delivery and print-on-demand via an Espresso Book Machine located on the sales floor.

Jeff graduated from Harvard College in 1973 and received a masters degree in physics from Yale in 1977.  He has worked at several high tech companies including Bolt Beranek and Newman, where he had management responsibility for projects that contributed to the rapid growth of the Internet. These included the design of some of the earliest electronic mail networks and the deployment of the America Online network.  From 1998 until 2008, Mr. Mayersohn was an executive at Sonus Networks, a start-up that became a market leader in Internet telephony.

After Jeff’s presentation, attendees adjourned to the Vox restaurant for a complimentary wine and cheese reception. During the reception (one of the best-attended Ticknor events we've ever had), our members chatted with Jeff about the ideas he discussed during his speech, including: the surprising popularity of local, self-published poets; the holding power of backlisted books; and the allure of having your own copy of a book that might otherwise be impossible to obtain. Thanks to all who attended!

Ticknor Board (part)


Wellesley College’s Special Collections and Book Arts Lab, Clapp Library
Wednesday, April 28, 2010

It’s not often one gets to see a page from a Gutenberg Bible close-up, and one that’s not under glass! That was just one of the remarkable sights on view when the Ticknor Society visited Wellesley College’s Clapp Library on Wednesday, April 28th, 2010, to see the library’s Special Collections and Book Arts Lab.

Our guided tour was conducted by Special Collections Librarian Ruth Rogers and Book Arts Program Director Katherine Ruffin, assisted by Special Collections Research & Instruction Specialist Mariana Oller. See a slideshow of our visit at

Ruth gave us a tour of the items in the Special Collections rooms that were on display especially for our group. They featured some of the remarkable holdings from the Wellesley collection, and represented key milestones in the technology of communication over the past several thousand years. They are used by Ruth and Katherine in their course, “Papyrus to Print to Pixel,” at Wellesley.

Some highlights of the items on display include:

Pre-codex era: a cylinder seal ca. 1920 – 1850 B.C.E., and a facsimile of a pugillarium, a pair of folding wooden tablets coated with wax, used by the Greeks and Romans for writing (The pugillarium facsimile was made by Ruth’s father).
Sacred manuscripts: a 13th century French Bible and a 15th century Book of Hours.
Humanist manuscripts: De vita solitaria, by Petrarca, Northern France, 15th c., and I trionfi, 15th c., also by Petrarca.
Incunabula: leaves from the Gutenberg Bible, Book of Amos, 1454 – 1455; Schedel’s Liber cronicarum, Nuremburg, 1493; and an incunabulum finished by hand, Boccaccio’s De montibus, silvis, fontibus, Venice, 1473.

Two-color printed book, with all woodcut decorations: Euclid’s Elementa geometriae, Venice, Ratdolt, 1482.
16th century innovations: octavo format, italic types, and woodcut religious and scientific images: These included Ovid’s Publii Ovidii Nasonis heroidum epistolae, Venice, 1502, and Vesalius’s De humani corporis fabrica, Venice, 1568.

There were many more items on view, up through the 20th century. After seeing the Special Collections exhibit, we joined Katherine in the Book Arts L ab, where she showed us some of the many teaching aids she uses in teaching printing techniques. There were examples of bound books, sewn signatures, and woodcuts. One woodcut was the first attempt of a Wellesley student -- and a very good one!

The Lab is a complete working print shop, with several printing presses on view. Some of the Ticknorites tried their hands at printing a keepsake on the Lab’s wonderful Vandercook press. We also received copies of a beautiful Lance Hidy poster, commissioned to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Clapp Library.

To round out the visit, we saw the original front door from Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s London home, and a special book display assembled by Mariana Oller. A wine reception followed. Special thanks go to Ruth, Katherine, and Mariana for their hospitality, and for making such a wonderful event possible!


"The Daguerreotype Process, Its History and Preservation Challenges"
Houghton Library, Harvard Yard, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
Thursday, March 11, 2010

Over Forty Ticknor members came to the Houghton Library in February to hear an informative lecture about daguerreotypes given by Elena Bulat, the photograph conservator for the Mellon Photograph Preservation Program at Harvard University Library.
She described the history of the invention, gave some background about Louis-Jacques-Mande Daguerre (1787-1851), the inventor of the process, and explained how the daguerreotype swept the world from the 1840’s through the early 1860’s. (By 1841, for example, New York City had over 100 daguerreotype studios).
The daguerreotype was the first commercially popular and successful form of photography. Daguerre presented his invention to the world in 1839 in Paris and it immediately spread to England and America. The photographic process was extensively practiced.  Since the daguerreotype is a direct positive photographic process, every single image is a unique and a finely detailed optically correct visual record of the world.  Many art and historical institutions have important holdings of this medium.
Elena described the recent reawakening of interest in the daguerreotype, and the many contemporary photographers who gather at conferences and continue to create new daguerreotypes, often in new and unusual ways. She also discussed the challenges involved in preserving and restoring daguerreotypes, and brought along several beautiful daguerreotypes to show to the audience.
Elena Bulat is the photograph conservator for the Mellon Photograph Preservation Program at Harvard University Library. Previously she was a paper and photograph conservator at George Eastman House, funded by the Rochester Community Foundation. Elena received her certificate from the ARP in 2003. She also attended the Certificate Program in Photograph Preservation and Archival Practice at George Eastman House from 1998 to 1999. Elena holds a master degree in the history of art and paper conservation from the State University of St. Petersburg in Russia. She spent fifteen years as a paper and a photograph conservator at the State  Russian  Museum in St. Petersburg. This museum holds the largest collection of Russian Fine Art.
Elena Bulat is actively working to disseminate the knowledge she received through her experience at George Eastman House. She created a series of workshops in photograph preservation and conservation in St. Petersburg. In November 2005 she directed a pilot collaborative workshop at the State Hermitage Museum, Conservation Assessment in Photograph Collections: the First Step in Preservation Planning, sponsored by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Elena also designed a two-year initiative between George Eastman House and the State Hermitage Museum. Over the last two and a half years, ARP staff and fellows worked with Elena Bulat and Paul Messier, a Boston-based photograph conservator, and the Hermitage Museum staff to create a comprehensive survey of Museum holdings and publish the Hermitage’s daguerreotype collection.

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"Finding Collectible Books and Ephemera Online": a panel discussion 
Boston Public Library - Orientation Room, Copley Square, Boston, MA
Thursday, February 11, 2010

We had an excellent turnout at the Boston Public Library on February 11, for the first Ticknor Society event of the year: a panel discussion given by three Ticknor Society members about “New ways to find collectible books and ephemera online”. The event included live computer demonstrations. Over thirty Ticknor Society members took part. (See panelists' list of resources)

Tom Michalak discussed “Collecting Cruikshank and Caricature online,” and gave tips for using <>  to buy books and prints online. He brought along several prints from his extensive collection of Cruikshank prints. Tom is Secretary of the Ticknor Society, former director of the Harvard University Library Open Collections Program, and former executive director of the Baker Library at the Harvard Business School.


Beth Carroll-Horrocks, a former Ticknor board member, discussed "Finding Ephemera Online." She showed how she uses the web – in particular, <> , <> , and the Ephemera Society of America ( <> ) -- to add to her collection of rulers. She brought along several rulers from her collection to show to the audience. Beth is Director of Archives at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.


Christopher Morgan discussed "New Book Search Strategies: Getting the Most out of WorldCat, Google Books, and other Book-related Web Sites." He discussed the <>  site, which compares book prices from many vendors, as well as the Worldcat, Google books, and <>  sites as sources of book-related information. He also demonstrated a website he is developing that uses authorized subject headings to search for books. Chris is President of the Ticknor Society, a former vice president of Lotus software, a book collector, and a web site designer.

During the question and answer period, the audience shared their own online book-buying and searching experiences.

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"First Hand: Civil War Era Drawings from the Becker Collection"
Boston College, McMullen Museum of Art

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

On December 1, 2009, the Ticknor Society gathered to view an exhibition at Boston College's McMullen Museum entitled "First Hand: Civil War Era Drawings from the Becker Collection". We were given a special guided tour by the exhibit's co-curator, Judy Bookbinder.

The exhibit, running through December 13, 2009, presents to the public for the first time drawings by Joseph Becker and his colleagues, 19th century artists who worked as artist-reporters (Special Artists) for Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper. The exhibit showcases the largest private collection of Civil War era drawings. None have been exhibited before.

Judy's excellent presentation included detailed background stories about the drawings, created as a visual record of the American Civil war during the the 1860s. At the time, news-related illustrations in newspapers were a new idea, and the drawings were the basis for the many engravings that appeared in the newspapers. The artists annotated their drawings with extensive, detailed notes. Some of the images were edited and censored when made into engravings, often to tone down scenes that were considered too graphic. The artists were embedded with the troops, and a high percentage of their drawings depict non-combat scenes in the army camps. This is because the war's battles, though fierce, took up a relatively small percentage of the total time spent by the soldiers. The drawings thus become a valuable record of what happened between battles.

Photography in the 1860s was still relatively new, requiring long exposures, and making action photographs of battles effectively impossible, so it was left to the artists to preserve the war's images with their remarkable images. Many were created under fire, yet exhibit astonishing artistic quality. As Judy noted, these drawings are the closest we can hope to come to visually experiencing the Civil War.

Boston Antiquarian Book Fair: Ticknor Collectors' Roundtable
Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Ticknor Society’s 8th annual collectors’ roundtable was held during the Boston Antiquarian Book Fair at the Hynes Convention Center.  Three New England collectors shared their collecting passions and adventures with audience questions and a close look at some special books and works of ephemera.  Ticknor Society president Chris Morgan moderated this ever-popular event.

Ticknor Society member Shawn Whalen, a public relations consultant, has read and collected classic American 20th-century science fiction for many years.  He shared some of his first editions, and first magazine appearances, of works by H.P. Lovecraft (Arkham House), Isaac Asimov, Robert Heinlein, and others.  He has a time machine, he tells us, which helps him predict the future value of first editions.

Joyce Kosofsky of Boston talked about “Books in the Bathroom—Not Just for Reading Anymore.”  She and her husband Ken Gloss, proprietor of the Brattle Book Shop, have a legendary display of colorful bindings in their guest bathroom.  “Rather than buy cheap art, we built bookshelves and put in cheap but decorative bindings”—starting, of course, with the autobiography of Thomas Crapper, “Flushed with Pride.”

Baseball expert John Kashmanian of Providence shared items from his collection of rare and important baseball ephemera.  He is the co-author of “Baseball Treasures” (1992), which featured many of his collectibles, and he has appeared as a special guest on “Antiques Roadshow.”   As he says, “The search for the next important piece of baseball ephemera will be just as much fun as my first find 35 years ago.”

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"A Fixed Rule of Design: the Book Art of Bertha Stuart": A conducted tour by Curator Barbara Adams Hebard
Boston Public Library, Rare Book Room
Thursday, October 15, 2009 

Bertha Stuart (1869-1953), an Oregon artist, trained at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, moved to NYC in 1900, and studied at Cooper Union and the Art Students League while creating more than 175 book cover designs, numerous page decorations, and illustrations for major NYC publishers between 1902 and 1912. Bertha, an award-winning artist, also designed bookplates. In 1912 she returned to Oregon, was a trustee of the Society of Arts and Crafts of Portland, and pursued a career in interior design. This exhibition of books with covers and interior pages designed by Stuart also includes bookplates and items from her interior decorating career.
Barbara Hebard

Barbara Adams Hebard, Conservator of the John J. Burns Library, Boston College, is a graduate of the North Bennet Street School bookbinding program. Ms. Hebard is a member of the National Guild of Book Workers and the Ticknor Society. She is a Professional member of The American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works, a Fellow of The International Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works, and Board Member of New England Conservation Association. She is proud to be an Overseer of North Bennet Street School. She frequently exhibits books of her own design nationally and internationally. Ms. Hebard also enjoys writing articles on book-related topics.

The exhibit runs from October 5 – December 31, 2009, Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm. ~ Directions to the BPL

"'A Monument More Durable Than Brass': The Donald and Mary Hyde Collection of Dr. Samuel Johnson"
: A Curator's Tour
Houghton Library, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
Wednesday, September 16, 2009  

This exhibit features books and manuscripts from the Donald & Mary Hyde Collection of Dr. Samuel Johnson at the Houghton Library, conducted by curator John Overholt. The exhibit is presented in conjunction with the Houghton symposium, "Johnson at 300," held this summer.

Considered one of the world’s most important collections of eighteenth-century literature, the Hyde Collection was assembled over a 60-year period.  With Johnson at its center, it encompasses letters, manuscripts, first editions, and works of art relating to Johnson and his circle. The collection includes half of Johnson’s surviving letters and several drafts of his “Plan for a Dictionary” and is comprehensive in its coverage of Johnson’s published works.  A bequest of Mary, Viscountess Eccles (1912-2003), to Houghton Library, the Hyde Collection is also rich in materials that document the lives of Johnson’s friends and contemporaries, such as James Boswell, Hester Thrale Piozzi, Tobias Smollett, Sir Joshua Reynolds, and David Garrick.


"Gluttons for Books: John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and Their Libraries": A Curator's Tour
Massachusetts Historical Society, 1154 Boylston Street, Boston
Saturday, August 22, 2009

Curator Jeremy Dibbell graced us with a tour of the Massachusetts Historical Society exhibit, "'Gluttons for Books: John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and Their Libraries", including the book catalogs of Jefferson and Adams, correspondence between members of the Adams family about books and reading, and selections from the retirement correspondence of Jefferson and Adams (one of the most fascinating exchanges of letters ever written). Our friend George Ticknor even makes a cameo appearance! One case highlights the recent discovery and verification of Jefferson's inventory of the collection of books he received through the bequest of his friend and teacher George Wythe. A computer terminal is available to access those portions of the exhibit which have been digitized (including Jefferson's 1783 and 1789 book catalogs, the BPL's excellent John Adams Library site, the Wythe List, and online catalogs of the Jefferson and Adams libraries).

Annual Meeting
Featured speaker: Robert Darnton, Carl H. Pforzheimer University Professor and Director of the Harvard University Library
: "Old Books and E-Books" 

St. Botolph's Club, 199 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Ticknorites celebrated yet another exciting year of programs with our traditional festive Annual Meeting. For this year's fun, we returned to the distinguished St. Botolph's Club in Boston. The evening began with refreshments and a brief business meeting, followed by our featured speaker, Robert Darnton.  Members gathered afterward for a lovely dinner.

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Edgar Allan Poe and the Publishing Industry: a talk by Rob Velella
Boston Public Library, McKim Building, Orientation Rooom, 1st floor

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

2009 marks the bicentennial of the birth of Poe, with events around the United States (and the world) honoring the man whose dark tales of horror continue to thrill his readers. Also credited as the inventor of the modern detective story, the progenitor of modern science fiction, and for his many 19th-century humor pieces, Poe was one of the most important literary critics of his day and an editor and magazine proprietor at a time when the publishing industry and technology were rapidly changing. Rob Velella, independent Poe scholar and author of the Edgar Allan Poe Calendar, discussed Poe's knowledge of the publishing industry, his role in it, and how it changed around him - though, ultimately, he was never able to profit significantly from it.

Tour of the Phillips Library at the Peabody-Essex Museum
Saturday, April 4, 2009

Sidney Berger, Ann C. Pingree Director of the Phillips Library, offered Ticknor Society members an insider's view.

Special tour of the Harcourt Bindery
Charlestown, MA
Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Ticknor Society members took a behind the scenes tour of The Harcourt Bindery in its new location in Charlestown with Sam Ellenport who runs the shop.  The Harcourt Bindery was founded in Copley Square in 1900, producing fine leather bindings.  Early on the company won prizes for its quality work - e.g., in 1927 it was recognized by the Boston Society of Arts and Crafts - and more recently the work of the shop has been exhibited in Sweden, Finland and at various venues in the U.S.  In 2007 Harcourt joined Acme Bindery, a leader in library and edition binding, combining expertise to better serve their respective clients.

Woodblock Printmaking Workshop
Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Woodcut artist Annie Silverman offered an intimate lecture and demonstration of the techniques for contemporary woodblock printmaking at her print shop in Somerville, ABRAZOS PRESS.  Using many examples of her own work, Annie showed carving and printing techniques as well as actual prints and the woodblocks used to create them. Printing demonstrations showed the creation of a wood block print using her beautiful press and other by-hand methods. Participants were able to ink and print a small carved woodblock or carve in another medium to make a sample keepsake print. A former papermaker, Annie Silverman has been experimenting with methods of relief printmaking for over 20 years.  She teaches both relief printmaking and Artist Books at Massachusetts College of Art and Design.  Her prints and unique books are exhibited nationally and internationally.

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Ticknor Society Members Publish
Boston Public Library, Mckim Building, Orientation Room, 1st Floor

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The achievements of three of our members who have published on varying topics relating to book history were celebrated:  Thomas Horrocks, whose Popular Print and Popular Medicine Almanacs and Health Advice in Early America has just been issued by the University of Massachusetts Press; Nicholas Basbanes, whose newest book on the history of the Yale University Press is due out this fall; and Roger Stoddard, who discussed his monograph, Jacques-Charles Brunet: Le Grand Bibliographe, a guide to the books he wrote, compiled, and edited and to the book-auction catalogues he expertised ( London:  Quaritch, 2007).

Collectors' Round Table
Boston International Book Fair, Hines Convention Center

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Ticknor Society hosted its seventh annual collectors' round table at this year's Boston International Book Fair at the Hynes Convention Center. The panel was moderated by Chris Morgan, Ticknor Society vice-president and himself a past panelist.

"To Promote, to Learn, to Teach, to Please: Scientific Images in Early Modern Books"
Houghton Library, Harvard University

Saturday, October 18
, 2008

Images in early modern European books of science (1500-1750) were shaped not only by the needs of scientific communication; they were also deeply influenced by economic, social, and cultural considerations. Through representative examples, this exhibition examines early scientific images and the books they illustrated to show how they were intended to appeal both to men of science and to a more general audience.

Ticknor Society members were invited to the Houghton Library for a curator’s chat of the exhibition “To Promote, to Learn, to Teach, to Please: Scientific Images in Early Modern Books.” The tour was conducted by the curator of the exhibit, Caroline Duroselle-Melish. The exhibition remains on display until December 20, 2008.

Readings by Benjamin Markovits and Matthew Pearl
Radcliffe Gym, Radcliffe Yard (10 Garden Street, Cambridge)
Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Ticknor Society in cooperation with the Byron Society of America hosted readings by Benjamin Markovits and Matthew Pearl.  Mr. Markovits read from his new novel, A Quiet Adjustment (W. W. Norton, 2008).  The novel is the second in a projected trilogy based on the life and times of Lord Byron.  Mr. Pearl read from his novel The Dante Club (Random House, 2003), based on an episode in the life of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.  A conversation between the authors on their common experiences writing literary historical fiction followed.

Curator's Tour  
Boston Museum of Fine Arts Library
Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A tour of highlights from the rare book collection of the Department of Prints, Drawings and Photographs was conducted by David Becker, Claire W. and Richard P. Morse Curatorial Research Fellow, who shared with us his in-depth knowledge of this unique collection of rare books which he has been cataloging.

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Annual Meeting
The Ether Dome at the Massachusetts General Hospital
Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Another exciting year of Ticknor events wrapped up! Our business meeting, including election of new board members, was followed by the opportunity to hear Ken Gloss, Proprietor of the Brattle Bookstore, speak on  “Treasures in Your Attic: Old and Rare Books”.

Star Wars: The Golden Age of the Celestial Atlas
Co-sponsored by the History of the Book Seminar of the Humanities Center at Harvard University
Monday, April 7, 2008

Internationally known British bookseller Roger Gaskell discussed aspects of the history of star atlases from 1482 to 1851 and various controversies over the naming of constellations and how the skies should be mapped through an illustrated lecture. Star atlases capture the sweeping grandeur of the heavens and are among the most beautiful scientific books ever made. They were works of science, first and foremost, but these atlases nevertheless have a universal appeal. The blending of star maps with constellation figures in a grand and monumental format is hard for anyone to resist.

Tour of the American Antiquarian Society, Worcester, MA
Saturday, March 22, 2008

The American Antiquarian Society in Worcester opened its doors for a special Ticknor Society event. Director Ellen Dunlap and other staff welcomed us with a variety of presentations and tours celebrating the founder of the AAS, the "Patriot-printer" Isaiah Thomas.  The Society's rich heritage and collections as they relate to the history of the American book was the primary focus with further discussion of forthcoming outreach programs, such as cataloging initiatives, academic seminars, and their new K-12 programs. As an additional treat, the Society's previous director, Marcus McCorison, discussed his forthcoming work on Isaiah Thomas's original collection gift.

Tour of Brandeis University's Special Collections
Tuesday, February 5, 2008

 Karen Adler Abramson, Director of Archives and  Special Collections, gave a brief lecture providing an introduction to the University's special and rare collections and Jim Rosenbloom, the resident Judaica librarian and expert, discussed the University's rich collections in that area.

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A Ticknor Society Member Collects …
December 2007

In December, member Chris Morgan invited fellow members for a glimpse at his personal collections which vary from a Lewis Carroll collection to a copy of The Maltese Falcon signed by Dashiel Hammett to comic books.

Collectors’ Roundtable at the Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair
Saturday, November 17, 2007 • Hynes Convention Center, Boston, MA

The Ticknor Society’s annual tradition at the book fair continued with the very popular Collectors’ Roundtable. Three collectors shared their experiences collecting books on garden history, carriages, and telegraphy.

Field Trip to Dartmouth College - the Guild of Book Workers and George Ticknor
Saturday, October 27, 2007

The Guild of Book Workers promotes all the book arts to broaden public awareness of the hand book arts, to stimulate commissions of fine bindings, and to stress the need for sound book conservation and restoration. The Guild is celebrating its 100th anniversary with a touring anniversary exhibition. The Ticknor Society arranged for a special event in conjunction with the exhibition which featured both a Retrospective section and a section of Current Members' works, The day included a panel discussion by Guild members, time for independent viewing, and a reception. An added bonus was the guided tour of some of the George Ticknor collections held by Dartmouth (Ticknor was an 1811 graduate of Dartmouth and bequeathed a large part of his estate to his alma mater) by Special Collections Librarian, Jay Satterfield.

Decorated Papers from the Collection of Rosamond B. Loring
Tuesday, September 18, 2007 • Houghton Library, Edison & Newman Room, Harvard University

Ticknor Society members attended the opening of Decorated Papers from the Collection of Rosamond B. Loring, an exhibition presenting examples from the extensive collection of decorated papers formed by Rosamond B. Loring (1889-1950) and bequeathed to Houghton Library, including historical examples of marbled, paste, Dutch gilt, and printed papers, as well as papers made by Loring herself. The evening featured Ticknor Society member Charles A. Rheault, who presented an engaging talk entitled, “A Pretty Mysterious Business – Ox Gall and Gum Dragon: The Arts of Marbling Paper and Books.”

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Ticknor Society Annual Meeting
Thursday, 14 June 2007
• Casperson Room, Langdell Hall-Harvard Law School Library

Our program began with a reception followed by a short business meeting and lecture by Daniel R. Coquillette, J. Donald Monan S.J. University Professor at Boston College Law School, on “Man of Mystery: Collecting Francis Bacon”

Celebrating the Longfellow Bicentennial
Saturday, April 14, 2007

A special day celebrating the bicentennial of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's birth began at the Houghton Library at Harvard University with a curator's tour of the library's exhibition "Public Poet, Private Man: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow at 200."  The exhibition featured manuscripts, drawings, and photographs from Longfellow's papers at Houghton Library and the Longfellow National Historic site.  We assembled at the Longfellow House after for an in-depth guided tour of the house.

Paste Paper Workshop
Saturday, March 17, 2007 • Simmons College

Back by popular demand, Sid Berger offered a hands-on workshop on the art and craft of paste paper decoration. Born in the seventeenth century, carried out in religious communities and in the secular world with tremendous artistry and precision, the technique produces papers of an endless variety of design, color, and imagination. They are easy to produce and more fun than you can imagine, using simple materials and tools.

The Private Collection of David Godine
Saturday, February 3, 2007 • Godine home, Milton, MA

David R. Godine, one of the premiere publishers in the United States and a distinguished collector of rare books, graciously welcomed a select number of Ticknor Society members to his home for a private tour of his treasures as well as dinner and drinks. 

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John Adams Unbound: A Talk and Guided Tour of a Major Exhibition of the Library of President John Adams
Saturday, December 9, 2006 • Boston Public Library, Copley Square

Ticknor Board Member and Acting Keeper of Rare Books and Manuscripts at the Boston Public Library, Earle Havens, presented a talk and guided tour of the first major public exhibition of the contents of John Adams’ personal library, a collection that has resided at the BPL for over a century.

Collectors' Roundtable at the Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair
Saturday, November 18, 2006 • Hynes Convention Center

The Ticknor Society's annual tradition at the book fair continued with the very popular Collectors' Roundtable, featuring several young collectors who shared their experiences in the process, as well as the passion, of collecting.  The Ticknor Society information booth on Cultural Row allowed members to chat in person and newcomers to become members.

Benjamin Franklin: Printed Corrections and Erasable Writing
Wednesday, September 20, 2006 • Houghton Library, Harvard University

The evening included a lecture by Peter Stallybrass, Professor of English, University of Pennsylvania, followed by a reception. The Houghton Library exhibition, "Benjamin Franklin: A How-To Guide," was on view before and after the program.


A Literary Tour of Mount Auburn Cemetery
Saturday, May 6, 2006

We paid a special visit to the final resting place of George Ticknor's cousin, the publisher William Davis Ticknor, and several of our namesake's friends and colleagues, including William Hickling, Prescott, Lowell, Longfellow, and Oliver Wendell Holmes, among others. We also watched for some of the many interesting birds following the spring migratory route that runs through the area.

Inside Baker Library at Harvard Business School
Wednesday, April 12, 2006

From its humble beginnings in 1908 as a small collection housed in an alcove of Gore Hall (the predecessor to Widener Library), Baker Library has emerged as the cornerstone of the Harvard Business School campus. The library underwent major renovation and expansion from 2003 to 2005.  Staff members offered a behind-the-scenes tour of the new building with a focus on the state-of-the-art special collections areas.

The evening began with a reception and an opportunity to spend some time viewing the exhibitions in the library, including "Coin and Conscience: Popular Views of Money, Credit and Speculation," on display in the historic lobby. From Rembrandt to Gillray, there was something to interest academic and art-lover alike.

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Medieval Manuscripts and Rare Books Adventures at Boston College - a Tale of Two Curators
Thursday, March 2, 2006 • McMullen Museum of Art and the Burns Library, Boston College

Earle Havens, Curator of Manuscripts at the Boston Public Library, offered an after-hours behind-the-scenes tour of a major exhibition of the BPL's medieval and Renaissance manuscripts collections at Boston College. The group then crossed the mall to the Burns Library for an informal tour and talk on the Burns Library and its collections by Robert O'Neill, Director of the Burns Library. Mr. O'Neill regaled the group with bibliophilic tales.

Papers You Wish You'd Heard
Tuesday, December 6, 2005 • Houghton Library, Harvard University

A panel of three speakers from the Boston area reprised recent papers (all illustrated!) delivered outside Boston with interest for local bibliophiles:

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Collectors' Roundtable
Saturday, October 29, 2005 • Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair, Hynes Convention Center, Boston

Two annual traditions were brought together this year by hosting our annual Collectors' Roundtable at the fair as well as staffing an information booth. Several local collectors described their collections and showed some favorite books.

Anti-Slavery Collections of the Boston Public Library - a Curator's Tour
Tuesday, October 11, 2005 • Boston Public Library

Marion Kilson gave an informal talk about the leading Boston abolitionist, William Lloyd Garrison, and the history of his Boston newspaper, The Liberator. Kilson also provided a curator's tour of the exhibition commemorating the 200th anniversary of Garrison's birth, "Words of Thunder: The Life and Times of William Lloyd Garrison", on display at the Boston Public Library. The exhibition draws from the BPL's unrivaled collection of anti-slavery and abolitionist rare books, manuscripts, prints and related materials. A series of exhibits and events relating to Garrison will be offered by the BPL and the Museum of Afro-American History.


Annual Meeting
Tuesday, May 3, 2005 • St. Botolph Club, Boston

The year wrapped up with a special evening at the St. Botolph Club in Boston including a talk by Bernard Margolis, president of the Boston Public Library, and a brief business meeting and reception open to all. Members afterward dined with fellow Ticknorites.

Curator's Tour with Ken Rendell
Sunday, April 17, 2005 • National Heritage Museum, Lexington, MA

Curator and collector Ken Rendell conducted a guided tour of his exhibition The Western Pursuit of the American Dream. Nearly 200 spectacular objects from Rendell's collection were exhibited, chronicling the West through the words and artifacts of explorers, travelers, warriors, gold seekers, merchants, and outlaws who shaped the American frontier.

Field Trip to Providence
Tuesday, April 5, 2005 • Private Collection, Providence

The Honorable Frank J. Williams, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Rhode Island and the owner of one of the largest private collection of books, manuscripts, and artifacts relating to Abraham Lincoln, spoke on Collecting Lincoln. The evening included a tour of Judge Williams' chambers and some of his collection housed therein.

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Paste Paper Workshop
Saturday, March 5, 2005 • Simmons College, Boston

The art and craft of paste paper decoration was born in the seventeenth century, carried out in religious communities and in the secular world with tremendous artistry and precision. The technique produces papers of an endless variety of design, color, and imagination. They are easy to produce and more fun than you can imagine. Using simple materials and tools (and some lovely papers), participants created paste papers in this workshop conducted by Sidney Berger who has given such workshops on two continents.

Tour of Widener Library with Matthew Battles
Tuesday, March 1, 2005 • Widener Library, Harvard University

Matthew Battles, the author of the popular Library: An Unquiet History and Widener: ABiography of a Library, led a guided tour of Widener Library followed by a reception.

Theda Skocpol on Fraternal Literature
Tuesday, January 11, 2005 • Barker Center for the Humanities, Harvard University

Co-sponsored with the History of the Book Seminar, Barker Center for the Humanities. Theda Skocpol, Ph.D., Victor S. Thomas Professor of Government and Sociology, and Director of the Center for American Political Studies at Harvard University, spoke on her use of publications of fraternal organizations in her research on the rise and development of voluntary organizations in the United States from the 1790s to the present.

Collectors' Roundtable
Thursday, December 2, 2004 • Boston Public Library

The theme of this year's collectors' roundtable was collecting popular medicine. The panelists were Charles E. Rosenberg, Ph.D., William H. Helfand, and Lawrence M. Vincent, M.D. The roundtable was moderated by Thomas Horrocks, Vice President of The Ticknor Society.

Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair
Friday, November 19 - Sunday, November 21, 2004 • Hynes Convention Center, Boston

The Ticknor Society staffed an information booth and sponsored talks by members at the fair.

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Field Trip to the Beinecke Library and the Elizabethan Club, Yale University
Saturday, November 13, 2004

Members of The Ticknor Society enjoyed a day-long visit to New Haven, beginning at the Yale Center for British Art, where a William Morris exhibition was on display. After viewing the exhibition, the group headed to the Beinecke Library for a tour, punctuated by a complimentary catered luncheon on the Beinecke mezzanine. After a break, the group convened down the street at the Elizabethan Club for a tour of the clubhouse, grounds and "vault."

John O'Mara: "A bookseller who collects...a bartender who drinks?"
Thursday, October 21, 2004 • Signet Society, Harvard Square

John O'Mara, of John O'Mara Fine & Rare Books, entertained us with the story of his own personal collecting of annotated sixteenth-century books (with examples on exhibition) and how it relates to the current state of the book trade and book collecting.


Annual Meeting and Visit to the Museum of Printing
Sunday, June 6, 2004 • Museum of Printing, North Andover, MA

The museum is dedicated to preserving the history of the graphic arts, printing equipment, and printing craftsmanship. In addition to many special collections and small exhibits, the museum contains hundreds of antique printing, typesetting and bindery machines, as well as a library of books and printing-related documents. For more information about the museum and for directions, visit their website at

The afternoon began with a short business meeting, followed by a talk about the Mergenthaler Library by Larry Oppenberg, President of Galapagos Design. There were tours of the museum, including hands-on demonstrations.

American Book Collectors of Children's Literature
Saturday, April 24, 2004 • Boston Athenaeum

Founded in 1986, the American Book Collectors of Children's Literature (ABCs) Connecticut Chapter is open to authors and illustrators, book dealers, collectors, faculty members, librarians, and others who have an interest in collecting, preserving, reading, and studying children's books no matter where they live.

The ABCs Connecticut Chapter invited Ticknor members and friends to join them at the Boston Athenaeum for a guided tour of the Athenaeum's recently renovated children's room and some older children's books from their collections. After lunch, the group met at the West Newton studio of Nancy Schon, the sculptor who created the Make Way for Ducklings statues in the Boston Common, the Tortoise and the Hare at Copley Square, and similar works.

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Sir Hans Sloane and His Printed Ephemera Collections
Friday, March 19, 2004 • Houghton Library, Harvard University

Giles Mandelbrote, Curator of British Collections 1501-1800 at the British Library, spoke about the printed ephemera collections of Sir Hans Sloane. Mr. Mandelbrote is a frequent contributor to scholarship about the history of the book trade and of book ownership, particularly in the seventeenth century. He is also one of the editors of the Cambridge History of Libraries in Britain and Ireland.

A Curator's Tour by Roger Stoddard
Tuesday, February 24, 2004 • Houghton Library, Harvard University

Roger Stoddard, Curator of Rare Books in the Harvard College Library, led visitors on a tour of his exhibition Res Gestae: Libri Manent; a Curator's Choice, a celebration of Stoddard's career, highlighting 89 of his favorite acquisitions purchased for the Houghton Library from 1965 to 2003. The exhibition, mounted on the occasion of Stoddard's retirement, was on view at the Houghton Library through March 31, 2004.

A Passion for Paper: The Decorated Paper Collections of Michèle Cloonan and Sidney Berger
Wednesday, February 4, 2004 • Cloonan/Berger Home

Members Michèle Cloonan and Sidney Berger hosted Ticknor Society members and friends for a visit to their home in Newton to see their remarkable collection of decorated papers, both historical and modern. A special highlight of the evening was the opportunity to print a keepsake on one of their Har-Ma hand presses.

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Collectors' Roundtable
Tuesday, December 2, 2003 • Boston Public Library

Following up on its previous collectors' roundtable, the Ticknor Society decided to make this an annual event.  Fellow booklovers joined members Kent Bicknell, Victor Gulotta, John Hench, and Charles Rheault in discussing their rationales and passions for collecting western writers on eastern thought; Henry Wadsworth Longfellow; American World War II books, magazines, and newspapers; and private press books. Member Anne Bromer moderated the program.

An Evening with Joanne Dobson
Wednesday, November 19, 2003 • Harvard Faculty Club

This dinner and talk by author Joanne Dobson was cohosted with the Speckled Band of Boston, a Sherlock Holmes society. Professor Dobson teaches English at Fordham University and is the author of the Karen Pelletier mysteries. Her first in this series, Quieter than Sleep (1997), was an Agatha nominee. It was followed by The Northbury Papers (1998), The Raven and the Nightingale (1999), Cold and Pure and Very Dead (2000), and The Maltese Manuscript (2003). In her scholarly work, Professor Dobson has concentrated on the recovery of the neglected literature of nineteenth-century American women writers. She is a founding editor of Legacy: A Journal of American Women Writers and a general editor of the Rutgers American Women Writers reprint series.

There was a short talk and reading by Professor Dobson followed by a book signing and a chance to talk with the author. After dinner Professor Dobson spoke on biblio-mysteries.

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Four Contributions to the Cultural History of Libraries
Saturday, October 4, 2003 • Barker Center for the Humanities, Harvard University

Cosponsored with the History of the Book Seminar at the Barker Center for the Humanities, the program included four papers:


The Meaning of Everything: An Evening with Simon Winchester
April 15, 2003 • Boston Public Library

The popular and highly regarded author of The Professor and the Madman, The Map That Changed the World, Krakatoa and The Meaning of Everything: the Story of the Oxford English Dictionary, took us on a tour of his books, how places he has been have influenced his work, and his experiences writing his books.

Professors Joel Myerson and Ron Bosco on Emerson and His Books
March 27, 2003 • Houghton Library, Harvard University

Professors Myerson and Bosco, both noted authors, collectors, and leading authorities on Emerson, Thoreau, and the Transcendentalists, were co-curators of a Houghton exhibit mounted to commemorate the bicentennial of Emerson's birth. They spoke about Emerson's library and his thoughts on books.

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First and Most Recent - But Never Last!
February 4, 2003 • Boston Public Library

Ticknor Society members discussed their rationales and passions for collecting, member Nick Basbanes moderating. Robin Bledsoe let us in on just what started her collecting horse books; Leonard Scinto admitted to a particular enthusiasm for commedia dell’arte, and Joan Nordell shared her fervor for one-of-a-kind artists’ books. Dan Posnansky opened the door to let us have a peek at his amazing collection of Shelockiana.

A Visit to Kenneth Rendell's World War II Museum
December 3, 2002 • Natick, MA

Noted autograph and manuscript dealer and author Kenneth W. Rendell invited us for an unforgettable evening at his vast Museum of World War II. This museum can ONLY be visited by invitation. For an introduction to the collections, visit We had free range of the collections while enjoying cocktails; Ken spoke on philosophies of collecting and how they have changed over the centuries.  A full dinner on the premises followed.

Book Fair Secrets: a Roundtable Discussion
October 17, 2002 • Boston Public Library

This roundtable discussion was hosted by the New England Chapter of the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America, its chair, Peter Stern, presiding over a panel of Boston-area booksellers. Greg Gibson of Ten Pound Island Books (Gloucester, MA), Greg Powers of Powers Rare Books (Manchester, NH), Priscilla Juvelis of Priscilla Juvelis, Inc. (Cambridge, MA), Michael Ginsberg of Michael Ginsberg Books (Sharon, MA), and Mike McIntyre of McIntyre and Moore Booksellers (Somerville, MA) discussed their experiences at book fairs; dealers and collectors shared first-hand experiences.


An Evening Celebrating the Ticknors
June 26, 2002 • Massachusetts Historical Society, Boston

The second meeting of the Ticknor Society celebrated the Ticknors - George Ticknor and his daughter, Anna Ticknor - for whom the club was named. The meeting featured speakers Professor Sally Schwager of the Harvard Graduate School of Education, Peter Accardo of the Houghton Library, and Ken Carpenter, retired from the Harvard University Library.  Hosts Peter Drummey and Bill Fowler of the Massachusetts Historical Society provided a wondrous array of edible delights and liquid refreshment which, when balanced with talk of book collectors and the comradeship of like-minded book lovers, made for a great event.

Nicholas Basbanes on "A Fellowship of Books"
May 22, 2002 • Harvard Law School

The inaugural meeting of the Ticknor Society was hosted by David Ferris, David Warrington, and the Harvard Law School which generously provided a lovely space for our first meeting  as well as appropriate and ample refreshments. The meeting was a great success, attracting over 80 bibliophiles.

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Last modified: Tuesday, 10-Apr-2018 15:43:33 EDT