AE Monthly

Articles - March - 2009 Issue

Book Collecting Conference March 26-27 at Brigham Young University

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The A. Dean Larson Book Collecting Conference at Brigham Young University.


By Michael Stillman

The sixth annual A. Dean Larson Book Collecting Conference will be held on March 26 and 27 at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. This edition includes three pre-conference workshops to be held on Thursday, March 26, followed by eight seminars the following day. Attendees will be able to go to as many as two of the pre-conference workshops and four of the seminars.

The seminars are divided into specific subjects, while the pre-conference workshops are a bit broader in scope. The seminars, not unexpectedly, include several on collecting within the field of Mormonism, but also offer a full complement of topics not related to the faith. Among the topics covered by the Friday seminars are collecting Intermountain West postcards from 1900-1950; "Scots Wha Hae," the collecting of Scottish literature from Robert Burns through the mid-20th century; and the collecting of sports cards and memorabilia. Another seminar looks at the "overlooked" poetry and prose of World War I, often penned and published in private editions by those who participated in this long and grueling conflict. There is a seminar devoted to "ancillaries," those items related to a famous title one might collect, such as criticisms or responses to the book, reference works, or biographies of the author. Among the Mormon related seminars are one on Thomas L Kane (and his wife, Elizabeth), perhaps the greatest non-Mormon defender of the LDS Church in the 19th century, and one on Crawford Gates, the LDS musical composer who has donated, and continues to donate, many of his papers to Brigham Young University. A final seminar asks the question "Are there any Mormon Books Left to Collect?" The answer is a resounding "yes."

Those who sign up for the Friday seminars are also eligible to register for the Thursday workshops. The topics of these are "Book Collecting Forensics," a hands-on workshop on how to identify alterations and repairs previously made on rare books; "Illumination," a look at both old and modern illuminating of initial letters in books; and "Japanese Stab Bookbinding," which will teach participants how to bind books. Thursday evening, a presentation and reception will be held with book artist and calligrapher Rosie Kelly.

For those who (wrongly) do not believe there are still bargains in this world, participation in four seminars costs just $35. Those who register for the seminars may also register for the pre-conference workshops at $35 each. The conference is sponsored by the L. Tom Perry Special Collections of the Harold B. Lee Library on the Brigham Young University campus. For full details on the conference, including forms and instructions for applying, you may call 801-422-2927 or visit the website at lib.byu.edu/adl.

AE Monthly


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