L. Tom Perry
Special Collections will be hosting a special conference
entitled "The Gentle Madness of Book Collecting" in
room 1130 of the Harold B. Lee Library on October 24, 2003.
Speakers will include administration and curators of the
department. Featured activities will include small group
seminars with hands-on opportunities; interaction with book
collectors, curators, and conservators; as well as behind
the scenes tours of the special collection vaults.
We take the title of our conference
from Nicholas Basbanes' wonderful, 1995 book on bibliophiles
and bibliomania. As he posits, one irony of the modern internet
age is that the passion to possess books is as pervasive today
as ever in recorded history. It is still a Gentle Madness.
There are those of us who work in the L. Tom Perry Special
Collections of the Harold B. Lee library at BYU that have been
smitten by this marvelous disease for some time. We, however,
collect our books with the intention of sharing them with all
who wish to come. Hence, the purpose of our series of seminars
is to invite you to take an afternoon and evening to join with
us as you indulge your own gentle madness for books. Don Quixote
de la Mancha, you recall, addicted himself to the reading of
books of chivalry. If you suffer from a book addiction, we
promise we will not cure you when we see you on October 24.
cost of registration is $45.00, which includes an evening
meal and entertainment.
To guarantee space, please register before October 1, 2003.
To register, please call BYU conferences and workshops at
801.378.2568. Please have your credit card ready.
register, please call 801.378.2568
Register online at http://ce.byu.edu/cw/gmbc/
1:00 p.m. Conference Welcome
Randy J. Olsen
in the 21st Century"
Chair, L. Tom Perry Special Collections
Madness Within Me: My Passion for Building Book Collections"
Rex Maughan- Chairman of the Board and President of Forever Living Products
1:45-2:30 (Concurrent Seminars)
No. 1 "Mormon Incunabula: The
Infancy of Mormon Publishing"
Curator, American Collection, L. Tom Perry Special Collections
View, examine, and discuss the rarity, influence, and significance of the foundational
publications of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: Mormonism’s
first scriptures, periodicals, hymnals, missionary tracts and theological treatises.
Understand the influence of these publications on the growth on the new religious
movement called Mormonism.
No. 2 “Back in the Saddle: Collecting Western
Reference Services Librarian, L. Tom Perry Special Collections
Beadle’s Dime Novels, Munro’s Nickel Books, and series like “The
Adventures of Buffalo Bill” were forms of popular entertainment in the
late nineteenth century. From these cheap paper-covered novelettes to the original
manuscripts and first editions of Zane Grey, we explore the world of the Western.
(Did you know we own six original Zane Grey manuscripts?)
No. 3 “The Top 40: The Most Influential Books Ever Printed.”
Assistant University Librarian for Special Collections
Elizabeth Eisenstein has stated that no political,
ecclesiastical, economic, scientific, philosophical, or literary
movement can be completely understood without taking into account
the influence of the printing press. In this seminar we will
examine the books that have underscored the rise of western civilization
since Gutenberg first printed with moveable type.
2:45-3:30 (Concurrent Seminars)
4 “It’s My Press and I’ll
Print What I Want to: Collecting Modern Fine Printing”
Rare Book Cataloger, L. Tom Perry Special Collections
Unlike other types of rare books, it is still possible to acquire
modern fine printing, hot off the press, for reasonable prices.
The private press movement
has flourished during the last several decades. Books produced
by private/fine presses are typified by high quality, often
by hand, workmanship. The seminar
will show highlights of our fine press collection and discuss
how collectors can acquire these books.
No. 5 “Conservation and Preservation: The Art of Preventing
Chair, Conservation Department
Books have the
ability to survive. Nonetheless, they need care and attention.
In this seminar
we will outline
some basic steps by which collectors can ensure the long term “survival” and “fitness” of
No. 6 “Street Literature: Common Reading, Uncommon Times”
Chair, L. Tom Perry Special Collections
of reading during the 19th century led to far reaching changes
and American cultures.
Printed material (newspapers, leaflets, broadsides, gift goods
and a sea of colorful print ephemera) became increasingly aimed
at a mass audience. In this seminar we will examine the world
of “street literature” and other printed works generated
for a growing consumer society. This material is often affordable
and in some ways is the most interesting to collect.
3:30-4:15 (Concurrent Seminars)
Repeat of three most requested seminars.
4:30-5:15 Concluding Keynote Speech
Speaker to be announced.
Three concurrent tours of the facilities (including vaults) of the L. Tom Perry
7:00 p.m. Dinner