Bibliographical Society

Print Publications

Print Publications

Studies in Bibliography^

Papers of the Bibliographical Society of the University of Virginia

Published since 1948, Studies in Bibliography is the pre-eminent journal of analytical bibliography, textual criticism, manuscript study, and the history of printing and publishing. Volumes 1 through 45 were edited by Fredson Bowers; volume 46 to the present are edited by David L. Vander Meulen. The forthcoming volume (60) can be secured by joining the Society. The current volume (59) is available from the University of Virginia Press at $70.00.



Books as a Way of Life^

by Gordon N. Ray

Price: $50
Size 6″ x 9.25″
Pages: 432 pp.
ISBN: 9781883631178

BAWL_djcoverGordon N. Ray (1915-1986), professor of English at the University of Illinois from 1946 to 1960 and president of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation from 1963 to 1985, was one of the major book and manuscript collectors of his time.  His two great Morgan Library catalogues, on English and French book illustration, are monuments both to his collecting and to his scholarship.  Over the years he wrote a number of essays and addresses on book collecting, the book trade, libraries, and the role of books in life.  Some of them have become famous, while others are not well known; all are perceptive and eloquent statements, full of literary allusions and touches of humor.  Books as a Way of Life brings together virtually everything of this kind that he wrote; the result is an appealing and important book that has come to be regarded as a classic contribution to the literature of the book world.


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Portraits & Reviews^

P&R cover

by G. Thomas Tanselle

Price: $55
Size: 6″ x 9.25″
Pages: 500  pp.
ISBN: 9781883631161

This volume brings together a selection of the biographical sketches and reviews that G. Thomas Tanselle has written since 1959.  These two genres of writing focus on individuals; taken together they show how a biographical approach can serve to characterize a whole field–in this case, the world of books and bibliographical and textual scholarship.  Because the pieces gathered here deal with major figures and landmark works, along with representative (if less famous) ones, covering the wide spectrum of bibliography, the collection provides a picture of what was going on in the scholarly book world of the past half-century.

The twenty-eight portraits comprise accounts of, or tributes to, collectors, booksellers, librarians, scholarly editors, publishers, bibliographical scholars, literary and historical scholars, and authors.  Figures represented by substantial essays are Fredson Bowers, John Carter, Floyd Dell, Nancy Hale, Harrison Horblit, Vera Lawrence, Ruth Mortimer, and Gordon Ray; among the other people commented on are Harrison Hayford, Mary Hyde, Alfred Kazin, William Matheson, William Scheide, and Carl Woodring.

The “Reviews” section consists of forty-two pieces, mostly book reviews but also including some responses to essays, introductions to anthologies, and retrospective assessments.  There are discussions of bibliographical classics by Fredson Bowers, Philip Gaskell, D. F. McKenzie, Paul Needham, Allan Stevenson, and David Vander Meulen, as well as of titles by other major scholars, such as Roger Chartier, Robert Darnton, Anthony Grafton, and David McKitterick.  Also treated are books by William A. Jackson, Larry McMurtry, and Nicholson Baker, plus several bibliographies, bibliographical reference works, books on book collecting, and scholarly editions.  Other items involve bookcloth, Blake’s printmaking, textual theory, book preservation, and the antiquarian book trade.

The pieces in both sections of the book sometimes have an autobiographical element, for the author has known many of the people whose lives and works are taken up here.

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Where Angels Fear to Tread^


by David Vander Meulen

Price: $10
Size: 6″ x 9″
Pages: 27 pp.
ISBN: 9781883631154

David L. Vander Meulen’s Where Angels Fear to Tread: Descriptive Bibliography and Alexander Pope has come to be regarded as a classic statement of the purposes and methods of descriptive bibliography. Initially presented as the 1987 Engelhard Lecture and subsequently published by the Library of Congress, Where Angels Fear to Tread is now published in a new edition with an introduction by G. Thomas Tanselle, president of the Bibliographical Society of the University of Virginia.

Vander Meulen recounts the series of decisions that are involved in creating a descriptive bibliography. There is no clearer account of that process, or one more likely to promote sympathetic understanding of the field. In doing so, Vander Meulen’s Engelhard Lecture displays the human side of scholarship and clarifies the essential place of bibliography in the humanities.

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Essays in Bibliographical History^


by G. Thomas Tanselle

Price: $40.0
Size: 9.25″ x 6″
Pages: 546 pp.
ISBN: 978-1-883631-14-7

The history of every field of scholarly inquiry is a part of intellectual and cultural history, and the essays gathered here attempt to illustrate that point, from a variety of angles, in relation to bibliographical scholarship. In the first section, there are six broad retrospective pieces, surveying bibliographical history from the vantage point of several institutional anniversaries: the seventy-fifth and hundredth birthdays of the Bibliographical Society of America, the hundredth of the Grolier Club and the Bibliographical Society (London), and the fiftieth of the Osler Library and The Book Collector. The wide purview of these pieces provides the context for the sixteen essays in the second section, each of which is more narrowly focused.

Two of them deal with individual periodicals (Studies in Bibliography and the Bibliographical Society’s News Sheet) and two with the development of descriptive bibliographies (of American authors and eighteenth-century books). Other essays cover the writing of publishing history, the theorizing about the scientific nature of bibliography, the recording of copyrighted books, the indexing of bibliographical periodicals, and the preserving of booksellers’ catalogues. One takes up the production of a major reference work (the ESTC), and another the role of a single locality (Indianapolis) in book history. The Grolier Club is the subject of two contrasting styles of history: a journalistic account of current events (the Club’s centenary festivities) and a retrospective investigation of a bibliographical activity (the mounting of exhibitions as practiced at the Club). The fiftieth anniversary of the Bibliographical Society of the University of Virginia also receives journalistic treatment. Textual criticism and scholarly editing have a place here because they are so intimately tied to the study of the physical objects that transmit texts. The two essays on textual matters explore, first, the traditions of scholarly editing and, second, how those traditions have been applied or misapplied to visual and aural works. A final essay, serving as an epilogue to the volume, discusses bibliographical history as a field, defining it, surveying previous work to build on, and suggesting the value of producing more such work.

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Book-Jackets: Their History, Forms, and Use^

(First printing sold out. Second printing now available.)

by G. Thomas Tanselle

Price: $60.00
Size: 9.25″ x 6″
Pages: 324 pp. (includes 16 color and 8 black and white illustrations and indexes)
ISBN: 978-1-883631-13-0

This illustrated book is intended as a compact introduction to the historical study of book-jackets (or dust-jackets), which—though removable from the books they cover—are essential parts of those books as published. It is a history both of publishers’ detachable book coverings (primarily British and American) and of the attention they have received from scholars, dealers, collectors, and librarians. It also surveys their use by publishers (as protective devices and advertising media) and their usefulness to scholars of literature, art, and book history (as sources for biography, bibliography, cultural analysis, and the development of graphic design). In effect, the book constitutes a plea for the preservation and cataloguing of this significant class of material, so that it will be available for future examination.

Following the text is a list of some of the surviving pre-1901 examples of British and American publishers’ printed book-jackets and other detachable coverings. This list, with 1,888 entries, is the outgrowth of a process the author began in 1969: he has kept a record of every pre-1901 jacket that he came across or learned about. Because surviving jackets from the nineteenth century are scarce, and because the large majority of those that do survive are known in only a single copy, it is important to have a listing that indicates their whereabouts, or at least the basis for knowing that they exist or once existed. The list thus provides a guide to the body of evidence on which generalizations about the history of nineteenth-century jackets must be based, until more examples are reported.

G. Thomas Tanselle, former vice president of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation and adjunct professor of English at Columbia University, is president of the Bibliographical Society of the University of Virginia and co-editor of the Northwestern-Newberry Edition of the writings of Herman Melville. He has previously served as president of the Bibliographical Society of America, the Grolier Club, and the Society for Textual Scholarship. His collection of American imprints is in the Beinecke Library at Yale, where his assemblage of nineteenth-century book-jackets will soon be placed as well.

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The Art Deco Book in France
The 1985 Lyell Lectures

by Gordon N. Ray, edited by G. Thomas Tanselle

Price: $50.00
Size: 9.5″ x 6″
Pages: 159 pp. (includes 8 color illustrations and indexes)
ISBN: 978-1-883631-12-3

Five lectures that survey in magisterial detail the Art Deco livres d’art of the 1920s. The opening lecture describes the relation of French Art Deco books to livres d’art in general and the anticipations of Art Deco illustration during the 1910s in design, fashion, and theatre publications and the work of Robert Bonfils. The next three lectures are devoted to the major artist-illustrators George Barbier, François-Louis Schmied, and Jean-Émile Laboureur. The final lecture examines the design, materials, and techniques of Art Deco bookbinding, focusing on the bindings of Rose Adler and Pierre Legrain.

With a thorough knowledge of French literature and a style that is authoritative, perceptive, witty, and elegant, Ray has written a compact and reliable survey that will have a secure place in the future study of the Art Deco book in France.

The book includes eight color illustrations and side-notes to an additional 165 illustrations available on the website of the Bibliographical Society of the University of Virginia.

From Gordon Ray’s Introduction to Lecture 1: “The Livre D’art of the 1920s”:

I propose to limit my account of the Art Deco book in France to the 1920s, or at least to the years 1919 to 1930. This decade was its heyday, the years which saw the appearance of most of the best work of its representative masters. Moreover, the period saw the reemergence of the livre d’art, as the fine illustrated book for collectors was then called, on a quite unprecedented scale. This crescendo of production led to notable achievements as well as deplorable follies and concluded with a catastrophic debacle. I shall thus be dealing with a self-contained episode in the history of book collecting, an episode which embodies some of the elements of high drama.

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H. D. (Hilda Doolittle): A Bibliography^

Michael Boughn

First edition. The only full edition bibliography of the modernist poet Hilda Doolittle (1886-1961). Includes H.D.’s books, pamphlets, contributions to books and pamphlets, periodical appearances, translations, musical settings, recordings, and ephemera. A second section contains reviews of H.D.’s works and references to her life and work in books, periodicals, dissertations, theses, newspapers, published letters, and miscellaneous materials.

1993, hardcover, 6 x 9 inches, 238 pages
ISBN 0-8139-1412-4 / Order No. 53833-UVA / Price $39.50
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Essays in Bibliography, Text, and Editing^

Fredson Bowers

First edition, second printing. With a foreward by Irby B. Cauthen, Jr. and a “Note to the Second Printing.” Major sections in this important book are The Bibliographical Way, Descriptive Bibliography, Analytical Bibliography, Textual Criticism and Editing, and a checklist of Bowers’s writings to 1976.

2003, hardcover, 6×9 inches, 550 pages
ISBN 1-883631-08-4 / Order No. 74161 / Price $70.00
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Supplement to Charles Evans’ American Bibliography
with Index to Supplement to Evans’ American Bibliography

Roger P. Bristol

First editions of both titles. Bristol has added 11,200 entries to the original edition of Evans. He covers the period 1639 through 1800. Necessary complement to the original work.

1970, 1971, hardcover, 6 x 11 inches, two volumes, 846 pages
ISBN 0-8139-0287-8 / Order No. 53836-UVA / Price $70.00
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A Preliminary Handlist of Books to which Dr. Samuel Johnson Subscribed^

Donald Eddy and J. D. Fleeman

Reprinted, with corrections and additions, from Studies in Bibliography. Sixty-nine books identified to which Johnson subscribed.

1993, paperback, 6 x 9 inches, 34 pages
ISBN 1-883631-01-7 / Order No.53831-UVA /Price $10.00
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Shakespearean Prompt-Books of the 17th Century (Macbeth)^

G. Blakemore Evans, ed.

Vol V. Part i–Introduction to the Smock Alley Macbeth, and Part ii–Text of the Smock Alley Macbeth. Two volumes enclosed in a slipcase. From the Smock Alley Theatre, Dublin. Contains partial text illustrations, an introduction, 21-page facsimile, and collations.

1970, paperback in slipcase, 9 x 12 inches, illust., 65 pages
ISBN 0-8139-0301-7 / Order No: 53839-UVA / Price $50.00
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Shakespearean Prompt-Books of the 17th Century (Othello)

G. Blakemore Evans, ed.

Vol VI. Part i–Introduction to the Smock Alley Othello, and Part ii–Text of the Smock Alley Othello. Two volumes bound in one. From the Smock Alley Theatre, Dublin. Contains partial text illustrations, an introduction, 23-page facsimile, and collations.

1980, hardcover, 9 x 12 inches, illustrated, 64 pages
ISBN 0-8139-0831-0 / Order No: 53840-UVA / Price $50.00
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Beowulf and The Fight at Finnsburh: A Bibliography ^

Donald K. Fry

First edition. This remarkable bibliography includes references to all known texts, works of criticism, articles, and reviews of Beowulf and The Fight at Finnsburh through 1967. Over 2,250 entries.

1969, hardcover, 6 x 9 inches, 242 pages
ISBN 0-8139-0268-1 / Order No.53820-UVA / Price $25.00
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Victor Hammer: Calligrapher, Punch-Cutter & Printer^

Joseph Graves

A warm biographical sketch of a noted calligrapher and private pressman by a close friend.

1954, self paper wrappers, 5 x 7 inches, 12 pages
Order No. 53911-V4/Price $7.50
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Fielding’s Library: An Annotated Catalogue^

Frederick G. Ribble and Anne G. Ribble

First edition. A catalogue and analysis of Henry Fielding’s library as a means to understanding the development of his thought and art. Includes detailed annotations on the abbreviated entries in the 1755 auction catalogue, a full listing of Fielding’s references to authors, editors, and commentators, a copious general index, and an index to printers, publishers, and booksellers listed. With a facsimile of the 1755 library catalogue.

“Not only bibliographers or biographers but all serious readers of Fielding’s novels have reason to be grateful to the Ribbles for this catalogue.”
Bertrand Goldgar, Eighteenth-Century Fiction

1996, hardcover, 6 x 9 inches, 520 pages
ISBN 1-883631-04-1 / Order No. 53824-UVA / Price $30.00

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The Life and Work of Fredson Bowers ^

G. Thomas Tanselle
Foreword by David L. Vander Meulen
Checklist and Chronology by Martin C. Battestin

First edition. Widely acclaimed account of the remarkable career of Fredson Bowers, whose life (1905-1991) spanned the 20th century and who came to symbolize the fields of analytical and descriptive bibliography, textual criticism, and scholarly editing.

“G. Thomas Tanselle’s highly readable biography of Fredson Bowers traces not only a life but a discipline, textual criticism.”
Thomas L. Berger, Yearbook of English Studies

“. . . a model ‘academic’ biography.”
Michael Dirda, Washington Post Book World

2003 second printing, hardcover, 6 x 9 inches, 210 pages
ISBN 1-883631-10-6 / Order No: 53830-UVA / Price $50.00
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Literature and Artifacts^

G. Thomas Tanselle

This scholarly work contains fifteen essays exploring the interconnections between verbal works and the physical objects (primarily manuscripts and printed books) that transmit them. Divided into five groups with such chapters as “Libraries, Museums, and Reading,” “The Latest Forms of Book Burning,” “A Description of Descriptive Bibliography,” “Books, Canons, and the Nature of Dispute,” and “Printing History and Other History.”

“. . . Tanselle puts forward a powerful case, one that too often goes unexpressed and one that will affect every reader in the future.”
David McKitterick, Times Literary Supplement

“. . . should be read by anyone contemplating the use of books as historical evidence.”
Robin Alston,SHARP News

1998, hardcover, 6 x 9 inches, 372 pages
ISBN 1 883631 06 8 / Order No. 53838 UVA / Price $60.00
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Textual Criticism and Scholarly Editing ^

G. Thomas Tanselle

First edition, third printing. Eight excellent essays on the discipline and art of textual criticism and scholarly editing by the preeminent scholar G. Thomas Tanselle. Many of these essays have played a role in ongoing debates, and some of them—such as “The Editorial Problem of Final Authorial Intention” and “The Editing of Historical Documents”—have become points of reference in the field.

2003 third printing,hardcover, 6 x 9 inches, 353 pages
ISBN 1-883631-09-2 / Order No.53816-UVA / Price $60.00
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Textual Criticism since Greg: A Chronicle 1950-2000^

 G. Thomas Tanselle

The past half century has been one of the most active and provocative periods in the long history of textual criticism. In this series of six critical essays that survey theoretical writings in the field since 1950, the eminent textual scholar G. Thomas Tanselle chronicles a significant moment in intellectual history and offers a guide for thinking through the basic issues of textual criticism and scholarly editing.

Comments on the early essays in this volume:

“The pieces collected here provide readers with the only comprehensive history of modern textual editing available. . . . These essays have not only described the field, they have helped to define it by giving editors a standard of lucidity and cogency against which to measure their own work; they are indispensable for those who teach and study scholarly editing, and will enlighten anyone interested in knowing how and why editorial work is done.”

Elizabeth Hall Witherell
Editor-in-Chief, The Writings of Henry D. Thoreau

“These are the most reliable and readily available surveys of developments in this scholarly field. . . . Each essay provides the reader with a full and secure survey of the important theory and practice of textual editing during the period covered. It also makes clear the logical and practical strengths and weaknesses of what has been published and proposed. . . . Almost uniquely among textual scholars, Tanselle persuades by dealing fairly, open-mindedly, and yet rigorously with the variety of competing doctrines and practices that characterize the frequently partisan debate of the past decades. This collection provides both a shrewd evaluation and a brilliant example of serious thinking about textual scholarship.”

Don L. Cook
Indiana University

2005, hardcover, 9.5″x 6″, 373 pages
ISBN: 1-883631-11-4 / Price $60.
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The Bibliographical Society of the University of Virginia: The First Fifty Years^

David L. Vander Meulen, ed.

First edition. With a history of the Society by David Vander Meulen and a complete checklist of the Society’s publications, also by Vander Meulen; a history of Studies in Bibliography by G. Thomas Tanselle; and an author index to the first fifty volumes of Studies by David L. Gants and Elizabeth K. Lynch. Also contains William Todd’s entertaining and informative anniversary address.

“No bibliographer now active should neglect this book where the history is larger than the biography of any one individual that contributed to it.”
T. H. Howard-Hill, Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America

1998, hardcover, 6 x 9 inches, 282 pages
ISBN 1 883631 07 6 / Order No.53815 UVA / Price $60.00
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Pope’s Dunciad of 1728: A History and Facsimile^

David L. Vander Meulen

First edition. A comprehensive account of the composition and production of the first edition of Pope’s Dunciad, accompanied by a photofacsimile of a copy recording Pope’s original manuscript readings. The appendices identify hundreds of textual changes Pope introduced in the later 1728 printings and record the names with which pirate printers filled Pope’s blanks. Award-winning design by Warren Chappell.

“The value of this volume extends beyond Pope and informs larger concerns–the creative process, the relationships of author, text, reader. . . . This handsomely printed, scrupulously reasoned book is a valuable contribution of our understanding of Pope. . . .”
John Middendorf, TEXT

“The book abounds with good things. . . . This is a book which is going to remain in use for a very long time.”
Michael Treadwell, Papers of the Bibliographical Society of Canada

1991, hardcover, 6 x 9 inches, 191 pages
ISBN 0-8139-1268-7 / Order No.53823-UVA / Price $40.00
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Samuel Johnson’s Translation of Sallust: A Facsimile and Transcription of the Hyde Manuscript ^

David L. Vander Meulen and G. Thomas Tanselle, eds.

Limited to 750 copies, printed by the Stinehour Press. A facsimile and transcription of the surviving portion of Johnson’s 1783 translation of Sallust’s Conspiracy of Catiline. This is the first publication of Johnson’s manuscript.

“. . . another fine example of the work of the Stinehour Press, of the resources of the Hyde Collection, and of the diligence of scholarly inquiry.”
J.D. Fleeman, The Library

1993, paperback, 9 x 11 inches, 48 pages
ISBN 1-883631-02-5 / Order No. 53832-UVA / Price $25.00
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Peter Taylor: A Descriptive Bibliography, 1934-87^

Stuart Wright

First edition. This work describes all the works of this Pulitzer Prize winning novelist and short story writer including appearances in periodicals, interviews, and published quotes and comments.

1988, hardcover, 6 x 9 inches, 240 pages
ISBN 0-8139-1168-0 / Order No.53827-UVA / Price $40.00
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Ordering Information

Oak Knoll Press of New Castle, Deleware is the distributor of our print publications. Orders may be placed electronically at the Oak Knoll Press website ( or by mail or phone to:

Oak Knoll Books
310 Delaware Street
New Castle, DE 19720
Phone 1-800-996-2556 / Fax (302) 328-7274

BSUVa members who identify themselves at the time of ordering will receive a 10% discount on the price of Society publications.