The fifty-seventh Annual Meeting of the Bibliographical Society of the University of Virginia was convened at 4:00 p.m. in the McGregor Room of Alderman Library.
President G. Thomas Tanselle opened the meeting with a special welcome to Will Hardison, new owner of Heritage Letterpress, which has printed Studies in Bibliography for a quarter of a century.
Reporting on the year’s work, Mr. Tanselle cited the cooperative efforts of all of the other Council members. He thanked the Secretary-Treasurer, Anne Ribble, for her efforts. David Vander Meulen, Vice President and Editor of Studies, and Elizabeth Lynch, Assistant to the Editor, received praise for upholding the Society’s high standards as they provide a splendid new volume of Studies each year. Mr. Tanselle reminded the gathering that Studies was the first journal to make its entire run available free of charge on the Internet and then in ebook format. The Society is indebted to David Seaman, former director of the University’s Etext Center, and Matthew Gibson now Associate Director of the Center, for their work on the Society’s website.
During the past year, the Society reprinted three of its out-of-print titles: Essays in Bibliography, Text, and Editing by Fredson Bowers; The Life and Work of Fredson Bowers and Textual Criticism and Scholarly Editing by G. Thomas Tanselle. Plans for 2004 include the publication of a collection of essays by Mr. Tanselle previously published in Studies, and an edition by Mr. Tanselle of Gordon Ray’s 1985 Lyell lectures on Art Deco bindings.
The minutes from the 2003 Annual Meeting were approved. Mr. Vander Meulen announced the nominating committee’s proposal that G. Thomas Tanselle be elected to serve another term on the Council and he was elected unanimously. The current officers, Mr. Tanselle reported, had been re-elected at the Council meeting held earlier in the day.
Awards for the 45th BSUVA Book Collecting Contest were presented by Council member Ruthe Battestin, who noted the particularly high quality of entries in this year’s contest. Justin Gilbert was awarded the first prize of $300 for his collection “Victorian Serial Fiction: Penny Bloods, Penny Dreadfuls, and Boys’ Journals.” Second prize of $150 went to Stephen Schroth for “Children’s Series Books.” Melissa White won Honorable Mention ($75) for “A Collection of The Wide, Wide World.” Mr. Tanselle thanked the fifteen local booksellers who generously donated gift certificates to the winners. He also thanked Council Member Kathryn Morgan for coordinating a discussion for contestants on “Bibliophily from A to Z.”
Introducing the speaker, David L. Vander Meulen, Mr. Tanselle noted that he is a professor in the English Department at the University, a specialist in the eighteenth century, and one of the leading bibliographical scholars in the world. Mr. Vander Meulen’s talk “The Illustrated Illustrious Life of Warren Chappell” highlighted Chappell’s association with Charlottesville and the University and demonstrated, as Mr. Tanselle predicted it would, that even those who did not know the book designer by name would find they were very familiar with his work. A reception in the rooms of Rare Book School followed the talk.