The sixty-first Annual Meeting of the Bibliographical Society of the University of Virginia was called to order by President G. Thomas Tanselle at 4:00 p.m. in the auditorium of the Harrison Institute/Small Special Collections Library. The Society is pleased, Mr. Tanselle noted, to be presenting a Graduate Forum on bibliographical studies as part of the Virginia Festival of the Book.
The work of the Society over the past year has gone smoothly. David Vander Meulen, editor of Studies in Bibliography, has been busy preparing vol. 57 for the new process of electronic production. He and his assistant, Elizabeth Lynch, deserve thanks for their indispensable work over the past year. Mr. Tanselle expressed gratitude to the members of the Council for their dedicated service and thanked Secretary-Treasurer Anne Ribble for her hard work.
Following her retirement from the Special Collections staff this past summer, Kathryn Morgan resigned from the Council of the Society to allow a current member of the library staff to serve in that position. Mr. Tanselle commended Ms. Morgan for sixteen years of faithful service. To fill out Ms. Morgan”s term ending in 2009, the Council proposed the election of current Special Collections head Christian Dupont, and his election was unanimous. Mr. Tanselle also proposed the re-election to the Council of Ruthe Battestin, a faithful supporter, director of the Book Collecting Contest, and one whose continued presence on the Council is crucial. Ms. Battestin was re-elected by unanimous vote to a term ending in 2015. Mr. Tanselle reported that the current officers of the Society, president, vice-president, and secretary-treasurer had been re-elected by the Council at its meeting earlier that afternoon.
The Society owes gratitude to Ruthe Battestin for overseeing the 47th Biennial Book Collecting Contest. Mr. Tanselle thanked the judges, Ms. Battestin, Christian Dupont, and Fred Ribble, and also thanked the generous local booksellers who provided gift certificates. Because Ms. Battestin was not able to attend the meeting, the president introduced Christian Dupont to present the awards. Noting how much he enjoyed the opportunity to read through the contest entries, Mr. Dupont announced the names of the ten contestants and the titles of their entries. The prizes were then presented to: Heather Burns, Honorable Mention, $75, for a collection of “Signed American Contemporary Poetry”; Christopher Bell, Second Place, $150, for “Books of Tibet, Books from Tibet”; Jaideep Singh, First Place, $300 and the Rare Book School Fellowship, for “The Education of a Physicist.” Mr. Dupont encouraged all to take a look at the examples of the winning collections on exhibit right outside the auditorium door.
The Graduate Student Forum, exemplifying the variety and vitality of bibliographical work undertaken here by graduate students, followed, with introductions by graduate student Keicy Tolbert. Ben Deitle, a second-year student in the graduate program of Religious Studies, discussed “Applications of Bibliographical Methods for Tibetan Books: A Study of Editions of the Hundred Thousand Songs of Milarepa.” Keith Howard, who will be awarded a Ph.D. in Spanish in May, explained how he was able to identify the Italian edition used for the first translation into Spanish of Machiavelli’s Discourses on Livy. PC Fleming, a second-year student in the Ph.D. program in English, reviewed his research on the changes in text and pictures in different editions of Peter Parley, an immensely popular children’s book in the nineteenth century. In the last presentation, Barbara Heritage, a first-year student in the Ph.D. program in English and Assistant Director of Rare Book School, reviewed how the popularity of a heavily illustrated edition of Cranford published by Macmillan in 1891 actually resulted in the novel’s being taken less seriously as a literary work.
At 5:30, the meeting was adjourned. A reception followed in the rooms of Rare Book School in Alderman Library.