The 63rd Annual Meeting of the Bibliographical Society of the University of Virginia was convened by President G. Thomas Tanselle at 4:00 p.m. on Friday, March 19, 2010, in the auditorium of the Harrison Institute/Small Special Collections Library. Mr. Tanselle expressed delight that the meeting was once again a part of the Virginia Festival of the Book. The Society’s affairs have run smoothly this past year, he reported. He called special attention to the fact that vol. 58 of Studies in Bibliography, with important articles in the fields of textual criticism, analytical bibliography, and publishing history, will be published in a few months. Editor David Vander Meulen and his assistant, Elizabeth Lynch, deserve our thanks, he said, for maintaining the journal’s tradition of excellence. Mr. Vander Meulen and Ms. Lynch, with advice from Council member David Seaman, also oversee the Society’s electronic publications. Gordon Neavill’s bibliography of Modern Library editions, a major work of bibliographical scholarship, will be the Society’s next electronic publication.
Since the minutes from last year’s meeting had been circulated, Mr. Tanselle declared they would be considered as accepted if no corrections were reported to the Secretary-Treasurer by the end of the meeting.
Mr. Tanselle introduced the new head of the Special Collections Library, Nicole Bouché, and announced that she had agreed to serve on the Council in the seat vacated by the previous head, Christian Dupont. She has already shown her interest in the Society, he pointed out, by serving as a judge in the Book Collecting Contest. Mr. Vander Meulen made a motion that she be elected to the Council for a term ending in 2016; it was seconded, and approval was unanimous.
The President said that each member of the Council (those not previously mentioned are Ruthe Battestin, Terry Belanger, and Karin Wittenborg) has made important contributions over the last year. Ms. Wittenborg’s term on the Council ends this year. Her loyal support, shown in many ways, has been invaluable. Fortunately, Mr. Tanselle said, she has agreed to serve for another seven-year term. Her re-election was moved, seconded, and accepted unanimously.
It will come as no surprise, Mr. Tanselle observed, that the officers of the Society, President, G. Thomas Tanselle, Vice President, David Vander Meulen, and Secretary-Treasurer, Anne Ribble, were all re-elected at the Council meeting earlier in the day.
The Secretary-Treasurer reported that membership numbers remained relatively stable, with 400 regular members and 215 additional subscribers through the University of Virginia Press. The Society’s finances are in excellent shape, Ms. Ribble reported, with income this fiscal year-to-date of $41,242, and expenses of $17,041. The current balance in funds is $193,098. She pointed out that because the major expenses are related to publications, they occur at irregular intervals. Mr. Tanselle thanked Ms. Ribble for her work.
The President next thanked Ms. Battestin for chairing the committee for the Society’s 48th Book Collecting Contest and thanked her, Nicole Bouché, and Fred Ribble for serving as contest judges. Ms. Battestin named the eight contestants and presented the awards.
First place: Barbara Heritage—“Editing through Book Collecting: The Ordeal of The Ordeal of Richard Feverel”
Second place: Geoffrey Barstow—“Western Visions of Tibet”
Honorable mention: Brian Cofrancesco—“History through Architecture, Art, Archaeology, and Local Tradition”
All eight contestants received gift certificates donated by local booksellers. Ms. Battestin announced that the BSUVA Rare Book School Fellowship would go this year to the second place winner, Geoffrey Barstow, because the first place winner, Barbara Heritage, is a Rare Book School staff member and does not need the fellowship.
This meeting’s program of presentations by UVa graduate students, Mr. Tanselle noted, demonstrates the vitality and breadth of student work on bibliographical subjects at the university. The speakers were each introduced by a fellow graduate student, Barbara Heritage.
Matthew Burgess—“A Visual-Critical Approach to Early Christian Manuscripts”
Gerard Carisio—“Distinguishing Impressions of Grant’s Memoirs”
Ryan Cordell—“Digital Archives and Future Bibliographies”
Sarah Storti—“The 1890s Magazine The Spirit Lamp”
The meeting was adjourned at 5:10. A reception followed in the Rare Book School rooms in Alderman Library.