Who I am, What I do
A person who writes about books, describing their authorship, printing, publication, etc.
My scholarship has evolved out of the institutional and private collections I have worked with (including my own modest library) and taken a variety of forms, including publications for popular audiences.
Today my research is focuses on two distinct, yet technologically overlapping subjects: The Whole Earth Catalog and what I call its "offspring" – books put together following instructions printed in the last catalog – and the printerly labor of the secretaries and typists who produced screenplays in 20th century Hollywood movie studios.
Since 2018 I have worked as the Executive Director of the Bibliographical Society of America, the oldest scholarly society in North America dedicated to the study of books and manuscripts as physical objects. I collaborate with BSA leadership to expand and diversify membership and programs, enhance programing, create a more robust communications profile, and forge new partnerships with other scholarly organizations and societies. I also work with BSA leadership on major issues of planning, finance, fundraising and development, and the general business of the Society.
I graduated from Middlebury College with a BA in the History of Art and Architecture, and hold an MLIS from the Palmer School of Information Science with a concentration in rare book librarianship. After a decade of special collections library work, I started my own business as an independent consultant to institutional and private collections in 2016. I am no longer taking new clients, but continue to work exclusively with Robert M. Rubin's collection of screenplays and other cinematic "exformation".
I have been awarded fellowships by the Bibliographical Society (UK), Rare Book School, and the Harry Ransom Center. I have also taught at Rare Book School and guest lectured at the Pratt Institute's Information School.
Please see my LinkedIn profile for more information about my professional experience.
Publications & Presentations
"Modern Sales Catalogs" and "Office Practices" in Information: A Historical Companion, eds. Ann Blair, Paul Duguid, Anja-Silvia Goeing, and Anthony Grafton. Forthcoming from Princeton University Press (2021)
(Postponed) City Readers: Digital Historic Collections at the New York Society Library, with Barbara Bieck
Library Circulation Histories Workshop, Ball State University, 2020
"Materiality, Portability, and the Making of the Whole Earth Catalogue"
SHARP 2019: Indigeneity, Nationhood, and Migrations of the Book
"Printing the Screenplay in Hollywood & Beyond" in Printing History (New Series no. 24, Summer 2018)
"A Peek at Famous Readers' Borrowing Records at a Private Library in New York"
Atlas Obscura, February 5, 2018
[Review] The Whole Earth Field Guide (MIT Press, 2016)
SHARP News, 1 January 2018
"The Small Script Copying Service that Powered NYC Entertainment for Decades"
Atlas Obscura, October 11, 2017
"The New York Antiquarian Book Fair Enters the 21st Century At Last"
LitHub, March 11, 2017
City Readers at the New York Society Library
Workshop at Rare Book School, 27 July 2017
Digital Approaches to Library History: The City Readers Project at the New York Society Library
The Community Libraries Network Conference, 2014
Contributions to JHI Blog as Contributing or Managing Editor, 2015-2017. These are the best of them:
Contributions to the New York Society Library's Blog & Newsletter as Special Collections Librarian. These are the best of them:
“Illustration, Ornament, and Printing Processes in Joseph Boillot’s Nouveaux Pourtraitz et Figures des Termes pour user en l’Architecture (1592)”
The Columbia Book History Colloquium, March 22, 2011