Who I am, What I do
I specialize in the description of European and American books printed between 1500 and 2000 in the following subject areas:
European & American art and architectural history
American & British literature
American popular culture, particularly music and cinema
New York City history
The history of libraries, readers, and reading
Eastern philosophy and religion in translation
Please see my LinkedIn profile for more information about my professional experience and scholarly background. References are available upon request.
I work with collectors and institutions on a project basis to record the contents of their collections, writing descriptions that capture the distinguishing features of each object as they relate to the primary research value of the collection as a whole. Depending upon the client's needs, I can incorporate elements of traditional descriptive bibliography with industry descriptive standards like MARC, RDA, DCRMB, DCRMM, and DublinCore.
A library's arrangement speaks volumes about its creator and her approach to collecting. I work with collectors to design and implement an ordering scheme that will keep things organized and mean something, too. In New York City, space is a major concern. I can help both institutions and collectors find simple, cost-effective solutions to their space problems that meet industry standards for the conservation of materials.
I was trained in appraisal by bookseller Roger Gaskell during my internship with him in 2011, and I am now available to value single items or larger collections for insurance or tax purposes.
As Special Collections Librarian and Digital Humanities Curator at the New York Society Library, I lead a project to design and launch City Readers, a digital collections portal. Among Slate's top five digital history projects of 2016, the site offers users digital humanities tools to explore the Library's archive, most notably the borrowing history of its readers from 1789-1805 in a fully searchable database of manuscript circulation records. I am excited to work with academics, independent scholars, and institutions to use the open source platform built by the Society Library in Collective Access to create new digital humanities research tools. Whether you are in the earliest stages of planning, ready to write a project plan, grant writing, or beginning to implement a project, I am available for guidance and managerial work along the way.
Scholarship, Teaching, & Writing
Writing about print, readers, and collections is one of the most rewarding aspects of my work. I publish regularly on special collections materials and the rare book world in popular online publications rather than academic journals to bring the history of books and printing, library collections, and the work of book professionals to a wider and worthy audience of interdisciplinary academics, curious adults, and young people. My writing has appeared on LitHub, Atlas Obscura, Gotham: A Blog for Scholars of New York City History and the blog of the New York Society Library. I have also published regularly on the Journal of the History of Ideas Blog, which I edited from 2014 to 2017.
I have lectured and guest taught at Rare Book School at the University of Virginia, most recently as a lab instructor for the annual Introduction to the Principles of Bibliographical Description course. I have spoken at the New York Society Library, Columbia University's Book History Colloquium, Pratt Institute's School of Information, New York University, and at scholarly conferences.
A person who writes about books, describing their authorship, printing, publication, etc.
A catalog is more than a list.
Description and arrangement is about building context and exploring the history of readers, writers, collectors, and print. My scholarly interests explore the personal and community histories that emerge from the physical evidence of readers’ interactions with print collections, and the individual items that make them up.