Beyond the Spine: A Closer Look at W.A. Dwiggins’s Book Designs for Alfred A. Knopf.
Monday, August 15, 2016, 5-7 p.m.

Hospitality: 5:00 p.m.
Presentation: 6:00 p.m.

Presented by the California Rare Book School at the Book Club of California.

W.A. Dwiggins (1880–1956) is primarily known today for his type designs and his marionette theatre. However, from the late 1920s until his death, he was viewed principally as a book designer and considered to be one of the best in America. His work for Alfred A. Knopf was especially lauded, but the specific books of his that have been routinely singled out for praise tend to be limited edition work done for other publishers. When his Knopf books are cited, the emphasis is usually on their spines or shelf backs. Other aspects of Dwiggins’s book designs for Knopf, especially the interiors, remain overlooked. This talk seeks to rectify that oversight by looking at a wide swath of the more than three hundred books Dwiggins designed for Knopf, from their jackets to their colophons. In doing so, it will provide a new perspective on his work as a trade book designer and insights into Dwiggins’s views on book design.

Paul Shaw is a graphic designer and a design historian. He teaches calligraphy and typography at Parsons School of Design, and the history of graphic design at the School of Visual Arts. He is the author of Helvetica and the New York City Subway (2009) and the editor of The Eternal Letter (2014). Since 1980 he has been working on a critical biography of W.A. Dwiggins. Over the past decade he has given over a dozen talks on various aspects of Dwiggins’s varied career.


Victorian Bibliophilia: How the Parker Society Invented the Reformation. 

Date: Monday, November 2, 2015, 5-7 p.m.

Presented by the California Rare Book School at The Book Club of California.

5 pm: Hospitality 6 pm: Talk

Dr. Lori Anne Ferrell discusses the Parker Society: a nineteenth century subscription association organized to publish “accurate” editions of Tudor reformation texts (sixty volumes in all, still found, in crumbling splendor, on every research and clerical library shelf in America and Britain). This is no genteel and pious tale, but a gripping narrative of Victorian religious politics, mad runs on London book auctions, and cut-throat collecting, peopled by bibliophiles determined to not only corner the market in sixteenth century memorabilia but also to rewrite history.

Is It Valuable or Valueless?

A free workshop on the issues and complexities of rare book and manuscript evaluation sponsored by California Rare Book School 

Friday, October 2, 2015
UCLA GSEIS Building, Room 111
Expert Panels:
Views of Auction Houses, Libraries, Museums, and Collectors
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Reception to follow

RSVP: (Enable Javascript to see the email address) 

Saturday, October 3, 2015
Pasadena Center
Panel: Views of Booksellers
11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

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Take Things Always by Their Smooth Handle and Give Them a Good Turn: Reflections on Life and Libraries with Christian Dupont

Date: Monday, November 3, 2014, 5-7 p.m.

5pm Reception, 6pm Lecture
Location: The Book Club of California

In 2006, Rare Book School director Terry Belanger invited Christian Dupont to give a talk about his experiences and “advices” as the newly appointed director of special collections at the University of Virginia. He naturally turned to Thomas Jefferson, and drew upon his “Decalogue of Canons,” a series of ten aphoristic expressions of practical wisdom—some more common, some more obscure—like “take things always by their smooth handle.” Applying this maxim to his own career soon led Christian to join a library software development company to create the first automated system for managing special collections library services. And now it has led him back. In his talk, Christian will reflect on what he has learned about life and libraries and whether Mr. Jefferson would approve.

Following a six-year stint with Atlas Systems, the leading provider of time-saving solutions for libraries, Christian Dupont was recently appointed as Burns Librarian at Boston College. Formerly director of special collections at the University of Virginia and Syracuse University, he embarked on his service to libraries while completing his doctorate in theology at the University of Notre Dame. His research and publication interests range widely from Dante to continental philosophy and the history and management of libraries.

Another Turn of the Screw
Date: Thursday, August 14, 2014, 5:15 pm-7 p.m.
Speaker: Terry Belanger
Location: UCLA, GSEIS Building, 2nd Floor, Grand Salon
Reception to follow

An(other) Unsuitable Job for a Woman: Printing in the Long Nineteenth Century
Date: Wednesday, August 6, 2014, 5:15 pm-7 p.m.
Speaker: Kathleen Walkup
Location: UCLA, Young Research Library
Reception to follow








Building on Mr. Jefferson

A lecture by Mark Dimunation, Chief of the Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress
10 August, 2009, GSE&IS Building Room 111


Luck is the Residue of Design, or Vice-Versa, or Not

Presented by David Stam, Senior Scholar in History, Syracuse University

6 August, 2008, UCLA

Stories from the Annals of the Southern California Book Trade

Presented Kenneth Karmiole, Howard Rootenberg, and Michael Thompson, moderated by Carol Sandberg
3 August, 2008, GSE&IS Building, IS “Salon” (Second Floor)