The Grolier Club of New York

The Grolier Club of New York America's oldest & largest society for bibliophiles and enthusiasts in the graphic arts. (212) 838-6690, x7, [email protected].
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Founded in 1884, the Grolier Club of New York is America’s oldest and largest society for bibliophiles and enthusiasts in the graphic arts. Named for Jean Grolier (1489 or 90-1565), the Renaissance collector renowned for sharing his library with friends, the Club’s objective is to foster “the study, collecting, and appreciation of books and works on paper.” The Club maintains a research library on

printing and related book arts, and its programs include public exhibitions as well as a long and distinguished series of publications. As part of its mission to promote the art and history of the book, the Grolier Club regularly hosts the lectures and gatherings of other bookish organizations, and opens many of its own events to the public. No advance notice is required to view Grolier Club exhibitions; however, RSVPs and reservations for other events should be made through Maev Brennan, tel.

The enduring mystery of Edwin Drood continues to enthrall readers over 150 years after Charles Dickens’ death. The publi...
01/04/2024

The enduring mystery of Edwin Drood continues to enthrall readers over 150 years after Charles Dickens’ death. The public first encountered the story in serialized parts, as pictured here in brilliant blue wrappers on slide one; Dickens died after writing these first six parts and publishing only three, leaving the novel tantalizingly unfinished.

Two key factors led to the devoted and incessant attempts to solve the mystery: the story was by Dickens, and he left it without any hints towards its resolution. The open-endedness to the gripping mystery inspired “hundreds of thousands of words of supposition, numerous ‘continuations,’ and even a Broadway musical,” writes curator Jeff Johnson. The popularity spawned vibrant pirated editions as well, such as the red-printed serialized pamphlet on slide 2.

Consider all the possibilities of “Drood” at “Whodunit? Key Books in Detective Fiction.” Open Monday to Saturday, 10am-5pm in our Second Floor Gallery, or available via our online exhibition by clicking the link in our bio.

Open Monday to Saturday, 10am-5pm in our Second Floor Gallery, or available via our online exhibition at: https://grolierclub.omeka.net/exhibits/show/whodunit

Applications for the Helfand Fellowship remain open for just 5 more days! Awards of up to $3,000 are available for resea...
12/26/2023

Applications for the Helfand Fellowship remain open for just 5 more days! Awards of up to $3,000 are available for research in the Library's areas of strength, with emphasis on the private collecting of books and prints, antiquarian bookselling, and the book and graphic arts. Fellowship awards may be used to pay for travel, housing, and other expenses. A research stay of two weeks is desired, and Helfand Fellows are expected to present the results of their research in a public lecture at the Grolier Club, or in an article submitted to the Club's journal, The Gazette of the Grolier Club.

Learn more about requirements via our website, and apply by December 31:

The Grolier Club

12/22/2023

Please note: The Grolier Club will be closed December 25-29 and January 1, and our galleries will be open to visitors on Saturday, December 30.

As “The Best-Read Army in the World” draws to a close, we are spotlighting the trailblazing librarians who fought tooth ...
12/20/2023

As “The Best-Read Army in the World” draws to a close, we are spotlighting the trailblazing librarians who fought tooth and nail to serve their nation. During both WWI and WWII, women were instrumental in getting books—critical sources of entertainment and morale boosters—into the hands of American troops. Though they were not permitted to serve in combat, women could work in over 200 positions in the Armed Forces, and the librarians went wherever troops did. The Army Library Branch administered trainings and conferences to prepare librarians for the technical work of librarianship in the field—including organizational schemes, acquisitions, and reader interests. This 1943 “Women War Workers” series in Mademoiselle magazine (slide 1) zealously encouraged women to consider becoming librarians, advertising that, “Libraries are arsenals of information needed to win and plan the peace.”

Two key figures took that sentiment to heart and put their words into action. Mildred Young (slide 2), began her career in the Army as a post librarian in North Carolina, eventually rising to become the first woman to serve as the Chief of the Army Library Branch in 1948. Likewise, Althea Warren (slide 3), chief librarian of the Los Angeles Public Library, served as director for the 1942 Victory Book Campaign and oversaw the collection of 10 million books that year. While women were at times cast as outsiders in these male-dominated spaces, Warren was an early voice combatting sexism and ostracization.

Learn more about the critical contributions of women’s work to the war effort by visiting “The Best-Read Army in the World,” open just one more week! Free and open to the public Monday through Saturday, 10am to 5pm, or visit our online exhibition: https://grolierclub.omeka.net/exhibits/show/best-read-army

Photos courtesy of Molly Guptill Manning
[1] Mademoiselle. New York: Street & Smith Publications, Inc., September 1943.
[2] Seth Muse. “Mildred.” Undated.
[3] “Named Director of National Defense Book Program.” Acme, November 26, 1941.

If you’re giving books as gifts this year, know that you’re in good company! Our Library includes a number of presentati...
12/19/2023

If you’re giving books as gifts this year, know that you’re in good company! Our Library includes a number of presentation copies, given by authors, printers, and collectors to patrons, mentors, and friends. This copy from the 1543 edition of Stobaeus’ anthology of Greek authors, edited and indexed by Conrad Gesner, was a personal gift from Gesner to Johann Jacob Amman. Amman had been Gesner’s professor of Latin and Rhetoric at the Collegium Carolinum in Zurich. To Gesner, the Latin and Greek Stobaeus was one of his most important scholarly contributions, making it a fitting gift to his former tutor. This copy came to our collection nearly 400 years later, as a present for the Club’s 50th birthday from Grolier Member Leonard Mackall.

Applications for the Helfand Fellowship remain open! Awards of up to $3,000 are available for research in the Library's ...
12/19/2023

Applications for the Helfand Fellowship remain open! Awards of up to $3,000 are available for research in the Library's areas of strength, with emphasis on the private collecting of books and prints, antiquarian bookselling, and the book and graphic arts. Learn more, and apply by December 31:

The Grolier Club

We are pleased to share that applications for the annual William H. Helfand Fellowship remain open through December 31, ...
12/15/2023

We are pleased to share that applications for the annual William H. Helfand Fellowship remain open through December 31, 2023.

This year, which marks the 20th anniversary of the program, the Club is pleased to re-launch its annual fellowship. Due to the COVID pandemic, the Grolier Club Library paused its Helfand fellowship program from 2020 through 2023. Awards of up to $3,000 are available for research in the Library's areas of strength, with emphasis on the private collecting of books and prints, antiquarian bookselling, and the book and graphic arts. Fellowship awards may be used to pay for travel, housing, and other expenses. A research stay of two weeks is desired, and Helfand Fellows are expected to present the results of their research in a public lecture at the Grolier Club, or in an article submitted to the Club's journal, The Gazette of the Grolier Club.

Learn more about the Fellowship's history and how to apply by visiting our website:

The Grolier Club

Edgar Allan Poe is widely credited as the “Father of the Detective Story”: his 1841 short story in “The Murders in the R...
12/14/2023

Edgar Allan Poe is widely credited as the “Father of the Detective Story”: his 1841 short story in “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” is considered the foundational detective story in American literature [slide 1]. His hero, Chevalier C. Auguste Dupin, was influenced by French sources, including Eugène François Vidocq’s “Memoires.” Sir Arthur Conan Doyle credited Dupin as the literary model for his Sherlock Holmes.

Poe also corresponded and met with Charles Dickens, a literary giant in his own right who influenced the development of the detective novel in his works, including “Bleak House” [slide 2]. Curator Jeff Johnson writes, “In London, New York, and other large cities, whole neighborhoods were practically in anarchy, with little or no police presence. Dickens was well aware of the role, often inadequate, of the police forces – such as they were.” In “Bleak House,” Dickens based the detective Inspector Bucket on the real-life Inspector Field, with whom Dickens was acquainted.

Learn more about the early stirrings of detective fiction by American and British literary giants by visiting “Whodunit? Key Books in Detective Fiction.” Open Monday to Saturday, 10am-5pm in our Second Floor Gallery, or available via our online exhibition by clicking the link in our bio.

Open Monday to Saturday, 10am-5pm in our Second Floor Gallery, or available via our online exhibition at: https://grolierclub.omeka.net/exhibits/show/whodunit

The Grolier Club wisely sealed its fireplaces decades ago, so when we need a cozy glow in the Library, we open our book ...
12/12/2023

The Grolier Club wisely sealed its fireplaces decades ago, so when we need a cozy glow in the Library, we open our book of transparent prints. Transparent prints are any illustration hand colored on both sides of the paper, then treated with a varnish (made of mastic, balsam, and turpentine) to give them a luminous quality when back-lit. The author (and self-proclaimed inventor of this process) Edward Orme wrote that these novelties made a popular replacement for painted glass to decorate windows. His book gives detailed instructions for how to make transparent prints and provides uncolored engravings, making this a kind of 19th-century coloring book.

As the Armed Services Editions enriched the lives of soldiers overseas, so too did they generate high regard for the aut...
12/07/2023

As the Armed Services Editions enriched the lives of soldiers overseas, so too did they generate high regard for the authors who permitted republication of their titles as ASEs. Curator Molly Manning writes, “Though they made little to no royalties from their ASEs, authors benefited from fan mail, autograph requests, and enduring writing careers — testaments to the appreciation troops felt for these books.” Betty Smith, beloved author of “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn,” received 10,000 letters over the course of WWII. Reading the novel brought a sense of normalcy to soldiers’ lives, and some compared it to a “good letter from home.” The book was so popular that it received two ASE editions – the copy on slide 2 was dispersed specifically to the troops who invaded Normandy on D-Day.

Not one to ignore her admirers, Betty Smith often replied to her fan mail with autographed photos and warm regards. One soldier who kept in continual contact with Smith toted this memento through active combat in Germany and Belgium (slide 3). Later, he’d write, “I am going to need another ... I’ve carried this [photograph] around in snow, rain, mud, and combat, until it looks like it’s been through a war.”

Correspond with the fighting force of authors and readers alike by visiting “The Best-Read Army in the World” free and open to the public Monday through Saturday, 10am to 5pm, or visit our online exhibition: https://grolierclub.omeka.net/exhibits/show/best-read-army

Photos courtesy of Molly Guptill Manning
[1] Betty Smith. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. (Philadelphia: The Blakiston Company, 1943.)
[2] Betty Smith. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. Editions for the Armed Services, Inc., No. D-117.
[3] Betty Smith. Undated Photograph.

This summer, member Caroline Schimmel made a generous and fascinating gift to the Library: a portfolio of commercial boo...
12/06/2023

This summer, member Caroline Schimmel made a generous and fascinating gift to the Library: a portfolio of commercial book cover designs by an almost completely unknown woman designer named Antoinette Louise Hayes. Hayes lived independently as a working artist in Boston in the first decade of the 20th century, but there is much research still to be done to reconstruct her life and her career. Hayes, unlike her famous contemporaries Margaret Armstrong, Sarah Wyman Whitman, and Alice Cordelia Morse, is an example of one of the thousands of anonymous young women who pursued, struggled with, and eventually abandoned careers in commercial design in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In the Library’s latest blog post, Librarian Jamie Cumby begins to answer some of the questions we have about Hayes and examines the collection of her designs. We invite you to explore this exciting new gift in the Library’s collection, and we hope that you will join us in the search for more examples of her work. Click the link to read more!

By Jamie Cumby, Librarian This summer, Grolier member Caroline Schimmel made a generous and fascinating gift to the Library: a portfolio of commercial book cover designs by an almost completely unk…

How do we translate the time-based, corporeal art of dance into textual form? Learn how dance documentarians capture mov...
12/05/2023

How do we translate the time-based, corporeal art of dance into textual form? Learn how dance documentarians capture movement on paper with Mara Frazier this Tues, Dec 12, @ 6pm EST. In-person (https://www.eventbrite.com/e/in-person-lecture-mara-frazier-on-capturing-dance-on-paper-tickets-664728660317?aff=oddtdtcreator) or virtual (https://www.eventbrite.com/e/719361358187?aff=oddtdtcreator) attendance available!

Translating the evanescent art of dance into textual form presents a unique dilemma—how to capture a time-based, corporeal art form into writing? Throughout history, dance documentarians have devised intricate methods of notation and used varied material formats to represent movement practices, whether ballet choreography or sports and physical therapy. Printing technology, movement techniques, and aesthetics all influenced physical formats for the description and transmission of movement information. This presentation, by Mara Frazier, Curator of Dance and Movement at the Lawrence and Lee Theatre Research Institute, Thompson Library Special Collections, The Ohio State University, will delve into resources from the Institute’s rich holdings on dance. Highlights include the archives of New York City’s Dance Notation Bureau as well as papers of prominent dance notators, choreographers, and dance researchers. A selection including treatises, handwritten notes, sketches, and manuscripts will exemplify types of materials texts that have historically been used to document dance, highlighting nontraditional forms such as scrolls, booklets, and floor tiles made for readers in motion. Frazier will navigate the evolution and use of these items to offer insight on the form and function of documents of dance. Attendees can expect to gain a deeper appreciation of a variety of methods for dance description and transmission and for the challenges of dance preservation.

Mara Frazier on how movement and music have been captured in improbable two-dimensional formats of books, scrolls, ephemera, even floor tile

Thursday, Dec 7, at 6pm EST: learn about F***y Reybaud's prolific writing life with Barbara Basbanes Richter, founder of...
12/01/2023

Thursday, Dec 7, at 6pm EST: learn about F***y Reybaud's prolific writing life with Barbara Basbanes Richter, founder of DIYBook and In Ink Ghostwriting. Register for in-person (https://www.eventbrite.com/e/in-person-lecture-french-novelists-return-from-historys-dustbin-tickets-664727486807?aff=oddtdtcreator) or virtual (https://www.eventbrite.com/e/719361448457?aff=oddtdtcreator) attendance!

The French 19th-century writer F***y Reybaud has been relegated to the dustbin of literary history, even in her homeland, but not necessarily due to lack of talent. Her works included short stories, poems and 30 novels, which were translated into English, Spanish, and even Arabic during her lifetime. Her popularity rivaled that of her contemporary, George Sand. Grolier member Barbara Basbanes Richter will lecture on detective work about Reybaud. The lecture pieces together the author's successes and failures, both personal and professional; other authors who exploited the lack of clear and consistent plagiarism laws in 19th-century France by claiming her work as their own; and hypotheses as to why Reybaud's books faded from favor. This presentation will also explore Reybaud's crowning literary achievement, Mademoiselle de Malepeire, recently translated into English by Barbara Basbanes Richter for the first time in over 160 years. Set on the eve of the French Revolution, it is a story told through the voices of various men who know, love, and hate a misunderstood woman who reads forbidden books in secret and then acts upon her primal impulses. Readers, however, will recognize an author examining female identity and independence in a slim, well-executed, and highly readable volume. Barbara Basbanes Richter founded DIYBook, an affordable and easy-to-use book writing program, and In Ink Ghostwriting, helping politicians, pundits, scientists, CEOs, professional athletes, and others get their stories into print. Her work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, New York Daily News, Fine Books & Collections, and The Sewanee Review, among other outlets.

Barbara Basbanes Richter on discoveries about the publishing history and expectation defiance of French 19th-century novelist F***y Reybaud

“Whodunit? Key Books in Detective Fiction” is now open in our Second Floor Gallery! Featuring selections from the collec...
11/30/2023

“Whodunit? Key Books in Detective Fiction” is now open in our Second Floor Gallery! Featuring selections from the collection of Jeffrey Johnson, this exhibition of detective novels from the nineteenth and early twentieth century highlights more than 90 early examples of the sources, heavily fictionalized memoirs, and first appearances of now beloved fictional detectives in the works of Francois Vidocq, Edgar Allan Poe, Charles Dickens, Wilkie Collins, Anna Katherine Green, A. Conan Doyle and Agatha Christie.

There are six key tenets of detective novels, curator Jeff Johnson writes. The intrigue of detective novels are grounded by the central character, the detective, through whom the reader learns the series of clues in real time. But the earliest detective literature lacked the word “detective,” which had not yet been invented in the early nineteenth century—instead, readers thirsted for what we would refer to as sensationalized true crime. “Waters” by William Russell inside the lurid covers of “Recollections of a Detective Police Officer” (slide 2) was one such early example of a detective “memoir” that became an instant and widely imitated success.

Learn the six tenets of a detective novel by visiting “Whodunit? Key Books in Detective Fiction.” Free and open to the public Monday to Saturday, 10am-5pm in our Second Floor Gallery, or available via our online exhibition by clicking the link in our bio.

Open Monday to Saturday, 10am-5pm in our Second Floor Gallery, or available via our online exhibition at: https://grolierclub.omeka.net/exhibits/show/whodunit

Didn't get a chance to visit "The Best-Read Army in the World"? Join Curator Molly Manning for a virtual tour and live Q...
11/28/2023

Didn't get a chance to visit "The Best-Read Army in the World"? Join Curator Molly Manning for a virtual tour and live Q&A on Tuesday, Dec 5, at 6pm EST! Register now:

Virtual Tour of "Best Read Army" followed by a live Q&A with curator Molly Guptill Manning via Zoom.

Are you thinking of making a recipe from an historic cookbook, but aren’t sure where to start your research? Look no fur...
11/21/2023

Are you thinking of making a recipe from an historic cookbook, but aren’t sure where to start your research? Look no further than the Grolier Club’s collection of gastronomical bibliographies! The works on the shelves in our Library's Reading Room cover cookbooks in six languages, both manuscript and print, produced between the 14th and 20th centuries.

11/20/2023

Next Tuesday, Nov 28, at 6pm EST, join Dr. Amy Gore and Erin McGuirl in conversation about Dr. Gore's latest book: "Book Anatomy: Body Politics and the Materiality of Indigenous Book History." This event is via Zoom; register now: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/virtual-lecture-book-anatomy-the-body-politics-of-indigenous-book-history-tickets-722269817467?aff=oddtdtcreator

Dr. Amy Gore, assistant professor of English at North Dakota State University, will discuss the connections between books, bodies, and Indigenous book history at the release of her latest monograph, Book Anatomy: Body Politics and the Materiality of Indigenous Book History (University of Massachusetts Press, 2023). From a book’s “spine” to its “appendix,” bibliographers use a language of the body that reveals our intimate connection with books. Yet books do more than describe bodies—they embody a frontline of colonization in which Indigenous authors battle the public perception and reception of Indigenous peoples. Starting with John Rollin Ridge’s The Life and Adventures of Joaquín Murieta (1854) as the first novel published by a Native author and moving to other first entries of Indigenous literary production, Amy Gore calls attention to the negotiations between books and bodies embedded within Indigenous literary history. Bringing Indigenous book history more firmly into conversations with mainstream narratives about the history of the book, her research claims books themselves as a source of embodied power for early Native American authors.

Moderated by Erin McGuirl, Executive Director, Bibliographical Society of America

Though books were welcome companions to men with much on their minds and little to do, the hefty hardcovers disseminated...
11/16/2023

Though books were welcome companions to men with much on their minds and little to do, the hefty hardcovers disseminated to foot soldiers throughout 1942 and 1943 left them sunk in the mud. To alleviate the extra weight in soldiers’ packs, the format of these books required a substantial transformation. Raymond L. Trautman (slide 1), Army Chief Librarian from 1940 to 1945, tested various prototypes, landing on the half-size of a typical book with double-column text on each page. The Armed Services Editions were born! The innovation resulted in 123 million pocket-sized paperbacks sent to troops during WWII – a small selection of which can be seen on the shelf in the background of this portrait of Trautman.

By 1945, book-reading soldiers were so ubiquitous that they prompted parody. Dave Breger, the American cartoonist known for popularizing the term “G.I. Joe,” illustrated this comical scenario (slide 2) between two soldiers in a war-torn library – one remarking, “Gee, I wish I had a library card—some swell books here!” The original piece was later gifted to Trautman and is also visible on his desk in Slide 1. Curator Molly Manning comments that “without Trautman, there may not have been a book-reading Army to capture in a cartoon.”

Learn more about Trautman’s vision and enjoy the results of his innovation by visiting “The Best-Read Army in the World” free and open to the public Monday through Saturday, 10am to 5pm, or visit our online exhibition: https://grolierclub.omeka.net/exhibits/show/best-read-army

Photos courtesy of Molly Guptill Manning
[1] Photograph of Col. Raymond L. Trautman, undated.
[2] Dave Breger. “Gee, I Wish I Had a Library Card.” Original Cartoon, 1945.

Anyone preparing for a holiday season filled with food, drink, friends, and books might find some inspiration in the Gro...
11/14/2023

Anyone preparing for a holiday season filled with food, drink, friends, and books might find some inspiration in the Grolier Club archives. This dinner served in November 1901 must have been delicious, if a bit heavy. Approach the Club’s 1890s punch recipe with care and moderation.

To celebrate the closing weekend of “Presidents and Their Books,” we’re sharing powerful inscriptions to and from toweri...
11/09/2023

To celebrate the closing weekend of “Presidents and Their Books,” we’re sharing powerful inscriptions to and from towering figures of the White House. After John F. Kennedy’s assassination, Jackie Kennedy took it upon herself to gift a volume of Kennedy’s addresses to Dean Rusk, his Secretary of State, acknowledging the President’s intentions and asking that he “Please accept it now from me.” A poignant display (slides 1-2), the inscription prompts reflection of the human traces and tragedies retained in books.

The fourth slide shows the brief but apt inscription from Harry Truman to his longtime colleague and friend Eleanor Roosevelt. Among her extraordinary accomplishments as a progressive leader domestically and abroad, Roosevelt was the first chair of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, a critical position in the international political landscape post-World War II. Her near-universal respect from colleagues to constituents perhaps prompted Truman’s note to “The First Lady of the World.”

Examine the crossroads and accomplishments of White House residents by visiting “Presidents and Their Books: What They Read and What They Wrote.” Open through November 11, 10am-5pm in our Second Floor Gallery, or available via our online exhibition at: https://grolierclub.omeka.net/exhibits/show/presidents-books

Photos courtesy of Susan Jaffe Tane
[1-2] Inaugural Addresses of the Presidents of the United States of America from George Washington 1789 to John F. Kennedy 1961. Washington, D.C.: United States Government Printing Office, 1961.
[3-4] Harry S. Truman. Truman Speaks. New York: Columbia University Press, 1960.

Even bookworms have to eat! The Scarborough bookseller and collector John Cole published a cookery portfolio after findi...
11/07/2023

Even bookworms have to eat! The Scarborough bookseller and collector John Cole published a cookery portfolio after finding it in a collection he purchased from a local collector, Jonathan Oldfield. This recipe book stands out in the biblio-focused sammelband Cole assembled of his publications, but it provides a nice glimpse of local food, with a mince pies recipe “two hundred years standing” at the time of publication.

Join us Tuesday, Nov 14 at 6:30pm to hear David Stromberg and Aaron Lansky discuss their new book "Writings on Yiddish a...
11/07/2023

Join us Tuesday, Nov 14 at 6:30pm to hear David Stromberg and Aaron Lansky discuss their new book "Writings on Yiddish and Yiddishkayt: The War Years, 1939-1945." In-person (https://www.eventbrite.com/e/in-person-lecture-i-b-singers-writings-on-yiddish-yiddishkayt-tickets-626558532437?aff=oddtdtcreator) and virtual (https://www.eventbrite.com/e/626559766127?aff=oddtdtcreator) attendance available!

Scholars David Stromberg and Aaron Lansky will discuss a new book, Isaac Bashevis Singer’s Writings on Yiddish and Yiddishkayt: The War Years, 1939-1945 (White Goat Press). November 11 would have been the 120th birthday of the late Nobel Prize winner Isaac Bashevis Singer. This collection, edited and translated by David Stromberg, editor of the Singer Literary Trust, is the first in a three-volume series. It features 25 essays that Singer, then relatively unknown, originally published under pseudonyms in the Forverts, the world’s oldest Yiddish newspaper. The book's chronological arrangement reveals shifts in Singer’s perspective as history unfolded. He was driven to write in an urgent tone as a whole world, a way of life, a cultural treasure bound up with Yiddish and Yiddishkayt, were all going up in flames. For this event, some of Singer’s original Yiddish works from the Yiddish Book Center’s collection will be on display along with an important artifact of Singer’s earliest work.

David Stromberg, the Jerusalem-based editor of the Isaac Bashevis Singer Literary Trust, has written books including Narrative Faith: Dostoevsky, Camus, and Singer (University of Delaware Press) and Idiot Love and the Elements of Intimacy (Palgrave Macmillan), and he edited a collection of Singer's essays, Old Truths and New Clichés (Princeton University Press) and a children's story collection, In the Land of Happy Tears: Yiddish Tales for Modern Times (Delacorte). He has contributed fiction, journalism, personal essays, scholarly research, and translations of Singer's work to The New Yorker, Los Angeles Review of Books, American Scholar, and American Journal of Psychoanalysis, among other outlets. He will be in conversation with Aaron Lansky, founder and president of the Yiddish Book Center in Amherst, Mass., a nonprofit organization working to recover, celebrate, and regenerate Yiddish and modern Jewish literature and culture. White Goat Press, the Center's imprint, publishes newly translated work in all genres of fiction and nonfiction. The Center grew out of Lansky's discovery in the late 1970s of vast numbers of Yiddish books being discarded by younger Jews who could not read their ancestors' language. Since his first public appeal for unwanted Yiddish books in 1980, when scholars believed just 70,000 volumes were extant and recoverable, more than a million volumes have been gathered at the Center. Lansky has earned degrees from Hampshire College, McGill University, Amherst College, the State University of New York, and Hebrew Union College; received a so-called “genius grant” from the MacArthur Foundation in 1989; and wrote a bestseller in 2005, Outwitting History: The Amazing Adventures of a Man Who Rescued a Million Yiddish Books.

Yiddish Book Center on Isaac Bashevis Singer

Newspaper coverage of unit accomplishments was highly venerated amongst servicemen; news from familiar mastheads was slo...
11/06/2023

Newspaper coverage of unit accomplishments was highly venerated amongst servicemen; news from familiar mastheads was slow, if it ever arrived at all, but it was critical for morale and a sense of home. This was especially true for the 800,000 Black American troops who fought for democracy in a racially segregated Army. In this treasure chest, 1st Lt. David Womack collected clippings that documented the service of Black troops in the war effort. These stories clearly earned a place of pride and devotion: Womack hand carved this decorative storage box while stationed in Épinal, France, dedicating his intricate work to his “darling” wife Eunice.

Fighting to preserve democracy abroad when one’s own rights were in question at home was no inconsequential incongruency. These printed records of Black servicemen and women’s contributions to the war efforts ultimately proved critical to the desegregation of the military after World War II, which was finally mandated in 1984, with President Truman’s Executive Order and creation of the Committee on Equality of Treatment and Opportunity in the Armed Services.

Discover the multitude of ways American troops expressed their freedom of the press by visiting “The Best-Read Army in the World” free and open to the public Monday through Saturday, 10am to 5pm, or visit our online exhibition: https://grolierclub.omeka.net/exhibits/show/best-read-army

Photos courtesy of Molly Guptill Manning
[1] First Lieutenant David C. Womack. To My Darling Wife Eunice From Your Husband in Epinal, France. Espinal: 1945.

Join CBS producer Alvin Patrick for his lecture on historic first editions in African American literature, featuring hig...
11/02/2023

Join CBS producer Alvin Patrick for his lecture on historic first editions in African American literature, featuring highlights from his personal collection, this Wed, Nov 8, at 6pm EST. In-person (https://www.eventbrite.com/e/664725992337?aff=oddtdtcreator) & virtual (https://www.eventbrite.com/e/719361548757?aff=oddtdtcreator) attendance available!

Club member Alvin Patrick, a CBS News Executive Producer, has amassed over 2,000 books during 30 years of collecting. He will discuss highlights of his first editions of African American literature dating back to 1817, and their importance to the story of Black people in America. Among his prized titles are Frederick Douglass's My Bo***ge, My Freedom (1855), Booker T. Washington's Up From Slavery (1901), W. E. B. DuBois's Souls of Black Folk (1903), Ann Petry's The Street (1946), Gwendolyn Brooks' Annie Allen (1949), Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man (1952), James Baldwin's Go Tell It On the Mountain (1953), and Toni Morrison's Beloved (1987). A Grolier member since 2023, Alvin is a graduate and trustee of Marist College; an award-winning journalist; Executive Producer, CBS News Streaming Originals and Race & Culture; and a member of the President’s Council of The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History and The National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

CBS Producer Alvin Patrick shares on his collection of African Americans' books with frontispiece author portraits

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