Guild of Book Workers Newsletter
Number 116
February 1998


Women In Printing And Publishing In California: 1850-1940

This exhibition, curated by Patricia Keats, Director of the Library, California Historical Society, will be shown January 23 through April 18, 1998 at the Society's exhibition galleries, 678 Mission Street, San Francisco. On February 19, Ms. Keats will speak at the Historical Society, about the rich holdings of the Kemble Collection, and about the current exhibition.

This exhibition will illuminate the roles that women have played in the history of printing and publishing in California in the 19th and early 20th centuries. It will draw from the Society's Kemble Collections on Western Printing and Publishing as well as its library, fine arts and photography collections. The exhibition will also include some small hand presses and works borrowed from individuals and institutions in the Bay Area. The exhibition highlights women's varied roles as editors of newspapers and journals, as printers and owners of printing firms, as designers, book agents, and bookbinders. It will focus not only on important women in the history of California printing and publishing, but will also portray the circumstances and atmosphere in which women successfully struggled to gain employment and recognition in the book arts and commercial printing and publishing worlds. Call Patricia Keats for more information at 415-357-1848. The hours are Tues. - Sat. 11 - 5.

Painted Prayers At Pierpont Morgan Library

In a rare public exhibition that lasted through January 4th, the Pierpont Morgan Library in New York City showed 96 rare volumes from its collection of medieval books of hours.

Roger S. Wieck, the library's curator of medieval and Renaissance manuscripts, was quoted as saying, "I don't like locking things away, but we have to face the fact that fragile manuscripts are damaged by light and handling. There's a limit to the extent we can show them."

In some cases, museums and libraries have commissioned facsimiles, which they exhibit, thus sparing the originals the hurly burly of public exhibition. At Oxford and Cambridge universities they've taken another tack; putting precious manuscripts on CD-ROM, so scholars and other interested parties can study rare works without degrading them.

SSI Extends Honorary Membership To Jo White

The Society of Scribes and Illuminators, a calligraphic society founded by students of Edward Johnston in 1921, has elected Jo White to honorary membership in recognition of her work in advancing the art of calligraphy at an international level.

Ms. White was the founding president of the Colleagues of Calligraphy and initiated the Calligraphy Connection, an international gathering of scribes, in 1981. She was also the moving force behind the Servi Textus Conference, held in 1996, which was reported on in this newsletter.

Honorary membership is attained by popular vote of the Fellows of the SSI. In being so elected, Ms. White joins a pantheon which includes such well-known people as Janet Backhouse, Christopher de Hamel, and Hermann Zapf.

Oh, To Be Young (and European) Again

The European School of Book Conservation and Restoration is accepting applications for a two-year, full-time course in book conservation and restoration.

Applicants must be E.U. citizens, under the age of 25. The program will accommodate fifteen students. Successful applicants will receive 2,400 hours of practical and theoretical instruction over the course of study. Each also receives a study grant, which means that the course is free of charge.

For more information, contact: Scuola europea di conservazione e restauro del libro, Viale Martiri della Resistenza, 71-06049 Spoleto (PG) Italy. tel: (+39) (0) 743 224298; fax: (+39) (0) 743 220567; e-mail: