I am new to Oak Knoll, my name is Peggy and I’m frequently your first point of contact. I create invoices of book orders as they come in through our website, phone, fax, and emails; I answer the phones, route calls, process payments for the invoices, and other assorted duties as assigned. I really enjoy talking to customers on the phone, greeting visitors to our store, and generally being with like-minded book-passionate people.
I’m new to the book business but have always had a love for books and the written word. I’ve landed this dream job at Oak Knoll where I’m surrounded by antiquarian books in a beautiful old building with classical music playing in the background. When I’m not at work I enjoy a quiet home life with my husband. We enjoy gardening, walking, shopping, computers, and spending time with our families both near and far.
I hope to grow old with Oak Knoll, it is a gem of a place to visit and work. Please come visit if you have a chance, I would love to meet you and put a “face to the name” on the invoice.
The call is out for submissions to the 16th ILAB Breslauer Prize for Bibliography. Publishers, librarians, collectors, antiquarian booksellers and all book lovers have until the end of April 2013 to submit books to the prize. The prize will be awarded in 2014 to a book (or books) published between 2009 and 2012. Books in any language from anywhere in the world covering any aspect of bibliography (e.g. enumerative, textual, history of the book, design, binding, book trade, etc.) are welcome.
You can learn more about the prize, its history, and submission guidlines here, and see a list of this year’s submitted books here. (Our submissions aren’t up yet, but they will be when our books reach the prize secretary!)
A prize with prestige and tradition, a strong support for scholarship: The ILAB Breslauer Prize for Bibliography of $10,000 US is awarded every fourth year to the authors of the most outstanding works on the history of the book. Famous scholars like Jean Peeters-Fontainas, I. C. Koeman and Anthony Hobson belong to the prize winners alongside Lotte Hellinga and Jan Storm van Leeuwen who were honoured with the 15th Prize in September 2010. Both, Lotte Hellinga’s monumental Catalogue of Books printed in the XVth Century now in the British Library, BMC. Part XI – England and Jan Storm van Leeuwen’s opus magnum on Dutch Decorated Bookbinding in the Eighteenth Century are shining examples for the enormous amount of knowledge – and work – which stands behind such brilliant studies in a scientific field that is essential for every kind of academic research, and for the rare book trade.
Late last month, I conducted the first of several trips to various libraries and institutions planned for our fiscal year 2012–2013.
Destination: Washington D.C.
Starting off early in the morning, I began my drive down to the Hotel Harrington. Driving on the nightmare known as the Washington Beltway was surprisingly pleasant and I made great time. With some time to spare, I freshened up and started my walk, past the White House, towards George Washington University’s campus where I met with Brad Sabin Hill, curator of the I. Edward Kiev Judaica Collection at the Gelman Library. After showing me around the beautiful top floor of the library, we discussed future exhibitions that will be occurring at the library. Afterwards, we took a break for a late lunch at a lovely French bistro (my favorite cuisine) and parted ways shortly thereafter.
It was then time for some fun and, since I’m a huge basketball fan, I decided to take the plunge and attend a Washington Wizards game. Luckily enough for me, I got to see the Wizards win their first game of the 2012-2013 season (they should pay me to attend the games now). Afterwards, I had a late dinner at Graffiato, which is the restaurant owned by Top Chef Winner Mike Isabella. I was really interested in going to this restaurant, not for Isabella or Top Chef, but because Isabella’s cookbook Crazy Good Italian was co-written by my favorite food blogger Carol Blymire. If you like food, you would love her current blog Alinea at Home, as well as her past blog (and 2007 winner for best food blog), French Laundry at Home.
The next morning I met with curator of the Rosenwald collection at the Library of Congress, Dan De Simone. I had never been to the Library of Congress before, so I was pretty excited. He gave me a VERY detailed tour of the Rare Books Collection, as well as the numerous exhibitions that they had displayed. If you haven’t been to the LoC, I highly recommend going, as it is certainly a beautiful building, inside and out. After our relaxing lunch, he gave me a copy of his Seven Perspectives of the Woodcut and personally inscribed it as a memento of my first visit to “the big house (LoC).” After saying our final goodbyes, we parted ways and thus ended my adventure in Washington D.C.
Oak Knoll Press and Rarebooks.info are pleased to announce a new partnership which makes over 30 of Oak Knoll’s in-copyright bibliographies available electronically. These bibliographies add to Rarebooks.info’s already outstanding collection of research materials.
Rarebooks.info, founded in 2000 and based in Boulogne, France, is an essential online collection of key bibliographies, containing a wealth of material, with many invaluable benefits to the research community. The website is useful in researching a wide variety of topics, including book history, typography, author history, world history, art history, and religion.
Here’s an example of what people have been saying about Rarebooks.info.
As director of the History of Text Technologies program at Florida State I have been an ardent supporter of the Rarebooks database to which FSU subscribed at my initiative three years ago. My students and colleagues, from History to English, now use it on a regular basis, marveled by its scope and riches as well as its user-friendly nature.
Francois Dupuigrenet Desroussilles,
Professor of Christianity and director of the HoTT program at Florida State University
With the addition of Oak Knoll Press’s bibliographies, the perspective of Rarebooks.info is broadened significantly to include film noir, modern press books, as well as modern American and English authors.
Anyone can take advantage of this opportunity to use electronic versions of the Oak Knoll bibliographies, as well as the great depth and variety of other materials offered by Rarebooks.info, by visiting www.rarebooks.info and subscribing to the service.
The full list of titles Oak Knoll Press is offering through Rarebooks.info.
An Annotated International Bibliography of Lewis Carroll’s Sylvie and Bruno Books by Byron Sewell & Clare Imholtz
American Masonic Periodicals 1738-2005 by Larissa P. Watkins
Arthur Miller: A Descriptive Bibliography by George W. Crandell
Books about Books: A History and Bibliography of Oak Knoll Press, 1978-2008 by Robert D. Fleck
Books on Art in Early America by Janice G. Schimmelman
Carl Larsson: An Annotated Bibliography by Ann J. Topjon
Christina Rossetti: A Descriptive Bibliography by Maura Ives
The Dark Page: Books That Inspired American Film Noir, 1940-1949 by Kevin Johnson
The Dark Page II: Books That Inspired American Film Noir, 1950-1965 by Kevin Johnson
A History of the Eragny Press, 1894-1914 by Marcella D. Genz
Ernest Hemingway: A Descriptive Bibliography by C. Edgar Grissom
Field & Tuer, the Leadenhall Press: A Checklist by Matthew McLennan Young
Frank E. Schoonover Catalogue Raisonne by John Schoonover & Louise Schoonover Smith with LeeAnn Dean
Gore Vidal: A Bibliography, 1940-2009 by Steven Abbott
James Ingram Merrill: A Descriptive Bibliography by Jack W.C. Hagstrom & Bill Morgan
John Rodker’s Ovid Press: A Bibliographical History by Gerald W. Cloud
John Sanford: An Annotated Bibliography by Jack Mearns
John Updike: A Bibliography of Primary and Secondary Materials, 1948-2007 by Jack De Bellis & Michael Broomfield
The Kelmscott Chaucer: A Census by William S. Peterson & Sylvia Holton Peterson
The Last of the Great Swashbucklers: A Bio-Bibliography of Rafael Sabatini by Jesse F. Knight & Stephen Darley
Rudyard Kipling: A Bibliography by David Alan Richards
Supplement to T.E. Lawrence: A Bibliography by Philip M. O’Brien
The Thames 1580-1980: A General Bibliography by Ben Cohen
T.E. Lawrence: A Bibliography by Philip M. O’Brien
The Vale Press, Charles Ricketts, A Publisher in Earnest by Maureen M. Watry
We are happy to report that Eileen Chanin’s Book Life: The Life and Times of David Scott Mitchell was one of five books shortlisted for the 2012 Magarey Medal for Biography, awarded by the Australian Historical Association and the Association for the Study of Australian Literature.
Book Life has also been awarded the 2011 Alex Buxo Shortlist Prize and was shortlisted for the 2011 Waverley Library Award for Literature.
The first chapter is available to read online as a pdf, so click here and see for yourself why Book Life is garnering so much acclaim.
After six years working here in the publishing department at Oak Knoll, the time has come for me to say goodbye. My last day as the Oak Knoll publishing director will be November 21. I am about to start a new adventure: parenthood! My husband and I will be adopting a baby soon, so I am taking a few years off from full-time publishing work to take on something that is totally different, but probably equally challenging. I’m also planning to stay busy doing some freelance editing as well as working part-time as a bookkeeper for my church.
I have learned so much in my time at Oak Knoll, about books and also about work in general, since this was my first job out of college. Thank you, all of you, for making it such a pleasant and valuable experience.
Bob Fleck, president and founder of Oak Knoll, will be taking over the publishing director responsibilities himself, so please contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about the transition or about any future projects.
All the best,
I thought I had seen enough good examples of the finely printed book and knew something about the world of the private press, but nothing prepared me for the sublime beauty, integrity and artistry of the books by the printers and bookmakers exhibiting at this year’s Oak Knoll Fine Books Festival at New Castle, Delaware: this is book art at the cutting edge.
Fine press work
Not only tiny print runs of five to 25 copies letterpress-printed on handmade paper, and designed, illustrated and printed by just one printer-artist. In many cases, the paper itself was made from conception by the printer. These master book artists are papermakers, typesetters, engravers, printers and publishers all at once. I was too awestruck at first by such fine press work to pick up and examine them until I heard an exhibitor say, “They won’t bite.” “This is the best fine press book fair in the country,” one of the exhibitors said to me, “which is why I have been coming here since it started.”
The Oak Knoll festival and symposia is usually an October affair, and this year’s theme was “The Fine Book in the 21st Century”. Many distinguished names in book art were present here — designers, printers and scholars whose work I had followed and admired — the festival was giving me and other fine press pilgrims a chance to meet them at last. I have come to love the look and feel of mould-made paper (for their “superior, beautiful surface texture, clear watermarks and stunning deckle edges”), so I set off now around the exhibition looking for bookwork that had used this surface.
The Bicycle Diaries, “one New Yorker’s Journey Through September 11th”, contains seven multi-coloured wood engravings by Gaylord Schanilec and is “printed on Zerkal mould-made paper.”
Schanilec, whom the Grolier Club describes as “the foremost contemporary artist in coloured wood engraving”, spoke to me of The River, a work in progress that he had brought to the exhibition. Each morning he gets on his little boat and sails on the river he lives close to. When he returns, some of what he felt and saw that morning is sketched and noted. One time he became interested in how pelicans on the bank prepare to fly; the take-off motions are recorded in a wood engraving which was on a large proof page before me — one of the most stunningly beautiful colour illustrations on paper I have ever seen — and the paper texture further pronounced its brilliance.