Wednesday, January 15, 2014

"Bibliography, Collections, and the History of Science" (Symposium)

Crime in the rare book world has been in the news recently as a result of the activities of Massimo Da Caro, including thefts from the Girolamino Library in Naples. A recent New Yorker article(December 13, 2013, http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2013/12/16/131216fa_fact_schmidle) focused on his convincing forgery of a rare Galileo book, unsettling assumptions that forging an early printed book was too complicated and expensive to undertake and almost certain to be discoverable by any of a large number of experts and amateurs alike. Not so, we have now learned.

The role of bibliographical analysis in the history of science will be addressed in some detail in an upcoming symposium sponsored by the Caxton Club of Chicago and the Bibliographical Society of America, in cooperation with the University of Wisconsin libraries in Madison. The title of the event is "Bibliography, Collections, and the History of Science" and it will be held at the Pyle Center in Madison on April 26, 2014. It is free and open to the public.

The scope of the symposium is broader than the Galileo forgery although it will include a presentation by Dr. Nick Wilding, the professor at Georgia State who proved the forgery, and comments by Richard Lan, the New York dealer who was victimized by it. Mr. Lan is a well regarded dealer of long standing, and a scholar in his own right, and will be addressing all three of the academic papers.

The principal speakers for the morning session are as follows:

Prof. Michael H. Shank, Chair
History of Science Department
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Paper topic: stop-press corrections in early modern astronomy

Prof. Florence C. Hsia
History of Science Department
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Paper topic: aspects of the work of Thomas Hyde, 17th-century librarian-in-chief at the Bodleian Library, Oxford, in unraveling Chinese scientific materials

Prof. Nick Wilding
History Department
Georgia State University
Paper topic: Forgery of Galileo's Sidereus Nuncius, 1610.

The discussants for the afternoon panel are as follows:

Dr. Ronald Smeltzer, Princeton, New Jersey
Caxton Club member and a noted collector of books in the history of science and of scientific instruments

Bruce Bradley, Kansas City, Missouri
History of Science Librarian
Linda Hall Library of Science, Technology, and Technology Information

Richard Lan, New York, New York
Martayan Lan Fine Antique Maps and Rare Books

Mark your calendars for this important event. All are welcome.

Posted from ExLibris (there posted on behalf of Michael Thompson, Boreas Fine Art )

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