Saturday April 21st 2018




Posts Tagged ‘rare books’

Scholarships available for “History of the Book in Hispanic America, 16th-19th Centuries”

The scholarship deadline for the California Rare Books School’s week-long “History of the Book in Hispanic America, 16th-19th Centuries” course, which several SALALM members have attended in the past, is June 15th, 2012.  Read more about it below!


History of the Book in Hispanic America, 16th-19th Centuries
August 6 – 10, 2012
California Rare Book School
Los Angeles, CA

Daniel J. Slive (Head of Special Collections, Bridwell Library, Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University)
David Szewczyk (Co-proprietor, Philadelphia Rare Books & Manuscripts Company)


This course will present a comprehensive introduction to the history of the book in Hispanic America from the sixteenth through the nineteenth centuries.  The focus will be on colonial period imprints, ca. 1539 through ca. 1830, produced throughout the region.  Topics will include the introduction and dissemination of the printing press; the elements of book production (paper, ink, type, illustrations, bindings); printers and publishers; authors and illustrators; audiences and market; monopolies; and censors, collectors, and libraries.  Additional selected subjects to be discussed include the art of the Spanish American book (including 19th-century lithography), modern private and institutional collectors, and reference sources.  The course will include first-hand examination of materials in class and field trips to UCLA Special Collections, the Huntington Library, and the Getty Research Institute to view additional rare Hispanic American resources.  Intended for special collections librarians, area studies bibliographers, institutional and private collectors, members of the trade, and scholars with an interest in the region, knowledge of Spanish is not necessary.

Course readings:

Calvo, Hortensia.  “The Politics of Print:  The Historiography of the Book in Early Spanish America.”  In:  Book History Vol.6 (2003), 277-305.

Johnson, Julie Greer. The Book in the Americas:  The Role of Books and Printing in the Development of Culture and Society in Colonial Latin America.  Providence: John Carter Brown Library, 1988.

Thompson, Lawrence S.  Printing in Colonial Spanish America. Hamden, Conn.:  Archon Books, The Shoe String Press, Inc., 1962.

Additional recommended readings will also be provided.


We are pleased to announce that in 2012, California Rare Book School will offer 12 courses on topics of interest to librarians, archivists, scholars, booksellers, collectors, and students. Each course meets from 9-5 pm for one week. Scholarship opportunities are available!

In 2012, the inaugural Samuel H. Kress Foundation-Dr. Franklin D. Murphy Scholarship will be available for art librarians, art historians, and students studying to enter these professions. The scholarship may be used for any course offered by California Rare Book School.  These scholarships will cover full tuition and, for attendees from outside of the Los Angeles area, up to an additional $1,000 for travel expenses. Students who wish to be considered for a Kress-Murphy Scholarship should submit the supplemental form, an essay and a letter of recommendation along with their completed application form.

For more details, course descriptions, and course/scholarship applications please visit:<>

If you have additional questions please contact us at:<>


Daniel J. Slive
Perkins School of Theology

The Rare, Unique and Exotic @ San Francisco’s Antiquarian Book Fair.

In past years, when the Antiquarian Book Fair comes to San Francisco, the rainy weather has been a welcome incentive to spend a weekend indoors discovering the rare, unique, exotic and colorful. This time, a Spring-like sunny morning welcomed the 200 exhibitors from as far away as England. With names like “Cook Book Lady,” and “Vagabond Books,” it promised “Amazing Adventures” and not to disappoint even the most exigente of collectors.

It was not meant to be a chronological adventure, but the first item that caught my attention was an illustrated manuscript from the early 1700s. The dealer allowed me to take a photo and gave me a catalogue with the full description of the $55,000 item. He was most amiable, even when I finally said I “was just looking.”

The recorrido continued until I could not resist the stare from a Mexican movie poster (Novillero-1937), which claimed to be the first color movie in Spanish. The cast included a young composer (Agustin Lara), whose famous paso doble has become one of the most emblematic melodies we now associate with the fiesta brava. Lara’s fame endures to this day with other songs as Granada, Solamente una vez, and has even made it to Almodovar’s High Heels with Piensa en mí.

The same vendor also displayed the album Central America with watercolors by Max Vollmberg, a British artist who spent several years traveling throughout the region. The portfolio includes seventeen watercolor scenes from El Salvador that were originally published as postcards. The preface notes “…the characteristic types and subjects which the artist had opportunity of encountering on his travels, and the painting of which was often enough carried out under the most difficult conditions possible.” (OCLC: 13972155, 11860892, 651295904).

Other pictorial accounts of travels to our shores (even if less of a real visitor than Vollmberg) included Theodor de Bry’s Brevis narratio eorum quae in Florida Americae…. A pristine copy can go for as much as $70,000. Although missing a few important pages, this one was still priced at $27,500.

Courtesy of Michael Maslan (
Much closer to home, for the adventurer North of the Border, travel guides described the distant as a very accessible destination. Postcards of those from here, who have visited over there, made that far away place more familiar: “July, 1910…spending my vacation in Mexico and having the loveliest kind of time….” Although, every so often, there is a not so subtle advertencia.

Surprises await at any moment, at any corner, at any booth, like some of Gabo’s translations into English. If you have a first edition of One Years Years of Solitude, with dust jacket and all, especially with “no number line at the end of the text, a price of $7.95 and an exclamation point (“!”) at end of first paragraph on the front jacket flap,” you’ll be surprised what a treasure you posses.

Adan Griego
Curator for Latin American, Mexican American & Iberian Collections
Stanford University Libraries

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