|The Bibliographical Society of
America (BSA) is the oldest scholarly society in North
America dedicated to the study of books and manuscripts
as physical objects.
It was organized in 1904 and incorporated in 1927 with
the principal objectives of promoting bibliographical
research and issuing bibliographical publications. These
objectives have been and continue to be accomplished
through a broad array of activities, including meetings,
lectures, and fellowship programs, as well as the
publishing of books and the Papers of the
Bibliographical Society of America (PBSA),
North Americas leading bibliographical journal. The
Society is open to all those interested in
bibliographical problems and projects, and its membership
includes bibliographers, librarians, professors,
students, and collectors worldwide. Libraries are welcome
as institutional members. (see the Society's
The majority of the Society's members are
from the United States and Canada, but most European
countries, Japan, Korea, Australia, and New Zealand are
also represented, together with institutions in Brazil,
India, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Zimbabwe.
The Society holds its annual meeting each January in New York City. This comprises a business meeting, an address by an invited speaker, and a reception. Recent speakers include: Nicholson Baker on "Reading the Paper: Newsprint and Modern Memory"; Peter Isaac on "The English Provincial Book Trade"; and Roger Stoddard on "William A. Jackson, Lawrence C. Wroth, and the Practice of Bibliography in America." The Society sponsors meetings jointly with allied organizations and institutions, as well as panels and speakers at other societies conferences, in the United States and abroad. In January 2001, the BSA co-sponsored the New York presentation of Paul Needham and Blaise AgŁera y Arcass lecture "How Were the Earliest European Printing Types Made?" Past conferences include "The History of Libraries in the United States," at Philadelphia in April 2002, and "Marks in Books," at Yale University in January 1997.
Fellowships & Prizes
The BSA funds short-term fellowships of one or two months to support bibliographical projects as well as research in the history of the book trades and in publishing history. In addition, it sponsors the New Scholars Program, which funds early-career scholars to deliver papers on bibliographical topics at a forum immediately preceding the BSA annual meeting. The Society also awards the William L. Mitchell Prize for Bibliography or Documentary Work on Early British Periodicals or Newspapers. Further information on fellowship programs and prizes is available on the BSA web site.
The BSA maintains an active publishing program and has underwritten a number of the twentieth centurys landmark bibliographical publications, including: Joseph Sabins Dictionary of Books Relating to America (1937), and Margaret Stillwells second and Frederick Goffs third censuses of Incunabula in American Libraries (1940, 1964), as well as the Supplement to Goff (1972). The Society also supervised the preparation and publication of the Bibliography of American Literature (19551991). Recent BSA publications include Kenneth Carpenters The Dissemination of "The Wealth of Nations" in French and in France, 17761843 (2002). A new occasional series is being inaugurated with Milton McC. Gatchs Leander Van Ess and the Earliest American Collections of Reformation Pamphlets and Melissa Conway and Lisa Fagin Daviss Directory of North American Institutions with Pre-1600 Manuscript Holdings, which updates De Riccis Census and the supplement to it, published by the BSA in 1962. BSA publications available for purchase are listed on this web site.
The Societys journal, Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America, is published quarterly and features articles on a rich variety of bibliographical topics, as well as bibliographical notes and book reviews. Guidelines for submissions and indexes of past and forthcoming volumes are available on this web site. Subscription to the journal is available only through membership in the Bibliographical Society of America.