Image of Arthur Bonfield

Discovering the Rich World of the Encyclopedia

Encyclopedias.

If you’re like me, then you haven’t really given them much thought. Growing up in pre-Google days, my family owned a 1988 set that was used and abused by my siblings and I, for both school reports and building forts, and they proved a go-to for school projects and reports in those early years of my education. However, I was more concerned about the information contained within these volumes that I never thought about these encyclopedias as an object in themselves. 

On February 13th, Iowa Bibliophiles will finally give you and me the chance to take a moment to appreciate the encyclopedia as an object. Professor Emeritus Arthur Bonfield will be giving his talk “Development of the Eighteenth Century English Encyclopedia or Dictionary of the Arts and Sciences,” exploring not only the history of the English encyclopedia, but also examining early Latin and French encyclopedias that preceded the 18th century English publications.

Image of Arthur Bonfield
Professor Arthur Bonfield among his collection.

Professor Emeritus Bonfield has been collecting rare books for over 60 years now. His collections includes over 1,000 original copies of books from early printing days, including volumes on exploration, geography, English literature and history, and of course encyclopedias. 

Encyclopedias might seem like an uncommon topic to collect, but as Rebecca Romney and J.P. Romeny explain in their book Printer’s Error: Irreverent Stories from Book History

“The ability to organize information and distribute it to the public is an incredibly powerful tool…to prioritize information is to control information. And to control information is to control people.” (Romeny 90)

Please join Special Collections and Iowa Bibliophiles on February 13th to hear a fascinating talk about something so many of us take for granted with Professor Bonfield. 

An image of ‘electricity’ found in an 18th C. English Encyclopedia

Event starts at 7pm in the Special Collection’s Reading Room (3rd floor of the Main Library), with refreshments served at 6:30pm. Find out more on our Facebook event or on the UI Event Calendar

Upcoming October Events

Handy Books exhibit reception.

Friday, October 6th, 12-1pm

Special Collections Reading Room

 

 

michael zahsSaving Brinton,

The documentary was extended at Film Scene in Iowa City and has additional showings through at least October 11th.

Read more.

Buy tickets.

 

The Reformation and Books – 500 Years Later

Wednesday, October 11 at 7:00pm to 8:00pm

Raymond Mentzer, Daniel J. Krumm Family Chair in Reformation Studies in the Department of Religious Studies, and Greg Prickman, Head of Special Collections will present about books and the Reformation during the 500th Anniversary Year. A selection of related books will be on display. Read more.

 

William Anthony Conservation Lecture—Mark Esser “Bookbinding Has Been Very Good to Me” 

Thursday, October 12th. Light refreshments at 6pm. Talk at 6:30PM.
E105 Adler Journalism Building

Read more.

 

 

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa–sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact Colleen Theisen in advance at colleen-theisen@uiowa.edu or 319-335-5923.

bibliophiles logo

Special Collections Open House – Exhibition Reception and Acquisitions Talk March 8th

Special Collections and the Iowa Bibliophiles will be hosting a reception and open house extravaganza the evening of Wednesday March 8, 2017 celebrating the arrival of the traveling exhibition Open*Set while providing an opportunity for in-depth investigation of our newest acquisitions.

 
Explore the Open*Set exhibition from the American Academy of Bookbinding, in the Special Collections gallery space while recent acquisitions from Special Collections are set up for browsing in our Reading Room.
 
Bookbinder, printer, and Open*Set judge David Esslemont will speak about the exhibition at 6:15pm.

bibliophiles logo 

Acquisitions and Collections Management Librarian Margaret Gamm will provide an in-depth recap of rare book acquisitions over the past three years at 7:00pm. Learn how the University acquires material through purchase and donation, and discover which areas have been most heavily developed, all the way from Medieval manuscripts to modern artists’ books.
 
Come for a bit or stay for all.
 
The festivities all take place in the Special Collections Reading Room on the 3rd floor of the Main Library from 5:30PM~7:45PM.
 
Refreshments will be served

Iowa Bibliophiles always meet the second Wednesday of each month.
More information and full 2016-2017 schedule: http://lib.uiowa.edu/sc/about/iabibliophiles