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Lilla Vekerdy on Rare Book Collections – Private or Public? Crossroads of Interests and Mission

June 29, 2023 @ 6:30 pm CDT

Sponsored by The Caxton Club


June Evening Program

This lecture will examine the parallel and divergent, as well as the oppositional and united trends in private versus institutional rare book collecting, through historical lens. Where do private collectors stand in relation to librarians in the rare book field? How is it now; how was it then? Do rare books have a “private mission” or a public one? Did this mission change with time?

Following the development of the Smithsonian Institution’s prime rare book collection, the Dibner Library of the History of Science and Technology, from its private inception and first flourishing time period through its institutional beginnings and long second heyday to the present, the lecture will discover the frequent crossroads of the private and public spheres in the history of rare book collecting, which may also be its safety net for the future.

Since 2008 Lilla Vekerdy has been Head of Special Collections at the Smithsonian Libraries and Archives. She oversees the operations of special collections in sixteen locations and the publication process of major library publications, gives tours, lectures, and presentations, mentors research fellows and interns, participates in exhibitions, and enjoys the day to day interaction with historical materials in the Dibner Library of History of Science and Technology.

Register for this program today!

Zoom begins promptly at 6:30 PM CT/7:30 PM ET.

Preregistration required via website. Zoom presentation is free and open to all.

REGISTER HERE: https://caxtonclub.org/event-5323753

Please forward this notice to anyone who may find it of interest.

Even if you can’t attend at the scheduled time, if you’re interested, please register. After the program, we’ll send an email to all registrants, asking if you’d like a link to the complete recording. That way you can see the program even if you couldn’t attend live, ran into technical issues, or simply wanted to watch it again.


June 29, 2023
6:30 pm CDT
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