Access to the College Green area of campus will be restricted until further notice. PennCard holders and some Penn affiliates may enter and exit Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center through the Rosengarten Undergraduate Study Center on the ground floor, and may enter and exit the Fisher Fine Arts Library through the 34th Street entrance to Meyerson Hall. See our Service Alerts for details.

The A.S.W. Rosenbach Lectures in Bibliography

The Rosenbach Lectures are the longest continuing series of bibliographical lectureships in the United States. Rosenbach Fellows typically present three lectures over a period of one-two weeks.

Man standing in front of wall of bookshelves holding open book

The Rosenbach Fellowship in Bibliography, established by the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania in 1928, honors a gift for that purpose from A.S.W. Rosenbach, one of America's greatest book dealers and collectors. Its intention is to further scholarship and scholarly publication in bibliography and book history, broadly understood. Rosenbach Fellows typically present a series of three lectures over a period of one to two weeks while in residence at the University of Pennsylvania.

The series began in 1931, with Christopher Morley as the first Rosenbach Fellow. Over the years, lecture topics have included fifteenth-century printing, the relationships between print and manuscript, papermaking, book illustration, American reading and publishing, and reading in the digital age. Among recent lecturers are Paul Needham, Ann Blair, William Zachs, Matthew G. Kirschenbaum, Mary J. Carruthers, Charles Burnett, Michael J. Suarez, and Peter D. McDonald. Many of these lectures have been published as book-length studies by the University of Pennsylvania Press.

 

2024 Lecture

Past Lectures

Cover of The "1900" Gravity Washer, Binghampton, NY, ca. 1910
  • Lecture
April 10 - 13, 2023

Reading from Home

Most Victorians who owned books employed servants. In this three-part series, Leah Price (Rutgers University) asks, how did print shape this high point of domestic service? How did negotiations among masters and servants shape the channels through which printed matter flowed?

  • Class of 78 Orrery Pavilion, Kislak Center, 6th Floor Van Pelt-Dietrich Library
Open to the Public
Collage from William Kentridge’s 2nd Hand Reading project (2014), using the 1936 revised Oxford English Dictionary, Kentridge Studio
  • Lecture
March 14 - 17, 2022

The Secret Life of Books

In this three-part series, Peter D. McDonald addresses the challenge of uncovering, and then relating, the fugitive history of reading’s inwardness.

  • Orrery Pavilion, Kislak Center, 6th Floor Van Pelt-Dietrich Library
Open to the Public
Fold-out engraved image in Charles Crawford, Observations on Negro-Slavery (Philadelphia: Eleazer Oswald, 1790)
  • Lecture
October 25, 26, and 28, 2021. Lecture begins 5:30pm @ Orrery Pavilion, Kislak Center

Printing Abolition: How the Fight to Ban the British Slave Trade Was Won, 1783–1807

In this series of highly illustrated lectures, Michael Suarez offers a fresh perspective on British abolition, richly informed by political prints and personal correspondence, newspapers and pamphlets, account books and committee minutes, parliamentary reports and private diaries.

  • Orrery Pavilion, Kislak Center, 6th Floor Van Pelt-Dietrich Library
Open to the Public
The Tower of Wisdom, woodcut on paper, made in Germany ca. 1475. Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Auct. M. 316r.
  • Lecture
March 20, 21, and 23, 2017. Lectures begin 5:30pm @ Orrery Pavilion, Kislak Center

Cognitive Geometries: Using Diagrams in the Middle Ages

Cognitive Geometries explores the close relationships in medieval creative practice among geometric shapes, meditation, and the human ability to create original works.

  • Orrery Pavilion, Kislak Center, 6th Floor Van Pelt-Dietrich Library
Open to the Public
3D-printed Arduino-powered replica of a Macintosh computer, model by DB Bauer
  • Lecture
March 14, 15, and 17, 2016. Lectures begin 5:30pm @ Orrery Pavilion, Kislak Center

Bitstreams: The Future of Digital Literary Heritage

Kirschenbaum explores how the age of digital literature has changed archiving and scholarship now and in the future.

  • Orrery Pavilion, Kislak Center, 6th Floor Van Pelt-Dietrich Library
Open to the Public
detail from [The Alchemist] Tiré du Cabinet de Mr. le Brun
  • Lecture
March 17, 18, and 20, 2014. Lectures begin 5:30pm @ Orrery Pavilion, Kislak Center

Hidden Hands: Amanuenses and Authorship in Early Modern Europe

Blair examines the often-overlooked help and support scholars received in early Modern Europe.

  • Orrery Pavilion, Kislak Center, 6th Floor Van Pelt-Dietrich Library
Open to the Public
Detail from Biblia Latina, [Mainz: Johann Gutenberg and Johann Fust, before August 1456], courtesy of the William H. Scheide Library, Princeton University Library
  • Lecture
March 18, 19, and 21, 2013. Lectures begin 5:30pm @ Orrery Pavilion, Kislak Center

The First Quarter Century of European Printing

Needham's lectures cover the early development and spread of printing technologies in Europe.

  • Orrery Pavilion, Kislak Center, 6th Floor Van Pelt-Dietrich Library
Open to the Public

Featured image: Abraham Simon Wolf Rosenbach (1876-1952); Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, LC-B2- 5222-7.