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Virtual: The 2023 David N. Redden Conversation

October 26 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm EDT


The American Trust for the British Library is pleased to present the fifth annual David N. Redden Conversation, Selling Falsehoods: Forgeries in Collecting and Scholarship” moderated by Nick Wilding. Panelists include Bill Voelkle, Elmer Eusman, Ken Rendell, and Fuchsia Voremberg.

“Selling Falsehoods: Forgeries in Collecting and Scholarship” is a conversation that explores the impact of and method of dealing with forgeries across a variety of fields. From conservation, to scholarship, to curatorial methods, to collecting, to collectors: each expert featured in the 2023 Redden Lecture brings their own experiences and perspectives to the subject of forgeries.


Nick Wilding is a well-known expert at identifying Galileo forgeries, and is Professor of History at Georgia State University, where he teaches early modern history, the history of science, and the history of the book. He is the author of Galileo’s Idol: Gianfrancesco Sagredo and the Politics of Knowledge (Chicago University Press, 2014), Faussaire de Lune: Autopsie d’une Imposture, Galilée et ses contrefacteurs (Bibliothèque Nationale de France, 2015), and a dozen research articles. He has held fellowships at Stanford, Cambridge, Columbia, the American Academy in Rome, the New York Academy of Medicine, the Cullman Center at the New York Public Library and Rare Book School’s Andrew W. Mellon Society of Fellows in Critical Bibliography. He currently serves on the Council of the Bibliographical Society of America.

Elmer Eusman is Chief of the Conservation Division at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. Previously, he was special assistant to the director for preservation at the Library and also served as acting chief of the Preservation Reformatting Division in 2011. A native of the Netherlands, Eusman worked as a senior conservator in the Rotterdam Boymans Museum from 1997 to 2000 and has also worked at the Baltimore Museum, the National Gallery of Art, the British Museum, the Amsterdam Rijksmuseum, and the Corrigon & Greca private studio in Paris.

Kenneth W. Rendell is a preeminent dealer in historical letters and documents, and is internationally regarded as the outstanding expert on forgeries. He has debunked such journalistic frauds as The Hitler Diary and Jack the Ripper’s diary, with his text Forging History (University of Oklahoma Press, 1994) a standard reference for the field. He has received the Department of Justice award for special assistance in thefts form the National Archives and the Library of Congress, founded the International Musuem of World War II based on his personal collection, and has published several texts, including a memoir, Safeguarding History, in 2023.

William Voelkle is an Emeritus Curator of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts at the Morgan Library & Museum, and is also a renowned collector of fakes and forgeries. In addition to a 2019 exhibition which showcased his collection, a 1978 exhibition and accompanying monograph about the “Spanish Forger”, Voelkle has recently published Holy Hoaxes: A Beautiful Deception (University of Chicago Press, 2023), which contains not only an illustrated catalogue of his forgeries, but also a narrative history of Voelkle’s passion for collecting them. Voelkle also has a parallel collection of “real” illuminated manuscript leaves to complement his forgeries holdings.

Fuchsia Voremberg is a specialist in travel literature and manuscripts at the famed Maggs Bros. Booksellers, LTD. in London. Coming to Maggs having read American Literature and Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia, Voremberg has since issued specialist catalogues on the Polar regions, pirates, and Indigenous Americana. Voremberg travels widely representing Maggs Bros. at international book fairs, has appeared as a specialist on the BBC’s Antiques Roadshow since 2018, and has been serving on the Maggs Bros. board of directors since 2022.

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October 26
5:30 pm - 7:00 pm EDT
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The American Trust for the British Library
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