Lecture by Dr. Anthony Marx, CEO, NYPL

ATBL members and guests enjoyed our lecture by Dr. Anthony Marx, CEO, New York Public Library, on October 15, 2012 at the Grolier Club on “The Future of the New York Public Library.” Get prints and free downloads at www.kitkaplan.com/atbl

Tony Marks

Dr. Tony Marks of the New York Public Library

David Redden, Anthony Marx and Lansing Lamont

David Redden, Anthony Marx and Lansing Lamont

Asia Mernissi and Jeannette Redden

Asia Mernissi and Jeannette Redden

Leah Delany and Selby Kiffer

Leah Delany and Selby Kiffer

Sarah Frankland and Dyke Benjamin

Sarah Frankland and Dyke Benjamin

Caroline Rubinstein and Phillip Winegar

Caroline Rubinstein and Phillip Winegar

Lea Iselin and Paula Jennings

Lea Iselin and Paula Jennings

Guest, Mary Schlosser, Stephen Dimen and  Frederick Pattison

Guest, Mary Schlosser, Stephen Dimen and
Frederick Pattison

Guests talk with Baroness Tessa Blackstone of the British Library.

William Dean and Lansing Lamont

William Dean and Lansing Lamont

Guest, David Redden and Anthony Marx

Guest, David Redden and Anthony Marx

Dr. Marks with Tessa Blackstone

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Queen Elizabeth Opens the British Library Royal Manuscripts Exhibition

Clare Breay, BL Head Curator Medieval and Earlier Manuscripts, with The Queen.  Photo: British Library

Clare Breay, BL Head Curator Medieval and Earlier Manuscripts, with The Queen. Photo: British Library

The Queen was on hand to open Royal Manuscripts: The Genius of Illumination exhibition at the British Library. On display are 154 manuscripts collected by British Royals over a period spanning 800 years. Her Majesty was particularly taken by a psalter annotated by Henry VIII, according to the UK Press Association release that is printed below.

The British Library’s unique collection of Medieval and Renaissance illuminated manuscripts were all once owned by Kings and Queens during medieval times. They are outstanding examples of the decorative and figurative painting of the era. The collection provides a vivid source for understanding royal identity, morality and religious beliefs. The Manuscripts also provide an insight into the learning, faith, artistic trends and international politics of
the times.

The Royal Manuscripts are on exhibit through the middle of March 2012. You can learn more about this exciting collection by tuning in to the BBC Four series Illuminations: The Private Lives of Medieval Kings.

Toast of the Town

In the tradition of a celebratory beverage, the Library has teamed up with the Gilbert Scott restaurant to provide guests the opportunity to drink to their health with an “Illuminated Cocktail.” Oliver Blackburn, bar manager, has created this very special drink with rum, ginger, pear, juniper, and finished with gold dust. Cheers!

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PRESS RELEASE (UKPA)

Scot McKendrick, BL Head of History and Classical Studies;  The Duke of Edinburgh, The Queen, Baroness Blackstone, The Lord Mayor of Camden.

Scot McKendrick, BL Head of History and Classical Studies; The Duke of Edinburgh, The Queen, Baroness Blackstone, The Lord Mayor of Camden.

The Queen had a glimpse into the past lives of her medieval counterparts at the launch of The Royal Manuscripts.

The exhibition, which opened last November, contains a number of manuals on how the royals should conduct themselves.

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh had a private viewing of five manuscripts on display, including monarchs’ prayer books; a charter commemorating the start of monastic rule of St Benedict in 964; and books made for King Edward IV.

It was Henry VIII’s manuscripts that appeared to grab The Queen’s attention the most. “She did linger over it,” curator Andrea Clarke said. “She called Prince Philip, who was looking at something else, to come and have a look.”Henry VIII’s psalter, a volume containing the Book of Psalms, has a painting of him as the biblical King David. Curator Scot McKendrick said this showed Henry identified himself with King David. He added that Henry’s psalter – which was bought from Ushaw College, Dublin, last year – was rare because it contained annotations written by the king.”Part of it has an annotation written by Henry before he was king and the other was written towards the end of his life,” Dr McKendrick said. “He had a typical aristocrat’s style of writing.”

Copyright © 2011 The Press Association.
All rights reserved.

ATBL First Fundraising Event

Honoring Chairman Lansing Lamont and Dame Lynne Brindley

Lansing Lamont and Dame Lynne Brindley

Lansing Lamont and Dame Lynne Brindley

ATBL’s first annual benefit luncheon, held at the Harvard Club last October, was an opportunity to honor two of our most distinguished figures: Lansing Lamont, who has served the ATBL since the 1990’s, becomming President in 2000, and chairman since 2010; and Dame Lynne Brindley, the long-time Chief Executive of the British Library who is retiring later this year.

Mr. Lamont’s leadership was a driving force behind ATBL’s increased membership, including major donors, which allowed ATBL to increase its grants to the BL substantially over the last ten years. During his tenure as President, the prestigious Breslauer Lectures were instituted. This lecture series was named after Bernard H. Breslauer, the renowned rare book dealer and collector of illuminated manuscripts.

Lansing Lamont and David Redden

Lansing Lamont and David Redden

David Redden, current ATBL President, began his introduction with a recording of Mr. Lamont playing the piano and singing. The honoree was truly surprised and the attendees gave him a hearty round of applause. Mr. Lamont’s gift for song is well known to participants in the annual Chairman’s Council trips to London, which he leads. Mr. Redden followed with a more formal introduction citing Mr. Lamont’s many interests and accomplishments.  Lansing Lamont, Harvard ’52, is an author and journalist who has been a trustee of the American Museum of Natural History; a Bryant Fellow of the Metropolitan Museum of Art; and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.  In appreciation for his leadership and counsel, Mr. Lamont was presented with a hand- calligraphied certificate.

Mr. Lamont’s remarks drew on his experience as a boy and later as a journalist to illustrate the importance of books, more particularly books by British authors such as Dickens, Kipling, Tennyson, H.G. Wells, and the Huxleys. Mr. Lamont saw these books as the inspiration that urges us on to the wonderful adventures that form our lives. He spoke of the great libraries of the world, and paid homage to the British Library:

“But there is something extra special, in my view, about the British Library. It occupies not only an important place in the cultural life of the British nation, it occupies a singularly important place in the cultural life of the world, and in particular the U.S. which sends the largest foreign cohort of British Library users.”

In closing, Mr. Lamont quoted the writer Toni Morrison: “Access to knowledge is the supreme act of truly great civilizations.” He used this quote in a tribute to his co-honoree: “Lynne Brindley, you and your team at the British Library have been inspired leaders in realizing this truth. For that, we not only thank you—but I personally am deeply honored to be sharing this platform with you.”

Paul LeClerc, Dame Lynne Brindley and David Redde

Paul LeClerc, Dame Lynne Brindley and David Redde

Following that tribute,  Paul LeClerc, former Director of the New York Public Library, longtime friend and admirer of Dame Lynne, presented her with a hand calligraphied certificate acknowledging the importance of her dedicated service to the BL. Dame Lynne has headed the British Library since 2000, overseeing its move from the Reading Room to its own campus in St. Pancras. Her vision has spear- headed the digitization of its collection; educational programs and outreach have been expanded under her leadership.  After twelve productive years, Dame Lynne is resigning to return to the private sector.  The ATBL wishes her Godspeed.

In her remarks, Dame Lynne chose to focus on the acquisition of the St Cuthbert Gospel by the BL. Describing the Gospel as a “ treasure that predates theViking raids on England; a precious example of the finest craftsmanship from the early middle ages; and a book of unparalleled significance to our shared understanding of our cultural history.” She highlighted the generous donations that are making the acquisition possible, including sizable ATBL and Breslauer Bequest grants that have allowed the BL to take advantage of this “once-in-a-generation opportunity.”

In keeping with the BL’s mission to provide public access to these national treasures, Dame Lynne outlined the steps that will be taken to conserve, display and provide online access to scholars and the general public so they will be able study this important manuscript in depth.

The ATBL Board voted to send the net proceeds of the event to the BL to help them meet their goal of £9m ($14.1m) for the acquisition of the St. Cuthbert’s Gospel.  Information regarding the ATBL grant for the acquisition and Dame Lynne Brindley’s resignation can be found in the following pages of this newsletter.

Photos by kitkaplanphotography.com. See more images from this event at http://kitkaplan.smugmug.com/Client/ATBL

2nd Breslauer Lecture Focuses on Henry James

David Supino at Grolier ClubDavid Supino at Grolier ClubDavid Supino, a major American collector of the works of Henry James, the eminent 19th-century U.S. author and philosopher, delivered the ATBL’s second annual Bernard Breslauer lecture last May in New York.Mr. Supino, a retired career lawyer and banker, has published an important new bibliography on Henry James, the prolific author of Daisy Miller, The Europeans, and a host of other novels and biographies. James became a naturalized British citizen in 1915.

Supino, who was born in Paris, and educated at Harvard and Yale, is a member of New York’s prestigious Grolier Club. He began collecting the works of obscure 18th-century poets, shifted his interest to Dickens, Thackeray and Trollope, before finally settling on Henry James.His current project, begun in the 1990s, is to catalogue all the James editions published in England, the U.S. and continental Europe from 1875 to 1921.

Supino’s lecture, “ Collecting Henry James: A Transatlantic Adventure,” was given on May 23rd before a packed house at the Grolier Club. It is being published in book form and will be available through the American Trust.

NOTE: The inaugural Breslauer lecture “Bernard H. Breslauer in Retrospect,” delivered by Dr. Roger E. Stoddard, long-time curator of Rare Books for Harvard’s Houghton Library and friend of Mr. Breslauer, is now available for sale at $25.00 plus shipping and handling. Please contact ATBL’s Executive Director, Seana Anderson, to order.

1st Inaugural Breslauer Lecture Honors ATBL Benefactor

The late Bernard H. Breslauer, who bequeathed a magnificent sum to the American Trust for the acquisition of rare books for the British Library, was memorialized last year at the opening lecture of the series names for him. Roger E. Stoddard, longtime curator of Rare Books for Harvard’s Houghton Library, delivered the inaugural lecture. Dr. Stoddard recalled his long personal and professional friendship with Mr. Breslauer, one of America’s most distinguished book collectors. Dr. Stoddards’s talk, a learned discourse on “Bernard H. Breslauer in Retrospect,” drew a large and appreciative crow to New York’s Grolier Club.

Report from the British Library’s Chief Executive

I am delighted to introduce to members of the American Trust our new Chairman of the British Library Board, Sir Colin Lucas. He succeeds Lord Eatwell who recently completed his five-year term as Chairman.

Sir Colin recently stepped down as Vice Chancellor of Oxford University and is now Warden of Rhodes House and chief executive of the Rhodes Trust, the charitable organization responsible for bringing some of the world’s finest scholars to Oxford. During his seven years as Vice-Chancellor, Sir Colin led the modernization of the University and saw it ranked fifth in the world, outranked only by four leading U.S. institutions.

Sir Colin began his academic career at the universities of Sheffield and Manchester. He served initially at Oxford as a fellow and tutor in Modern History at Balliol College. At the University of Chicago in the early 1990s he was chairman of the History Department and dean of the Social Sciences division. In 1994 he returned to Oxford as Master of Balliol. He is a specialist in the history of 18th-century France, principally the French Revolution.

I very much look forward to working with Sir Colin in this exciting and demanding time for the Library.

I also wish to thank all members of the American Trust who have helped us realize a number of major initiatives including the conservation of the Codex Sinaiticus; completion of certain components of the new Conservation Centre; and the introduction of bursaries to train and support the next generation of sound archivists in the BL’s Sound Archive.
Regards,
Dame Lynne Brindley