Archived Programs

Past programs of The Aldus Society have included a wide variety of topics, with selected archived on VHS or DVD for future use by Aldus members.

2024 Programs

Thursday, SEPT 14th 2023: Jonathan Veley. One of the world’s leading authorities on mechanical pencils discussed the history and use of these instruments by generations of writers and artists. His adventures as a writer and publisher has spanned multiple platforms and resulted in his becoming the owner of a pencil factory (just like Henry David Thoreau!).

Jonathan Veley wearing his medal for Next Generation Indie Book Award and holding his book "A Field Guide to Sheaffer's Pencils."
Jonathan Veley was awarded the Next Generation Indie Book Award for his book “A Field Guide to Sheaffer’s Pencils.”

2023 Programs

February 9: Michael Nye, editor of Story, discussed the revival of the print literary magazine, the challenges of contemporary publishing, and why this literary institution still matters to readers and writers.

March 2: Sarah Brown owner of Questionable Press, a letterpress printer based in Lancaster, Ohio, described her 1958 Heidelberg letterpress and discussed her work making posters, paper sculptures, and cards by hand-carving images, pairing them with hand-set type, and printing them, one color at a time, on old letterpress machines. This was a lively presentation describing the admirably determined journey she has been on to master the mechanics and innovative use of equipment which has mostly been superseded and abandoned by today’s printing and publishing industries.

April 13: Chris Lafave, curator for the Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library, discussed Vonnegut’s life and work as represented by treasures from the museum. Chris Lafave (Master of Library Science, Indiana U.) has been studying and speaking about Vonnegut since 2012, when he became curator of the  museum, an organization dedicated to maintaining the ideals and memory of a man novelist Jay McInerney described as “a satirist with a heart, a moralist with a whoopee cushion.” (Actually, not a bad description of Lafave himself!)

May 11: Dan Brewster, discussed his transition from the tech industry in California to opening his Prologue Bookshop in the Short North here in Columbus. You know what’s doubled in the last five years? Independent bookstores in the Great Lakes region. Countering the prevailing — and inaccurate — narrative that nobody reads and print is dead, Dan Brewster of Prologue Bookshop shared some intriguing insights from his first five years in the bookselling business. An immigrant from Silicon Valley, Dan opened Prologue in 2018 and has turned it into a vital “Third Place” in the Short North Arts District.

See also our upcoming programs.

2022 Programs

Aug. 11: Jeff Smith, author of the landmark series Bone discussed his work,
the rise of graphic novels, and Crossroads Columbus (CXC).

Sept 8: Investigative journalist and best-selling author Michael Blanding discussed his book, In Shakespeare’s Shadow, winner of the International Book Award.

Oct. 13: Michael Hancher, a specialist in Victorian writers and artists, discussed revising his 1984 book, The Tenniel Illustrations to the “Alice” Books.

Nov. 10: Professor Sam Meier, an expert on the Ancient Near East, discussed
his book, Codes and Messages in Ancient Texts.

History of Text Series

  • The History of Text & Image – The Classical Age: Latin Epigraphy (Charles Babcock)
  • The History of Text & Image – Medieval Latin Manuscripts (Frank Coulson)
  • The History of Text & Image – Medieval Slavic Manuscripts (Predrag Matejic)
  • The History of Text & Image – The St. Gall School and Scriptorium in the Early Middle Ages (Anna Grotans)
  • The History of Text & Image – Anglo-Saxon Manuscript Tradition (Drew Jones)
  • The History of Text & Image – Foxe’s Book of Martyrs: The History of a Book and the History of the Book (John King)
  • The History of Text & Image – Medieval Hebrew Manuscripts and Their History (Daniel Frank)
  • The History of Text & Image – The Arabic Manuscript Tradition (Michael Zwettler)
  • Early Japanese Language Books (Jim Unger)
  • History of the Chinese Book: Libraries and Book-Collecting in Late Ming and Qing China (Christopher A. Reed)
  • Inside the Digital Scriptorium (H. Lewis Ulman)
  • The History of Text & Image – Anglo-Saxon Manuscript Tradition (Drew Jones)
  • The History of Text & Image – Foxe’s Book of Martyrs: The History of a Book and the History of the Book (John King)
  • The History of Text & Image – Medieval Hebrew Manuscripts and Their History (Daniel Frank)
  • The History of Text & Image – The Arabic Manuscript Tradition (Michael Zwettler)
  • Early Japanese Language Books (Jim Unger)
  • History of the Chinese Book: Libraries and Book-Collecting in Late Ming and Qing China (Christopher A. Reed)
  • Inside the Digital Scriptorium (H. Lewis Ulman)

Additional Past Programs

We also provide this select list of programs from the past 10 years to illustrate the scope of our programming. A few link to transcripts from the program:

  • Collecting Victorian Literature (Robert Jackson)
  • The Logan Elm Press (Bob Tauber)
  • Collecting Mark Twain (Robert Slotta)
  • Book Design & Printing (Graham Moss)
  • Tales of the Book Trade (Bruce McKittrick)
  • Finding the Right Conservation Solution for Important Library Collections (Wes Boomgaarden)
  • The Art of Calligraphy: A History of Script, Part I (Ann Alaia Woods)
  • Prophetic Whims: Observations on the Future of Book Collecting (Jack Matthews)
  • Between Papyrus and Paper: Vellum Manuscript Treasures of the Pierpont Morgan Library (William Voelkle)
  • The First Books Published in Columbus (Charles Cole)
  • The Art of Dard Hunter: American Craftsman, Artist, Type Designer, Papermaker & Printer (Dard Hunter III)
  • Selecting Books for Book Reviews (Bill Eichenberger)
  • Searching for Captain Cook: My Serendipitous Journey (Ron Ravneberg)
  • The Art of Calligraphy: A History of Script, Part II (Ann Alaia Woods)
  • More Than Recipes: A Literary Look at Cookbooks (Peter Franklin)
  • Collecting James Thurber (Jay Hoster)
  • An American Avant Garde: Second Wave (Marvin Sackner)
  • Building a Special Collection (Owen Kubik)
  • Calligraphy Workshop (Ann Alaia Woods)
  • Gothic Art for the Industrial Age: The Middle Ages Revisited in the Art of the Pre-Raphaelites (Stephen N. Fliegal)
  • The Publishing World and the Future of Books (Susanne Jaffe)
  • Conservation of Books and Paper (Harry Campbell)
  • The Repair and Conservation of Sacred Documents (Rabbi William Goldberg)
  • Art of the Picture Book (Sylvia and Ken Marantz)
  • Collecting Landmark Books of Western Civilization (Stuart Rose)
  • Overlooked Authors Deserving Recognition, born in Columbus, Ohio, in the Nineteenth Century (Charles Cole)
  • Collecting Books on Switzerland (Donald Tritt)
  • Comics 100: The History of American Comic Strips (Lucy Caswell)
  • First American Editions of Nineteenth Century British Authors (Bill Rich)
  • Aldus Membership “Show and Tell”
  •  Other People’s Books: Association Copies and Literary Detective Work (Paul Ruxin)
  • A Splendor of Letters: The Permanence of Books in an Impermanent World (Nicholas Basbanes) as part of the Celebration of the Book
  • Tanakh and Testament: A Reprobate Tinkers with Holy Writ (Barry Moser) as part of the Celebration of the Book
  • Opening reception speech of Guild of Book Workers’ traveling exhibit, “In Flight.” (Donald Glaister)
  • The Hawkesworth Copy: A Bibliographic Investigation of James Cook, John Hawkesworth and the Strahan Quarto Editions of 1773 (Ron Ravneberg)  (Read his Hawkesworth essay)
  • History of Kenny’s Bookshop (Desmond Kenny)
  • The Anti-Slavery Collection of Oberlin College Library: A Monument to “The Town the Started the Civil War.” (Ed Vermue)
  • “The Sting of the Wasp” exhibit presentation, (Richard Samuel West) co-sponsored event at the OSU Cartoon Research Library
  • Local booksellers panel
  • The Future of Books (Paul Watkins)
  • Collecting Illuminated Manuscripts (John Lawrence)
  • Art Nouveau Book Illustration in England and France (Paul Christenson)
  • The Life and Collections of J. K. Lilly (Joel Silver)
  • This Old Book (Harry Campbell)
  • The Revival of the Logan Elm Press (Bob Tauber)
  • Researching “The Book Nobody Read,” Copernicus’ De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium. (Owen Gingerich)
  • Circus Collectibles (Fred Pfening)
  • Benjamin Franklin (Kay Kramer)
  • Sentenced to Life: the Books of Christopher Morley (Jack Matthews)
  • The Antiquarian Book Trade (John Crichton)
  • The Literary Legacy of African-American Authors in Ohio before 1860 (Charles Cole)
  • The Good-bye Door: Researching Anna Marie Hahn (Diana Britt Franklin)
  • The Enemies (and Friends) of Books (Panel Presentation)
  • In Search of Rockwell Kent (Robert Jackson)
  • History of Paper Marbling (Ann Woods)
  • The Puritan Library (Geoff Smith)
  • Graphic Novels (Jared Gardner)
  • Rhetoric, Elocution, and Oratory (Jerry Tarver)
  • Children’s Illustrated Books (David Godine)
  • The Folger Shakespeare Library (Steven Galbraith)
  • Trade Catalogs (Ivan Gilbert, Geoff Smith)
  • Spy Time: Intelligence Holdings at Georgetown University (Nicholas B. Scheetz)
  • Collecting Early Modern Medical Books (Jack Stalling)
  • Confessions of a Puzzle Solving Addict (Owen Gingerich)
  • “Light” and other editorial cartoons (Richard Samuel West)
  • The Book is Dead… It Just Doesn’t Know It (Scott Brown)
  • Map Collections at the Newberry Library (Robert Karrow)
  • The Columbus Metropolitan Library: Not Your Father’s Library! (Patrick Losinski)
  • African American Children’s Literature: Surveying the Hopescape (Rudine Sims Bishop)
  • Collecting Captain Cook on a Budget (David Lilburne)
  • Miniature Books (Gabrielle Fox)
  • Mark Twain Matters (Bob Slotta)
  • The Future of Books in a Digital Age (Michael Suarez)
  • Collecting on the War of 1812 (Lou Schultz)
  • Wilbur H. Siebert Collection (Liz Plummer, Jason Crabill, Jillian Carney)
  • Biblio-Detection (Ken Sanders)
  • All Things Dewey (Larry Olszewski)
  • A Message to Garcia: The Pamphlet that Created an American Myth (Don Rice)
  • Visiting Writer’s Houses (Anne Trubek)
  • Somewhere I Have Never Travelled: The Discovery of e.e. cummings, Modernist Painter (Steven Katz)
  • Biblio-forensics relating to Shakespeare’s First Folio (Steven Galbraith)
  • Following Jane Austen’s Literary Footsteps (Carrie Bebris)
  • Modernism Came Home on Book Covers (Richard Minsky)
  • Confessions of an Unrepentant Bibliophile (Kevin Graffagnino)
  • Destroying Medieval Manuscripts for Pleasure and Profit (Fred Porcheddu)
  • The Gunslinger-Writer (John Locke)
  • Woodcuts and Jackalopes (Rachel Waymel)
  • Rare and Collectible Children’s Book (Justin Schiller)
  • Freedom of the Press (Wesley Baker)
  • Copyright (Sandra Enimil)
  • The Past and Future of Book Collecting (Wes Cowan)
  • Carnegie Libraries of Ohio (Mary Ellen Armentrout)
  • From Athanasius Kircher To Ashton Kutcher: 350 Years of Strange, Unusual, Eccentric, and Just Plain Weird Books. Or, Heteromorphic Literature 101. (Stephen Gertz)
  • The Making of a Medieval Manuscript Facsimile: Bibliothèque nationale de France MS fr. 22971 (John Friedman)
  • The Bibliophilic Anatomy of a Literary Society (Mike Whelan)
  • Deconstructing and Reconstructing a Medieval Bible (Eric Johnson)
  • The Rise and Fall of Early American Magazine Culture (Jared Gardner)
  • 38 Years and Counting: a Life of Bookselling, Publishing, and Bibliomania (Bob Fleck)
  • Genevieve Jones: The Nests and Eggs of the Birds of Ohio (Joy Kiser)
  • Preserving Sermones Discipuli de Tempore Et de Sanctis (Harry Campbell)
  • Ohio Archaeology Books (Jarrod Burks)
  • Print Pop Culture (Nancy Down)
  • justAjar Design + Press (Bobby and Sara Rosenstock)
  • Tarot’s Transition: Egypt to Connecticut (Tony Clark)
  • Archimedes Palimpsest Project (William Noel)
  • Digital Imaging of Rare Materials (Amy McCrory)
  • Stories from the Spencer (Beth Whittaker)
  • Kenyon Review (David Lynn)
  • Alice at 150: Artistic Visions as Visual Translation (Arnold Hirshon)
  • Seeing the Great War (Lucy Caswell)
  • Visual Interpretation of Classics (Matt Kish)
  • Freed from a Parchment Jail: a Bibliographic Story of the Birth of the Avant-Garde (Olchar Lindsann)
  • The Alchemy of Special Collections: Undergraduate Fellowships and Courses based on Unique Materials at Trinity College (Richard Ring)