The Colorado Antiquarian Book Seminar (CABS) received an anonymous donation last year which forms the basis of an endowment fund. Recently re-elected ABAA member Daniel De Simone was instrumental in securing the donation to fund the longevity of the program.
In the near-term, the seminar will use the funds immediately to re-launch a more robust and informative website. Seminar directors Lorne Bair and Rob Rulon-Miller are also considering moving out of Colorado -- where they have hosted the week-long seminar for more than 20 years -- to a location that is more easily accessible to attendees. The directors are considering institutional partners in the Midwest and on the East Coast for a move as early as 2020.
Even more notably, the seminar has renewed its focus on achieving gender parity and nurturing a more diverse industry. Lorne Bair remarks, “CABS is very conscious of the role it plays in the book trade, as a gateway for many who may be just testing the waters of bookselling. As such, we feel a special responsibility to create and sustain an atmosphere that, while challenging (because bookselling is nothing if not a challenging business!), is equally non-threatening, inclusive, and collaborative for all who enter — because we know that the seeds we’re planting now will help define what the American book trade as a whole looks like for years down the road.”
The faculty make-up is close to achieving this goal, with slightly more men than women instructors. More recently, Dr. Barbara Heritage has been nominated to serve on the Foundation’s board. CABS also plans greater outreach to librarians and collectors who bring different viewpoints and interests to class discussions. Faculty member and bookseller Lisa Baskin continues to support the advancement of women and people of color in the trade through scholarships. Bair sees these scholarships as an important instrument to recruit and reach people, and to build a more diverse book trade. Rulon-Miller notes, “we will likely designate more scholarships specifically for the under-represented. Of course, the Belle da Costa Greene scholarship and the David Ruggles scholarship are already in place. Garrett Scott is currently reaching out to traditionally Black colleges to find new students. We’d love to see our faculty become more diverse – not just 50-50 men and women, but try to bring in other viewpoints from other cultures.”
The Colorado Antiquarian Book Seminar will take place from July 14-20, 2019 on the campus on Colorado College. This year’s keynote speaker is printer David Godine and the specialty dealer is ABAA member Sheryl Jaeger of Eclectibles, who is an expert on ephemera and appraisals.