Et Cetera

As if the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant's (ISIL; also referred to as IS, ISIS, and Daesh) actions weren't troubling enough, last week the US Department of State reported on the irrevocable damage the terror organization continues to wreak on cultural artifacts in Iraq and Syria. The destruction goes beyond wartime collateral damage– ISIL is celebrating their destruction of religious monuments and profiting from the systematic looting taking place. Corine Wegener, a cultural heritage preservationist at the Smithsonian Institution, called the current situation "one of the biggest problems to confront the cultural heritage community in decades." Secretary of State John Kerry joined Thomas Campbell, Director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, in hosting a conference last week at the Met to call attention to the issue. Some remarks from Secretary of State Kerry: We gather in the midst of one of the most tragic and one of the most outrageous assaults on our shared heritage that perhaps any of us have seen in a lifetime. Ancient treasures in Iraq and in Syria have now become the casualties of continuing warfare and looting. And no one group has done more to put our shared cultural heritage in the gun sights than ISIL. ISIL is not only beheading individuals; it is tearing at the fabric of whole civilizations. It has no respect for life. It has no respect for religion. And it has no respect for culture, which for millions is actually the foundation of life...ISIL is stealing ... [more]

Exciting news for all my fellow fans of the Dead and historical musicology! San José State University has announced an upcoming conference and symposium on the Grateful Dead, taking place November 5-8. So Many Roads: The World in the Grateful Dead, A Conference & Symposium "represents the culmination of five decades of academic work on the Grateful Dead phenomenon, and demonstrates how scholarly understanding of the Grateful Dead leads to broader understanding of a host of associated literary, historical, artistic, and social contexts and issues." According to, there will be 50+ speakers participating in the conference– a mix of academics, band family members and associates, journalists, artists, musicians, and authors. The Grateful Dead's influence has been far-reaching across a variety of disciplines and panels will explore the band's impact on politics, business, journalism, religious studies, gourmet cooking, and more. To boot, there will also be an exhibit and celebration of San Francisco poster art on November 7, featuring artists like Stanley Mouse, David Singer, and Chris Shaw. Registration is required for attendance and interested parties will have the choice of purchasing either a one-day or full conference pass. I would love to attend myself but likely won't be able to make the trip. Sigh. A few years ago, I was lucky enough to catch a cool exhibit on the Grateful Dead at the New York Historical Society. It presented a small cross-section of the materia... [more]

UCLA's annual Kenneth Karmiole Lecture in Archival Studies will be presented by Professor Heather MacNeil on The Archive/Archives as Text: Themes and Variations on October 27. The Monk, the Bookseller, and the Manuscript: Tracking Lydgate's Boke of the Sege of Troy Through Bernard Quaritch's Catalogues PBS NewsHour's segment with Peter Mendelsund, the author of What We See When We Read and Cover, on dust jackets. A Bibliophile's Abode: the account of publisher and author Robert B. Wyatt's purchase of a Woodstock, NY home built by Thom Roberts. The Rosenbach Museum & Library currently has an exhibition on children's books on display. An exhibit on Caldecott award-winning illustrators Berta and Elmer Hader is on display at the Fisher's Children's Center of the San Francisco Public Library until October 23rd. InsideOUT, an exhibition of contemporary bindings of private press books, kicked off its US tour at Harvard's Houghton Library. The Center for Book Arts in NYC will be holding its 40th Anniversary Colloquium on The Collecting of Artists' Books on October 11. UK pop-up book artist Paul Johnson will be giving a demonstration and public lecture at Baltimore's Goucher College on October 1. The York Antiquarian Book Seminar's inaugural class this month, with ABAA members Rob Rulon-Miller and Lorne Bair participating as guest speakers. [more]