I was unable to attend this conference, but Trevor Holyoak did attend and has been kind enough to share some notes from the sessions he attended. He notes at the end a website where past years booklets have been posted. These booklets are well worth a look as they are loaded with great information and are very well designed. Hopefully the program directors will publish this year’s booklet soon. When it is, we’ll link to it on our sidebar. Thanks Trevor!
I went to the book collecting conference at the BYU library last Friday. Pre-registration was required, and they were only able to accept a limited number of registrants in order to have small enough class sizes that we were able to sit around a table in most of the seminars, interact with the presenter, and actually handle items. Thanks to an endowment established by Jean M. Larsen in honor of her husband, A. Dean Larsen, the cost ($35) was a bargain for what was provided.
The first seminar I attended was about collecting postcards. The presenter was from Idaho, and his collection included examples from the Idaho and surrounding states, as well as Canada. Picture postcards became popular in the but were not really considered collectible until 1950. The picture side is considered the front, and nothing but the address and postage were allowed on the back until 1907. Postcards from small towns are generally worth more than those from big cities, as there were usually fewer printed. Hints were given on identifying the subjects, such as magnifying to read signs and license plates. A postcard can go up in value tremendously once the subject pictured has been identified, depending on what it is.
My next seminar was about collecting ancillaries, which are the ephemera that go along with a particular book. The example used was Brodie’s “No Man Knows My History.” Since each printing had changes, the presenter showed examples of several of them. Other examples of related items were reviews, from the Nibley review up to the more recent ones (1996 and 2001) by Louis Midgely. There was also a copy of “Joseph Smith,” by John Henry Evans, which apparently was supposed to counter it in the marketplace. A biography of Brodie was also part of the collection, along with “Reconsidering No Man Knows My History,” by the same author as the biography.
At lunch there was a lecture on Victorian periodicals. It was actually more interesting than I had expected. The presenter showed a serialized version of one ofthat was several inches thick when all together on the shelf. Apparently it was easier to sell the book if people could buy one piece at a time. She also showed us a project her students have been working on, putting digital version of selected items on a class web site.
I then went to a lecture aboutand toured the exhibit they currently have on display in . A couple of interesting pieces on display were ‘s recounting of the and a list of all of Brigham Young’s wives and children, the latter of which had been written by Brigham Young when Kane was assisting him with his first will and shows how much he trusted Kane.
For the last seminar of the day, I learned about Mormon books that the average collector can still hope to collect, since many items have gone out of reach in price. The categories chosen by the presenter included European non-English pamphlets, Mormon biographies and autobiographies, and publications of George Q. Cannon & Sons. I was particularly interested in the biographies and Cannon publications. It was very interesting to be able to look at and handle examples from each category as they were passed around. There has been an article published about this seminar at Mormon Times:
We were given a syllabus, which was a 93 page spiral bound book with notes for each seminar, including full-color photos and illustrations. They have the books from the last five years online, so I imagine they will also be doing the same with the one for this year (see http://lib.byu.edu/sites/sc/events-exhibits-news/book-conference/about/ ).
For anyone that is interested in collecting books and other items, I highly recommend this annual conference.