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Reminder: Illustration of books in the ancient Graeco-Roman world: Cillian O’Hogan

The Alcuin Society is pleased to announce its first lecture of 2018.  Join us for an evening with lecturer Cillian O’Hogan of the UBC Classics Department about the illustration of books in the ancient Graeco-Roman world.  This lecture will give an overview of the surviving fragments of ancient illustration and will explain how and for whom these lavish books were produced.  Dr. O’Hogan’s talk will be given Wednesday March 7 at The Post, 110-750 Hamilton Street in Vancouver in the StartUp East Room from 7:30 to 8:30 pm.

Space is limited, so reserve with EventBrite: Register.  For further information, please contact:


Robert R. Reid Exhibition at Massey College in Toronto

In May 1957, Carl Dair wrote to a colleague in the design profession regarding his decision to join the Typographic Designers of Canada. He also proposed in that letter setting up an Octovo Club of eight members who would comprise the pacesetters in the profession. He listed Robert Reid as being one of the eight. Reid had not turned thirty yet and was by far the youngest in the group. Continue Reading…

The Great Book(s) of Nature: The Origins and Treasures of Bunny Mellon’s Oak Spring Garden Library

The Great Book(s) of Nature: The Origins and Treasures of Bunny Mellon’s Oak Spring Garden Library. Presentation by Spencer W. Stuart at Van Dusen Gardens. Saturday, March 24th at 2:00PM.

In a 1969 interview with The New York Times, Rachel “Bunny” Mellon (née Lambert, 1910 – 2014) made a statement of her approach to garden design that soon came to define her character as a whole, “nothing should be noticed”. This mantra, however, would prove to be difficult to maintain in at least one aspect of her life: her rare book and manuscript collection. Beginning in the 1920s with childhood gifts from family members, Mellon went on to build one of the most comprehensive collections related to botany and horticulture in private hands. In 1981 the Oak Springs Garden Library was founded on her 2,000-acre estate in Upperville, Virginia (an hour’s drive west of Washington, D.C.). Both the VanDusen’s Yosef Wosk Library and Resource Centre and Oak Springs are members of the Council on Botanical and Horticultural Libraries.

VanDusen Gardens Yosef Wosk Library and Resource Centre invites you to join Art and Collections Historian, Spencer W. Stuart, for a 45-minute presentation and discussion of some of the earliest treasures housed in this prominent 16,000 item collection amassed over an eighty-year period. The presentation will focus primarily on publications that offer early examples of horticulture such as the earliest book in the collection illustrating methods of grating and pruning, Bussato’s Giardino di Agricoltura from 1592, as well as Jean de la Quintinie’s Instruction pour les Jardins Fruitiers et Potagers posthumously published in 1690 and subsequently translated by the British writer and gardener John Evelyn in 1693. Of particular focus during the presentation will be the period of late 17th century publications, an area Mellon made sure to collect with great precision. This exciting period demonstrates a dynamic exchange between French and English practitioners with the support of a burgeoning popularity toward books related to the development and maintenance of gardens.

Spencer W Stuart holds a Masters in the History of Art from the Courtauld Institute, UK, receiving the Director’s Award upon its completion. He then went on to work with Bonhams Auctioneers, focusing on Rare Books and Manuscripts in both their Toronto and New York offices. Spencer currently resides in Vancouver where he operates a collection management practice.

Rudolf Koch exhibit, Port Moody Station Museum

Markus Fahrner would like to invite you to the opening of the Great War sketches of the famous typographer Rudolf Koch. For the first time outside Germany the Port Moody Station Museum exhibits the sketches Rudolf Koch drew as soldier in the trenches of WW1. Among many typefaces Koch created is Neuland, Prisma and Kabel.

Port Moody Station Museum, 2734 Murray St., January 14, 2pm, in collaboration with the Klingspor Museum, Offenbach, Germany.


Saturday, December 2, 2017 in Toronto

For 30 years, in Toronto at this time of the year there has been a book arts fair where printers, binders, calligraphers, papermakers and others associated with the book arts have shown their wares and are available to discuss their work. Continue Reading…

Alcuin Society Book Auction Sunday – Reminder

When: Sunday, 19 November 2017, noon – 4 pm
Where: Westpoint Room, University Golf Club, 5185 University Blvd., Vancouver.
Cost: Free and open to everyone

Here’s a chance to find beautiful new Canadian books published last year in time for holiday giving; many of these little beauties are hard to find elsewhere. Canadian publishers submitted them to the Alcuin book design competition and now you have a chance to buy them for as little as 50% of list price.

This year we’re having a very brief live auction of select books, starting at 1:00 p.m. – the rest of the books will be sold by silent auction. Come at 12:00 p.m. to look over the books and place your bids, and chat over coffee or tea and cookies with like-minded members and their friends.

The proceeds from this event help fund next year’s competition, as well as the wonderful free events that are going to be part of it. Registration for the auction is required, although the event is free.

For more information, a list of the books, and to register, contact Mary Luebbe at 604- 255-1802 or

This event is sponsored by The Alcuin Society

Continue Reading…

Gary Sim at Wayzgoose

(The Alcuin Society Wayzgoose will be held Sat. Nov 4 1030-430, Central Library)

Gary Sim is a long-time Alcuin Society member, donor, Amphora writer and artist, and Wayzgoose demonstrator. When asked to be the featured artist in Amphora 135 in 2004, he cut a limited edition print Lions Gate to accompany his other art work and an article on antiquarian booksellers. Since then he has created thirty limited edition prints, which include coastal and urban scenes. One of his many “works in progress” is an illustrated book on advanced linocutting and printing techniques, tips, and tricks. Continue Reading…

Book design award winners will be displayed at the Harriet Irving Library, University of New Brunswick

The Alcuin Society Awards for Excellence in Book Design in Canada 2016 award winners will be on display at the Harriet Irving Library, University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, until the end of October.

You can see the full list of winners here. Continue Reading…