Reanimation Library – Brooklyn, New York

In a couple of our recent sessions, I mentioned the Reanimation Library, so I wanted to take a moment to share a little more about this amazing place. For example, I brought up this library when Deirdre Lawrence, Principal Librarian at the Brooklyn Museum, showed us some of the books (doubles? non-collectables?) from the museum’s collection that artists have repurposed into artist books.I learned of the Reanimation Library several years ago, when I had the pleasure of working with Andrew Beccone, its founder and an all-around awesome librarian. The library is not only a depository for all the weird textbooks my parents (trained in medical fields in the late 1970s and early 1980s) used in school and subsequently left to gather dust in our basement but is also much, much more. It serves, primarily, to inspire artists and others, who can use the library as source material for projects, like artist books.

According to its website:

“The Reanimation Library is an independent presence library. (Presence library is a mistranslation of the German word for reference library, Präsenzbibliothek. In addition to being a non-circulating collection, the library encourages IRL encounters with actual books and actual humans.) The books in the collection—simultaneously prosaic and peculiar—are relics of the rapidly receding 20th century. Chosen primarily for the images that they contain, they have been culled from thrift stores, rummage sales, flea markets, municipal dumps, library sales, give-away piles, and used bookstores across the country.”

More information about the Reanimation Library can be found here and here. The former is a text and the latter is a short video, both by Beccone, who describes the library’s origins, its goals, and what kinds of books it houses. These include but are not limited to…

Exhibiting Poultry for Pleasure and Profit (1978) by Loyl Stromberg


Fun with Science (1947) by Ira and Mae Freeman


And finally, Secrets of Show Dog Handling (1973) by Mario Migliorini


You can visit the Reanimation Library in the the Proteus Gowanus complex, which is located at 543 Union Street in Gowanus, Brooklyn.

Thursday/Friday: 3 – 6 PM
Saturday/Sunday: 12 – 6 PM
and by appointment: 718-710-0276


CFP – The Global History of the Book (1780 to the present)

Since SITAH has been keeping us very busy at lectures and discussions all around the city and beyond with artists, academics, curators, librarians, conservators, and others related to book arts, I would like to share this related CFP, in case anyone missed it in their inbox this week!

The Global History of the Book (1780 to the present): Workshop

Ertegun House, University of Oxford, 4 – 5 December 2014

The Global History of the Book (1780 to the present) is a two-day interdisciplinary workshop organised by doctoral and postdoctoral researchers in conjunction with the English Faculty’s Postcolonial Writing and Theory Seminar, the Oxford Centre for Global History and the University of Oxford’s Ertegun Graduate Programme in the Humanities, to be held on the 4th and 5th of December 2014 at Ertegun House, Oxford.

The aim of the workshop is to explore the global alongside the local, transnational and inter-imperial, textual and intertextual, dimensions of book history. Be it the book’s ability to travel, or its intervention in cultural politics, we are particularly interested in  papers that will demonstrate the crucial role that writing and print plays in the making and materialising of global history.

The workshop will have two main strands. The first strand comprises a panel discussion with Antoinette Burton and Isabel Hofmeyr, the editors of Creating an Imperial Commons: Books that Shaped the Modern British Empire, a collection of essays forthcoming from Duke University Press (2014).  They will focus on the critical implications of their project and new trends in Book History. This will be followed by readings and discussion with other contributors to the volume. The second strand will involve papers by graduate students and early career researchers, furthering the conversation of the plenary panels. Other confirmed speakers include Marilyn Lake, Catherine Hall and Elleke Boehmer.

Papers should be approximately 20 minutes long, and abstracts no more than 300 words. Abstracts, along with a short bionote (100 words) should be emailed by 15 June 2014.

Topics to be investigated include, but are not restricted to:
The book as worlded technology and the global politics of print
Travelling/transnational books and texts
The book as oceanic channel, the portable book
The relation between the book and other forms of print culture –pamphlets/newspapers/broadsheets etc.
Cultural translation and reception of texts/books – adaptations, appropriations of “canonical” texts
Documents/books and colonial bureaucracy
Interactions of oral and written cultures
Book cultures as “imperial commons”
Book types and genres— textbooks, primers, handbooks, manuals, travel guides, etc.
Publishing houses, publishing networks, the history of print
Approaches to postcolonialism and Postcolonial/Global book history
Sponsors and prize cultures, reception and the cult of the bestseller
World forms and global visions
Anglobalization via the book

Convenors: Elleke Boehmer, Dominic Davies, Rouven Kunstmann, Benjamin Mountford, Priyasha Mukhopadhyay and Asha Rogers

More information regarding possible paper topics etc, can be found at:

Rouven Kunstmann
Oxford University(Doctoral Candidate)
St Antony’s College
Visit the website at