Workshop by Bruce Whiteman

Forgery Friday

Friday, March 4, 2016 - 1:00pm to 4:00pm

2032 Main Library

In this one-day seminar we will discuss four classes of forgeries to be found in the world of "books": forged texts, forged documents and manuscripts (including inscriptions, marginalia etc.), forged books, and a more diverse final class that includes counterfeits, piracies, lithographed manuscripts, false imprints, facsimiles, sophisticated copies, and other borderline, deceptive, or potentially deceptive items. We will examine examples from the University of Iowa Libraries collection, and talk about the history of forgery; we will discuss examination, determination, and proof; and we will look at the forger him-/herself, the psychology of forgery, and the reasons forgeries are made: intellectual, financial, cultural, theological, psychopathological, etc.  We will not be talking about art forgery, currency and coin counterfeiting, or the many other domains in which forgeries exist, from musical instruments to photography to the fine arts generally, antiquities, furniture, fossils, and so on. The furry trout and Piltdown Man are funny and exemplary, but we must concentrate on the manuscript and the printed book in the time allotted.
Bruce Whiteman is the Head Librarian Emeritus of the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library at UCLA. Before his term there, he ran the Department of Rare Books and Special Collections at McGill University Libraries and began his career as the Research Collections Librarian at McMaster University. In Los Angeles, Bruce was the co-organizer of a major exhibition of rare books and manuscripts entitled The World From Here: Treasures of the Great Libraries of Los Angeles, which brought together over 400 objects at the Armand Hammer Museum and resulted in a catalogue which was co-edited by Bruce and Cindy Burlingham and published by the Getty.  Bruce has written extensively about forgery, bibliophily, publishing and literary history, analytical bibliography, and classical music. He is also a well-known poet with many collections to his credit, most recently Tablature (McGill-Queen's University Press, 2015).