Global Book History and the Library

Virtual Event
Wednesday, Aug 4, 2021 - 5:30pm to 6:30pm

Presented by UCLA California Rare Book School and part of the CalRBS 2021 Speaker Series

In this talk, UCLA Library Curator of Rare Books and the History of Printing Devin Fitzgerald will discuss how materials were 'valued' in research library collections as they evolved from the early modern period to the modern period. Through an approach framed by racial capitalism, Fitzgerald will discuss examples of value creation shared by most research libraries around themes of curiousness, colonialism, and canon-formation. By considering how value is created, this talk will illustrate how each of these values intertwined the development of rare book collections with the values emerging from Euro-American white supremacist ideologies.

Devin Fitzgerald is the Curator of Rare Books and the History of Printing at UCLA Library Special Collections. He received his PhD in History and East Asian Languages from Harvard University in 2020, with a dissertation on the global circulation of Chinese books in the 17th century. His most recent article, "Manchu Language Pedagogical Practices: The Connections Between Manuscript and Printed Books," explored the history of Manchu language education during the Qing dynasty in order to reconstruct the relationships between printed pedagogical genres and their manuscript counterparts. His current book project is a study of comparative Chinese and Anglo-American bibliography.