Fall 2023 Hofer Lecture: Writing the History of Bookbinding: The Suave Mechanicals Essay Series
Houghton Library welcomes conservator Julia Miller, editor of the Suave Mechanicals history of bookbinding series, who will give this fall's Philip and Frances Hofer Lecture on the Art of the Book.
The lecture covers the inception of Suave Mechanicals, its goals and challenges, with a brief description of how the series is managed—the nuts and bolts of editing and publishing nine volumes of essays over twelve years (2013–2025). Miller describes the series' impact on research and writing on the history of bookbinding and the history of the book, as viewed through its broad variety of essay topics. She will also discuss several examples of ground-breaking work.
Julia Miller studies, writes, lectures, and instructs about historical binding structures. She is the author of Books Will Speak Plain: A Handbook for Identifying and Describing Historical Bindings (2010, Legacy Press), now in its third edition (2023). She has also authored several essays in the Suave Mechanicals series, now on its eighth volume.
The Philip and Frances Hofer Lecture Series was established in 1968 to sponsor “lectures on subjects of special interest to Harvard students and scholars within the range of the Printing and Graphic Arts field.”
Philip Hofer—Harvard College class of 1921 and founding curator of Houghton's Department of Printing and Graphic Arts—endowed the lecture fund in his and wife's names when he retired from Houghton Library.
Harvard University welcomes individuals with disabilities to participate in its programs and activities. If you would like to request accommodations or have questions about the physical access provided, please contact Houghton Library prior to your visit. Requests for Sign Language interpreters and/or CART providers should be made at least two weeks in advance, if possible. Please note that the university will make every effort to secure services, but that services are subject to availability.