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Women in 19th Century American Bookbinderies

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Presented by Conservator Todd Pattison and Dr. Elizabeth DeWolfe
Saturday, March 28, 1:00 PM–2:00 PM
American Ancestors Research Center, 99-101 Newbury Street, Boston
Cost: FREE


Have you seen the recent film Little Women and want to learn more about book production in the 1860s? This was a time of dynamic changes for bookbinding in America as binderies evolved from small shops employing a handful of workers to large factories. This talk will examine these changes and the crucial role that female labor played in the industrialization of bookbinding in the middle part of the nineteenth century.

About the speakers:


Todd Pattison is the Conservator for the New England Historic Genealogical Society. He first became fascinated with the binding of books in the Boy Scouts while completing his Bookbinding Merit Badge. He has an undergraduate degree in Art History from Nazareth College and an M.L.S. from the University of Alabama. Todd is an active member of the New England chapter of the Guild of Book Workers, a Fellow in the American Institute for Conservation (AIC), and for the past five years has taught the course “American Publishers’ Bookbindings, 1800-1900” for Rare Book School at the University of Virginia.

Elizabeth DeWolfe, Ph.D. is a Professor of History and co-founder of the Women''s Studies Program at the University of New England (Biddeford, Maine). With a specialty in American women's history, DeWolfe is the award-winning author of The Murder of Mary Bean and Other Stories on the tragic death of a textile factory worker and of Shaking the Faith, on the 19th-century anti-Shaker activist Mary Marshall Dyer. Dr. DeWolfe earned her Ph.D. in American and New England Studies at Boston University.

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