Upcoming Events


Exhibition Opening: Developing an Image: Photography, Books, and the National Park Service, from the Collection of Robert Bothamley.
Monday, August 8, 2016, 5-7 p.m.

Please join us for the opening of our Fall 2016 exhibition.

Hospitality: 5:00 p.m.
Presentation: 6:00 p.m.

More information on the exhibition can be found here.


Beyond the Spine: A Closer Look at W.A. Dwiggins’s Book Designs for Alfred A. Knopf.
Monday, August 15, 2016, 5-7 p.m.

Click on the image for a larger view: from the Dwiggins Collection at the Boston Public Library

Hospitality: 5:00 p.m.
Presentation: 6:00 p.m.

Presented by the California Rare Book School at the Book Club of California.

W.A. Dwiggins (1880–1956) is primarily known today for his type designs and his marionette theatre. However, from the late 1920s until his death, he was viewed principally as a book designer and considered to be one of the best in America. His work for Alfred A. Knopf was especially lauded, but the specific books of his that have been routinely singled out for praise tend to be limited edition work done for other publishers. When his Knopf books are cited, the emphasis is usually on their spines or shelf backs. Other aspects of Dwiggins’s book designs for Knopf, especially the interiors, remain overlooked. This talk seeks to rectify that oversight by looking at a wide swath of the more than three hundred books Dwiggins designed for Knopf, from their jackets to their colophons. In doing so, it will provide a new perspective on his work as a trade book designer and insights into Dwiggins’s views on book design.

Paul Shaw is a graphic designer and a design historian. He teaches calligraphy and typography at Parsons School of Design, and the history of graphic design at the School of Visual Arts. He is the author of Helvetica and the New York City Subway (2009) and the editor of The Eternal Letter (2014). Since 1980 he has been working on a critical biography of W.A. Dwiggins. Over the past decade he has given over a dozen talks on various aspects of Dwiggins’s varied career.


Bringing Artists’ Books into the Mainstream: The Reva and David Logan Collection of Illustrated Books.
Monday, August 22, 2016, 5-7 p.m.

Hospitality: 5:00 p.m.
Presentation: 6:00 p.m.

For special collections libraries and art museums, encouraging engagement with rare, fragile, or otherwise vulnerable works that must be handled to be fully experienced is a quintessential problem. Stephen Woodall will discuss his institution’s efforts to address this dilemma through recent initiatives that establish a template for the translation of artists’ books into electronic media. Woodall will outline the promising advantages to this approach, and discuss the significant limitations of electronically distributed art.

Stephen Woodall is collections specialist at the Reva and David Logan Collection of Illustrated Books, the Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts. Prior to that he was director of Columbia College Chicago’s Center for Book and Paper Arts. From 1996-2008 Woodall served as education director and artistic director for the San Francisco Center for the Book, where he developed an extensive program of workshops and exhibitions.


Publication Party for The Noblest Roman: A History of the Centaur Types of Bruce Rogers.
Monday, September 12, 2016, 5-7 p.m.

Hospitality: 5:00 p.m.
Presentation: 6:00 p.m.

Join us for a celebration of the Book Club of California’s 236th publication, with an illustrated talk by designer and typographer Jerry Kelly.

The Noblest Roman: A History of the Centaur Types of Bruce Rogers chronicles every iteration of Bruce Rogers’s elegant Centaur typeface. Designed by Jerry Kelly, who co-authored the book with Misha Beletsky, The Noblest Roman is the result of significant new research, and is lushly illustrated with original drawings, proofs, photographs, type specimens, sample text pages, broadsides, promotional brochures, letters, and other ephemera, including a tipped-in type specimen letterpress printed from the newly recast foundry capitals, a type that has not been cast for over a century.

For more information on the book, including how to reserve a copy, please click here.


The Mormons in California, in Print and in Person: Then and Now but Mostly Then.
Monday, September 19, 2016, 5-7 p.m.

Co-sponsored by the Northern California Chapter of the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America.

Hospitality: 5:00 p.m.
Presentation: 6:00 p.m.

Ken Sanders will give a brief overview of early Mormon activities and imprints in both California and Utah, and explore how the West was shaped cartographically–from the Republic of California to the State of Deseret, the Territory of Utah to the much smaller state of Utah–with a few fun facts, personal observations, and colorful characters thrown in along the way.

Free and open to the public but seating is limited. RSVP to programs@bccbooks.org.

Ken Sanders has been in the rare book business in Utah since the 1970s. He is a member of the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America and served on its Board of Governors for six years, during which time he was the Security Chair, and was responsible for bringing numerous book thieves to justice. Sanders also has a long history of promoting the arts and literature and has hosted hundreds of book signings and art exhibitions, including the State of Utah’s largest ever poetry reading. In 2005, Sanders was honored by the Salt Lake City Mayor’s Award for Contributions to the Arts. Sanders has often been featured in television and film interviews and shows, including C-Span’s Book Talk, and A&E’s City Confidential, and has been an appraiser for PBS’s Antiques Roadshow since 2007.


A Personal View of Paper History: An Illustrated Talk by Simon Barcham Green.
Monday, October 3, 2016, 5-7 p.m.

Co-sponsored by the Grabhorn Institute

Hospitality: 5:00 p.m.
Presentation: 6:00 p.m.

Simon Barcham Green, former owner of England’s last full-scale commercial handmade paper mill, presents a guided, selective, and very abridged tour through the last 2,000 years of papermaking. Illustrated with a wide variety of images, including many from the Hayle Mill collection dating back to the nineteenth century and also other English Mills, the presentation will also include recollections of major Californian book projects of the late twentieth century using Hayle Mill papers, including projects for the Arion Press, the Press in Tuscany Alley, and the Allen Press.

Simon Barcham Green belongs to the sixth generation of the family that ran Hayle Mill, Maidstone from 1812 to 1987. After obtaining a BSc in Paper Science from the University of Manchester, he worked in half a dozen machine mills before joining the family business, where he introduced the first alkaline sized mold-made watercolor and handmade papers in the world. Green developed many new papers for conservation purposes and worked closely with some of the leading private presses to produce bespoke papers, including special watermarks. He has visited hundreds of paper mills in recent years and provided consultancy services to many in India, Bhutan, and the Philippines. Now Business Manager of the Institute of Conservation and a member of the British Association of Paper Historians, Green is in continuous correspondence with people around the world on papermaking matters.

Little Pop-up Books: Deconstructing Miniature Movable Structures.
Monday, November 7, 2016, 5-7 p.m.

Click on the image, left, for a larger view:  “A Book for Ian” © Left Coast Press, by Dorothy A. Yule, June 2006, edition of 10, showing portrait ovals and rose-petal necklace.

Hospitality: 5:00 p.m.
Presentation: 6:00 p.m.

For those among us who are not paper engineers, pop-up books can seem magical and mysterious. For more than twenty years, Dorothy Yule has been exploring the world of pop-up and movable structures and learning how to use them in miniature books. Examining her own books as examples and using enlarged models of the structures, she will show how the mechanisms that create the illusions function.

Dorothy A. Yule started making books in primary school and eventually earned a Masters in Book Arts from Mills College. Her books tend to be small in size, written in verse, and often incorporate pop-ups. Her work has been exhibited and collected internationally, and awarded several prizes, including the Meggendorfer Prize for Artists Books from the Movable Book Society in 2014 and a Hedi Kyle Award from 23 Sandy Gallery in 2015.

What Yesterday’s Buildings Say About Today’s San Francisco.
Monday, November 14, 2016, 5-7 p.m.

Click on the image, left, for a larger view:  The building at 178 Townsend Street  in Clarence Alley in San Francisco, Calif., on Thursday, September 15, 2012. Photo credit: Liz Hafalia/The Chronicle.

Hospitality: 5:00 p.m.
Presentation: 6:00 p.m.

San Francisco’s beloved older buildings aren’t simply treasures to be preserved, they’re lenses through which we can view how this city and its cultures continue to evolve. Join the Book Club of California and John King for an eye-opening look at what the landmarks around us reveal about where we might be going next, and how our treatment of the past can alter San Francisco’s future. The talk will be illustrated with plenty of images – some buildings you’ll recognize, and others that will make you look twice.

John King is the San Francisco Chronicle’s urban design critic, where he casts his sharp eye on everything from the design of major towers to the value of rooftop public spaces. In 2016, he embarked on “Rising Reality,” a multi-part look at how sea level rise will alter Bay Area waterfronts and present both challenges and opportunities that we must begin planning for now. He has two books published by Heyday: Cityscapes: San Francisco and Its Buildings and Cityscapes 2: Reading the Architecture of San Francisco.

Ansel Adams: A Son’s Perspective.
Monday, December 5, 2016, 5-7 p.m.

Hospitality: 5:00 p.m.
Presentation: 6:00 p.m.

Michael Adams will give an illustrated talk about Ansel Adam’s life and legacy, including the photographer’s youth in San Francisco, his exposure to music, and his relationship to the landscape of Yosemite, the Sierra Nevada, and the Southwest. The talk will be accompanied by a slideshow of some of Ansel Adam’s most beloved photographs.

Michael Adams was born in the Yosemite Valley and was educated at Wasatch Academy in Mt. Pleasant, Utah, and Stanford University. He received a B.A. in Geography from Fresno State College, and his M.D. from Washington University School of Medicine. In addition to his private medical practice, Michael has also served as a fighter pilot for the United States Air Force and the California Air National Guard in Japan and New Mexico, and as a flight surgeon/pilot physician in Germany and Fresno, California. He retired from the USAF and Air National Guard in 1993, as a Major General and from duty as Deputy Surgeon General of the USAF for the Air National Guard.

Michael is Chairman of the Board of the Ansel Adams Gallery, now in its 114th year of operation in Yosemite Valley. He is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco Medical School, Department of Medicine, and teaches in the UCSF Fresno Residency Training Program. Michael has been an advisor to the Center for Creative Photography at the University of Arizona, Tucson, where the Ansel Adams photographic archive is located. He is a Council member of the Yosemite Conservancy.


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