Upcoming Events


Exhibition Opening: Holiday Cards from William P. Wreden, Family and Friends. Monday, December 14, 2015, 5-7 p.m.

The Book Club’s pop-up holiday exhibition: Holiday Cards from William P. Wreden, Family and Friends features over seventy years of playful and festive fine press cards. Curator Bo Wreden will speak about the collection. More information on the exhibition here.


POSTPONED: Gold Beating: How Gold Leaf Is Made. An Illustrated Talk by John Hastings.

Please check here for the rescheduled date. 

In 1820, John Hastings’ great grandfather founded Hastings and Company, a gold leaf manufacturing company in Philadelphia. It went on to become the largest gold leaf manufacturing company in America, lasting nearly 150 years. In this illustrated talk, Hastings will describe the age-old craft and all the traditions, methods, and surprising facts surrounding it–for example, it takes one ounce of gold to make 175 square feet of gold leaf. Hastings will also discuss gold beating in Japan and Burma, various uses of gold leaf, and why the market for gold leaf collapsed, and he will show an 80-year-old film about gold beating.

John Hastings was the fourth generation to run his family’s business, Hastings & Co., which manufactured gold leaf in Philadelphia for 148 years. After the business closed in 1968, he spent twenty years at the archeological museum of the University of Pennsylvania, developing computer databases for archaeology, and also working on digs in France, India an Tunisia. He moved to the Bay Area in 2001 and lives in Orinda. In recent years he has written several books about gold leaf and his family’s genealogy.

 2016 Events


Holiday Tea and Curator’s Walk-Through. Monday, January 4, 2016, 2-4 p.m.

Join curator Bo Wreden for an intimate look at Holiday Cards from William P. Wreden, Family, and Friends. Refreshments will be served. Free and open to the public, but an RSVP to programs@bccbooks.org is required to attend.  More information on the exhibition here.


British Influences on One Bookish American (With a Few California Intersections). Monday, January 11, 2016, 5-7 p.m.

Click on the image, left, for a larger view: High Bridge, Midnight Paper Sales, 1987

With the founding of the Minnesota Center for Book Arts in 1986, Minneapolis became a destination for touring practitioners of the book arts. In 1987, John Randle of the Whitington Press, en route to California, offered a workshop in which Gaylord Schanilec was a participant. Thus began a long and significant association between Gaylord Schanilec and the British printing scene.

Gaylord Schanilec, noted for his color wood engravings, established his own press, Midnight Paper Sales, in 1980. Since then, he has published more than twenty-five books under his imprint, as well as accepted numerous commissions including works for The Gregynog Press in Wales and the Grolier Club of New York. He has been the recipient of numerous awards including the Carl Hertzog award for excellence in book design, and the Greynog prize. He is an Honorary Member of the Double Crown Club, and an active member of the Typophiles and the Ampersand Club. His work is represented in most major book arts collections in the United States and in the United Kingdom, and the archive of his working materials is held at the University of Minnesota.


Next Generation Printers Showcase. NOTE NEW DATE: Monday, February 1, 2016, 5-7 p.m.

The Book Club of California is proud to feature a pop-up exhibition and presentation by some of the best young printers in the Bay Area.

Note: this event was previously scheduled for December 7, 2015.


The Rise of the Literary Annual, Powerful Femininity, and Beautiful Books: An Illustrated Talk and Pop-up Exhibition. Monday, February 22, 2016, 5-7 p.m.

The Rise of the Literary Annual, Powerful Femininity, and Beautiful Books offers an exhibit and lecture about the rise of the beautifully-bound and wildly popular British literary annual, a genre of early-nineteenth-century publication that is based on the rich diversity of European religious emblems, French almanacs, and British conduct manuals. The literary annual provided a space for re-creating a massive reading public who enjoyed poetry, travel tales, gothic short stories, images of popular (yet difficult to reach) artwork, morality short stories, fantasy, and other early forms of literature. By 1828, the craze for literary annuals overwhelmed booksellers and drawing rooms in England, France, South America, and finally, America, where publishers shamelessly pirated copies of the London volumes, even exchanging an anglo-centric poem for one that celebrates the nascent formation of American pride. Harris’ talk will touch on these topics as well as the beauty of these 200-year old books with an invitation to audience members to browse through an exhibit of representatives from her personal collection of silk-bound literary annuals (American, British, and French), hand-sewn almanacs, and gilt-edge anthologies. (Based on Harris’ literary history, Forget Me Not: The Rise of the British Literary Annual 1823-1835)

Katherine D. Harris, an Associate Professor in the Department of English and Comparative Literature, San José State University, specializes in Romantic-Era and 19th-century British literature, women’s authorship, the literary annual, textuality, editorial theory, and Digital Humanities, all of which culminates in her three studies surrounding the literary annuals: The Forget Me Not: A Hypertextual Archive, The Forgotten Gothic: Short Stories from British Annuals 1823-1831 (Zittaw Press 2012), and Forget Me Not: The Rise of the British Literary Annual 1823-1835 (Ohio UP 2015). Harris is chair of the California Open Educational Resources Council, a state-funded initiative to promote adoption of OER textbooks in the UC, CSU, and CCC.

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