Upcoming Events

The Book Club is working to preserve and promote the history of the book and the book arts even though our daily lives have been changed dramatically because of the COVID-19 health crisis. Because we need to be physically apart right now, we offer the following initiatives to better involve you with our work and keep all of us connected to one another.

Please consider joining us for a live online program listed below.

Unless otherwise noted, all events are free and open to the public. Please refer to the description under each event.

Email programs@bccbooks.org for any questions, or call (415) 781-7532 ext. 3

Many of our staff will be working remotely so please contact them by email or phone. Staff contact information can be found on our website.

Collecting the Covid Era?

Monday, June 28, 2021, 5-6:15 PM
*A live online presentation

The year 2020 began with the World Health Organization’s announcement of a cluster of pneumonia cases that quickly evolved to become the largest health crisis the planet has experienced in over 100 years. By examining books, broadsides and ephemeral items created during an earlier and longer-lasting health crisis, former Book Club of California president Randall Tarpey-Schwed will reflect on what we can learn from such objects, and how they can help us to humanize statistics and to better understand the times. He will also offer suggestions about potential collecting areas for those wishing to acquire objects being created today that might help us to better understand and humanize the Covid era.

A live online presentation by Randall Tarpey-Schwed, author and collector

Click here to register

About Auctions: Ins & Outs, Ups & Downs

Monday, July 12, 2021, 5-6:15 PM
*A live online presentation

*** Part of the Book Club’s series for Book Collectors ***

Premiums? Shipping costs? Commissions? After sale offers?

The auction house, at times, can be a blackbox for those who do not regularly engage with them. Often we only hear of auction houses’ “Blue Chip” sales reported in the media.

In this talk, Spencer W. Stuart sidesteps the spectacle to focus on the process and how it can be a tool of a diverse character for collectors developing as well as deaccessioning their collections.

Taking a multi-perspective approach, he will discuss the specific interests of those involved, following the auction process step-by-step and illustrating the dynamics of each through case studies drawn from his auction and private advisory experience.

Through his presentation and the ensuing conversation, About Auctions will offer the Who, What, When, Where, How and Why of auctions and help attendees develop a practical and holistic view of the ‘Auction World’.

A live online presentation by Spencer W. Stuart, collections advisor

Click here to register

Iron Women: The Ladies Who Helped Build the Railroad

Monday, July 19, 2021, 5-6:15 PM
*A live online presentation

When the last spike was hammered into the steel track of the Transcontinental Railroad on May 10, 1869, at Promontory Point, Utah, Western Union lines sounded the glorious news of the railroad’s completion from New York to San Francisco.

For more than five years an estimated four thousand men moved like a vast assembly line toward the end of the track. Editorials in newspapers and magazines praised the accomplishment and some boasted that the work that “was begun, carried on, and completed solely by men.” Godey’s Lady’s Book even reported “No woman had laid a rail and no woman had made a survey.”

Although the physical task of building the railroad had been achieved by men, women made significant and lasting contributions to the historic operation.

The female connection with railroading dates as far back as 1838 when women were hired as registered nurses/stewardesses in passenger cars. Beyond nursing and service roles, however, women played a larger part in the actual creation of the rail lines than they have been given credit for.

Author Chris Enss shares the stories of women who helped build the railroad in her book Iron Women.

A live online presentation by Chris Enss, author and screenwriter


Click here to register

The Private Library: The History of the Architecture and Furnishing of the Domestic Bookroom

Monday, July 26, 2021, 5-6:15 PM
*A live online presentation

The Private Library is the domestic bookroom: that quiet, book-wrapt space that guarantees its owner that there is at least one place in the world where it is possible to be happy.

The story of its architecture extends back almost to the beginning of history and forward toward a future that is in equal parts amazing and alarming.

In his book, The Private Library: The History of the Architecture and Furnishing of the Domestic Bookroom, Reid Byers examines with a sardonic eye the historical influences that have shaped the architecture of the private library, and the furnishings, amenities, and delightful anachronisms that make the mortal room into what Borges so famously called Paradise.

A live online presentation by Reid Byers, author, exhibition curator, and vice president of the Baxter Society

Click here to register



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