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  • Lecture

Authenticity and Duplicity: Investigations into Multiple Copies of Books

William Zachs, Independent Scholar and Book Collector

What can we learn from looking at multiple copies of a book?

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March 16, 17, and 19, 2015. Lectures begin 5:30pm @ Orrery Pavilion, Kislak Center
Orrery Pavilion, Kislak Center, 6th Floor Van Pelt-Dietrich Library
Open to the Public
Photograph of various spines of Dialogues of the Dead, courtesy of William Zachs

These lectures consider a broad question: "What can we learn from looking at multiple copies of a book?" They are organized around a series of case studies--mainly from 18th-century--books that are either a part of or relate in some way to my own collection. Each case study illustrates different bibliographical and/or book-historical issues that can not be fully understood from the examination of a single copy. William Zachs is an independent scholar and collector who specializes in the English and Scottish book trade of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. He is the author of The First John Murray and the Late Eighteenth-Century London Book Trade (Oxford, 1998) and curator of a 2011 exhibition on David Hume at the Edinburgh Writer's Museum.


  • Monday, March 16, 2015: "Perfection and Imperfection: Stories of Duplicates on a Scholar-Collector's Bookshelves"
  • Tuesday, March 17, 2015: "Fortune and Misfortune: Inquiries into the First Editions of Moll Flanders"
  • Thursday, March 19, 2015: "Transparency and Deception: Discoveries of Hidden Irish and Scottish Reprints"

Event Series

Man standing in front of wall of bookshelves holding open book

The A.S.W. Rosenbach Lectures in Bibliography

The Rosenbach Lectures are the longest continuing series of bibliographical lectureships in the United States. Rosenbach Fellows typically present three lectures over a period of one-two weeks.

Featured image: Detail of photograph of various spines of Dialogues of the Dead, courtesy of William Zachs.