What I do

bibliographer, n.

A person who writes about books, describing their authorship, printing, publication, etc.

 

My work and scholarship have evolved out of the institutional and private collections I have worked with (including my own modest library) and taken a variety of forms, including publications for popular audiences.

Since 2018 I have worked as the Executive Director of the Bibliographical Society of America, the oldest scholarly society in North America dedicated to the study of books and manuscripts as physical objects. I collaborate with BSA leadership to expand and diversify membership and programs, enhance programing, create a more robust communications profile, and forge new partnerships with other scholarly organizations and societies. I also work with BSA leadership on major issues of planning, finance, fundraising and development, and the general business of the Society. If we met before October of 2020 you knew me as Erin Schreiner; I took my husband's last name when we married and I am now Erin McGuirl.

My research focuses on the printerly labor of the secretaries and typists who produced screenplays in 20th century Hollywood movie studios. I also collect Whole Earth Catalogs and what I call its "offspring" – books put together following instructions printed in the last Catalog, or otherwise published by and for people living in rural areas and on communes in the latter half of the 20th century.

I graduated from Middlebury College with a BA in the History of Art and Architecture in 2007, and hold an MLIS from the Palmer School of Information Science with a concentration in rare book librarianship. From 2008 to 2016 I worked at Columbia University's Avery Art & Architectural Library's Classics Collection and then at the New York Society Library (NYSL) as Special Collections Librarian. At the NYSL I lead a project to redesign and launch City Readers, a digital humanities tool for the study of reading and readers at the Library, New York City's oldest cultural institution founded in 1754.

 

In 2016 I started my own business as an independent consultant to institutional and private collections. I am no longer taking new clients, but I continue to work exclusively with Robert M. Rubin's collection of screenplays and other cinematic "exformation".

I have been awarded fellowships by the Bibliographical Society (UK), Rare Book School, and the Harry Ransom Center. I have also taught at Rare Book School and guest lectured at the Pratt Institute's Information School.

 

Please see my LinkedIn profile and my CV for more information about my professional experience.

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