Guest Speaker: Alexandra Newman

By Dunedin UNESCO City of Literature | Posted: Monday October 2, 2017

Creative Cities Southern Hui warmly welcomes ALEXANDRA NEWMAN as guest speaker. Alexandra will be speaking at Centre for the Book: Books and Users on Wednesday 29th November.

I’m thrilled to be coming to New Zealand for the first time, and looking forward to learning more about the islands and their culture. I also cannot wait to go on a kiwi spotting tour!’

Alexandra Newman is the Library Technician of the Smithsonian Institution’s Joseph F. Cullman 3rd Library of Natural History Rare Books.

A book historian by trade and training, she enjoys investigating the physical forms of books in order to better understand their production and context.

She received her undergraduate degree in Linguistics from the University of Kansas, where she first encountered the allure of rare books. This led her to receive a Master’s of Science from the University of Edinburgh on the History of the Book, and further to a second MSc from the University of Glasgow on Information Management and Digital Preservation.

While most of her post-graduate work focused on the conservation history of medieval illuminated manuscripts, Alexandra has also done extensive research on the English book bindery of Douglas Cockerell and Son and the use and re-use of typographic ornament. She maintains an active social media presence, and has published on the role of social media in special collections.

Her talk for the Symposium is entitled “’So you don’t have to go to the trouble of reading:’ Indexing, note-taking, and correction-making in the Smithsonian Libraries’ 1491 Historia Naturalis,” and she is excited to open the window into the history of reading that this book provides.

The University of Otago’s Centre for the Book: Books and Users symposium, on Wednesday 29th November, explores the many ways we interact with the ubiquitous object we call the book, and probes the meaning of ‘user’.

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