Speaking on An African American Innovator in the Old Newspaper Business: May 9: 6:30 pm IN PERSON


Robert M. Budd at his business, where he kept millions of copies of newspapers.

If you’ve never been to New York’s Grolier Club, here’s your moment! I’ll be speaking there in person on the innovative African American newsdealer, Robert M. Budd, better known as Back Number Budd. In the business he ran for 50 years, his store was the only place to find thousands of titles of old newspapers, some of which we can no longer find at all. The Metropolitan chapter of the Victorian Society in America invited me, and is keeping attendance to 50 people. I’m hoping some of them will have new leads, since I’m continually thrilled to learn more about Back Number Budd, what it was like to be an African American businessman from the 1880s into the 1930s, and his world.

The elegant Grolier Club is a repository of rare books and printed matter — come see it. Wondering how Mr. Budd would have felt there. Join us.


Cabinets of Curiosity and Scrapbooks

Cabinets of curiosity are collections — 3-D scrapbooks, popular since the 16th century. The scholar Molly Duggins, in from Australia, and I visited the exhibit Rooms of Wonder at the Grolier Club in NYC.

Cabinets of Wonder exhibit at the Grolier Club

The exhibit gathers catalogs of these antecedents of both museums and scrapbooks. Molly’s own work connects cabinets of curiosity and an Australian colonialist scrapbook/album, in her “Arranging the Antipodes: The Archer Family Album as

Mechanical dragon exercise machineMechanical dragon exercise machine

Metaphorical Cabinet”

Molly Duggins’s Australian colonial scrapbook article: “Arranging the Antipodes: The Archer Family Album as Metaphorical Cabinet”

One delightful page from the exhibit shows an ancient exercise machine. Wouldn’t you rather work out on a mechanical dragon?