Rejoice, Book Lovers. The Bibliophile Society of Rochester revitalized!


From Eugene Kramer’s collection. He wrote the Society Newsletter for about twenty years.

Founded in 1986, the Bibliophile Society of Rochester  has been a literary Gem on the Genesee.

With a diverse membership and following — serious book collectors, modest and haphazard collectors, local historians, curators, librarians, academics, and people who just enjoy being around interesting books and book lovers — the programs and meetings have covered of wide range of subjects.  More than anything, the mission of the Society is its motto ~ “Good Books, Good Friends.”


At the 31st Annual Rochester Antiquarian Book Fair Rochester Mayor Bill Johnson (right) and Society member, local historian and author Donovan Shilling. Johnson was a guest speaker several times.

To name just a few, topics have included Pulp Literature of YesterYear  from the Syracuse University library archive, Collecting African-American-Americana  with  broadcaster and journalist Wyoma Best, Rochester Printers  with RIT’s Herb Johnson, Hospital History: RGH and Other Myths  with curator Philip Maples, and From Incunabula to Sibelius: A Brief History of Music Printing with Sibley music librarian G. Dale Vargason.

On occasions, authors have debuted new fiction from all genres. I recall enjoying literary talks by University of Rochester Professors Paula Backscheider and Frank Shuffelton.

And field trips! RIT’s Printing School, Eastman House, University of Rochester’s Department of Rare Books & Special Collections, the Cornell University library, and Mark Twain sites in Elmira.

Sadly, however, about three years ago the Society disbanded.

Bib Soc Roc - 1

Some of the books discussed by Society bibliophiliacs over the years from member Ed Hahn’s bookcase. Ed say: “I have many of the BSR newsletters to turn over to the new regime. I saved them because I am a book collector, and by extension , a saver. I was an original member when the BSR started in 1986. Good to see it become active again.”

But the hiatus — the descent into The Dunciad— is over!

On Wednesday February 24th at 7pm at the Brighton Town Hall the revitalized Bibliophile Society of Rochester  is reconvening.  At the very least, 40 bibliophiliacs — of all generations — will be there. Speakers are being arranged as I write. And you can see my father’s newsletter archive as well as other material saved by Ed Hahn.

For more information call 244 – 2505.






Guys, dolls and apples at the Writers and Books Scavenger Hunt for Rochester Reads