About David Whitesell

David Whitesell is a curator in the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library at UVa and a faculty member at Rare Book School, where he teaches courses in pre-1800 printed books and descriptive bibliography.

The Book in Tibet

U.Va. has long been a world leader in advancing our understanding of the Western book through bibliographical scholarship. Happily, U.Va.’s considerable bibliographical expertise is now being applied more broadly, as scholars take an increasing interest in adapting the techniques of … Continue reading

This Just In: Perspectives on Publishing

Followers of “This Just In” will know of the Small Special Collections Library’s deep interest in primary sources relating to all aspects of publishing, whether from the perspective of author, publisher, bookseller, reader, or even censor. Here we present a … Continue reading

This Just In: Jacket Required!

Yes, you read that correctly: the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library has implemented a dress code. Um, for books, that is. Henceforth all future book acquisitions from, say, 1880 to the present are requested to arrive suitably attired … Continue reading

This Just In: Spring Miscellany

U.Va.’s Final Exercises have concluded, and Grounds is quiet this week. Shortly the summer session will begin (as well as the inevitable summer construction projects), and both temperature and humidity will, no doubt, rise. Under Grounds it is busyness as … Continue reading

This Just In: Printing Planographically

In recent months U.Va. has had unusual opportunities to enhance its already strong collections on 19th-century planographic printing. Prior to the invention of lithography by Alois Senefelder in 1796, printers used a variety of relief (letterpress, woodcut &c.) and intaglio … Continue reading

This Just In: Disability in the Archives

On February 27-28 U.Va. hosted “Disabling Normalcy,” an interdisciplinary conference organized by Christopher Krentz, Associate Professor of English and Director of American Sign Language.  In conjunction with the conference, Prof. Krentz and graduate student Philip Timmerman prepared an exhibition, “Disability … Continue reading

This Just In: Breaking Bad

No, not that “Breaking Bad”!  In fact, this writer confesses to having never seen the television series. Rather, this post concerns the practice of “breaking,” that is, disbinding a book or manuscript and dispersing the individual leaves, plates, or sections. … Continue reading

This Just In: Architectural Publications

U.Va. has long been famous, not only for its Thomas Jefferson-designed Academical Village, but also for its highly ranked academic programs in architecture, architectural history, and landscape architecture. Supporting these programs has been a priority for the U.Va. Libraries, and … Continue reading