Thompson, Susan Otis
BIOGHIST REQUIRED Susan Otis Thompson was a teacher, author, editor, lecturer, and researcher, best known for her scholarship on William Caxton and the history of the book.
BIOGHIST REQUIRED Thompson enrolled at Columbia University's School of Library Service, where she earned both her M.S. (1963) and D.L.S. (1972). She began as an intern in the University Libraries Reference Department. She gradually took on teaching duties and rose through the academic ranks, becoming a teaching assistant, lecturer, preceptor, assistant professor, and finally an associate professor in 1978. Starting in 1966 she began teaching a course on the History of the Book that she would continue to teach until the school's closing in 1992. She also contributed, alongside Terry Belanger, to the establishment of Columbia's Master's program concentration in Rare Books, Manuscripts, and Special Collections, the first of its kind in the U.S. (1973). This program would later become the independent Rare Book School, now located at the University of Virginia.
BIOGHIST REQUIRED With research interests in rare books and manuscripts, book and printing history, library history, rare book librarianship, book design, typography, graphic arts, and the Arts and Crafts movement, Thompson published American Book Design and William Morris in 1977 (Bowker), which was reprinted in 1996 by Oak Knoll Press and the British Library. As both a writer and editor, she contributed to numerous publications, including The Arts and Crafts Movement in America 1876-1916 (1994), The Heritage of the Graphic Arts Lecture Series: A Complete Listing (1994), and William Caxton: An American Contribution to the Quincentenary Celebration (1976), a chapbook published by the Typophiles printed for the Caxton International Congress (1976), which marked the 500th anniversary of the introduction of printing into England. Thompson also spoke around the country at seminars, conferences, and panel discussions.
BIOGHIST REQUIRED Thompson was an active member of numerous book history societies, including the Typophiles, the William Morris Society, and the Corrodentia Society, and in 1977 she became one of the first women allowed to join the Grolier Club. She was also a founding member of the American Printing History Association (APHA) (1974) and served as the editor of APHA's semiannual journal Printing History from 1979-1983.
BIOGHIST REQUIRED Thompson died of breast cancer in 2008.
From the guide to the Susan Otis Thompson Papers, 1965-1992, [Bulk Dates: 1970-1980], (Columbia University. Rare Book and Manuscript Library)
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