Thompson, Susan Otis

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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)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Susan Otis Thompson Papers, 1965-1992, [Bulk Dates: 1970-1980] Columbia University. Rare Book and Manuscript Library,
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Adams, Rrandolph Greenfield, 1892-1951 person
associatedWith American Library Association corporateBody
associatedWith American Printing History Association corporateBody
associatedWith Association of College and Reference Libraries corporateBody
associatedWith Beilenson, Edna, 1909-1981 person
associatedWith Bellanger, Terry person
associatedWith Caxton, William, ca. 1422-1491 or 2 person
associatedWith Columbia University. corporateBody
associatedWith Dunlap, Joseph R. (Joseph Riggs), 1913- person
associatedWith Goodrich, L. Carrington (Luther Carrington), 1894- person
associatedWith Grolier Club corporateBody
associatedWith Kleist, Herbert, 1902-1986 person
associatedWith Leslie, Robert L., 1885-1987 person
associatedWith Morris, William, 1834-1896 person
associatedWith National Conservation Advisory Council (U.S.) corporateBody
associatedWith New York Library Association corporateBody
associatedWith New York Metropolitan Reference and Research Library Agency corporateBody
associatedWith Rare Book School corporateBody
associatedWith Shoemaker, Richard H. person
associatedWith Trumbull College (Yale University) corporateBody
associatedWith Wyatt, Leo, 1909-1981 person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Arts and crafts movement




Ark ID: w61t20ks

SNAC ID: 37211235