The Biblio File Hosted by Nigel Beale
Twenty - forty minute interviews with accomplished authors, publishers, biblio people, conducted by an excitable bibliophile.


According to her website, "Charlotte Gray is one of Canada’s best-known writers, and author of eight acclaimed books of literary non-fiction. Born in Sheffield, England, and educated at Oxford University and the London School of Economics, she began her writing career in England as a magazine editor and newspaper columnist. After coming to Canada in 1979, she worked as a political commentator, book reviewer and magazine columnist before she turned to biography and popular history." In 2008, Charlotte published Nellie McClung, a short biography of Canada’s leading women’s rights activist in the Penguin Series, Extraordinary Canadians.

Direct download: Gray_McClung_56_R09_0003_2.mp3
Category:Extraordinary Canadians -- posted at: 5:38pm EDT


The Cary Collection is one of America’s premier libraries on graphic communication, its history and practices. Located in Rochester on the campus of the Rochester Institute of Technology, the original collection of 2,300 volumes was assembled by New York City businessman Melbert B. Cary, Jr. during the 1920s and 1930s. Cary was director of the Continental Type Founders Association (a type-importing agency), a former president of the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA), and proprietor of the private Press of the Woolly Whale. His professional and personal interests in printing led him to collect printer's manuals and type specimens, as well as great books on the printer's art. In 1969 his collection, together with funds to support its use and growth, was presented to RIT.  Today the library houses some 40,000 volumes and a growing number of manuscript and correspondence collections.

While its original strengths continue to be an important focus, other aspects of graphic arts history have also been developed. For example, the Cary is committed to building comprehensive primary and secondary resources on the development of the alphabet and writing systems, early book formats and manuscripts, calligraphy, the development of typefaces and their manufacturing technologies, the history and practice of papermaking, typography and book design, printing and illustration processes, bookbinding, posters, and artists’ books.

Though many of the volumes in the library are rare, the Cary has maintained, from the beginning, a policy of liberal access for students , especially those enrolled in the RIT’s College of Imaging Arts and Sciences, and interested literary tourists.

The Cary Collection also manages some 36 Graphic Design archives documenting the work of important 20th-century Modernist graphic designers, and has been aggressively acquiring examples of avant-garde book typography. This great library is a must visit destination for all those who love books and the processes involved in making them.

Direct download: Cary_Collection_56.mp3
Category:Literary Destinations -- posted at: 10:01pm EDT

Audio Interview with Stan Bevington, Founder, Coach House Press, on which books to Collect

Last summer I met with Stan Bevington in Toronto to talk about the history of the Coach House Press and some of the more collectible books that it has published over the years. In this, Part ll of our conversation ( please find Part l here), we discuss, among many other things, the influence of the Stinehour Press, the adoption,  adaptation, and in some cases invention of new printing, photographic and computer technologies, and the book designs of Glenn Goluska and Gordon Roberton.

This interview is part of our  Book Publisher Series which focuses on the histories of important British, American and Canadian publishing houses, and how best to go about collecting their works.

Direct download: Stan_Bevington_Part_2_56_R09_0016.mp3
Category:Publisher's Histories -- posted at: 11:14am EDT

It didn't win any prizes; no awards; didn't make many, if any, long or short lists; but David Gilmour's The Perfect Order of Things is a great novel. The best I read last year. In fact, I think it's one of the best Canadian novels ever written. Deceptively easy to read, the book's 300-odd pages are not only crowded with elegantly crafted sentences, they collectively capture and convey levels of insight and depths of experience one typically finds only in great Russian novels. Perfect Order leaves you invigorated; filled with admiration for the life fully lived. It makes you want to get out there and show the world who's boss.David Gilmour was in Ottawa recently to attend the Ottawa International Writers Festival.

Direct download: David_Gilmour_56_1R09_0006_2.mp3
Category:Author Interview -- posted at: 8:20am EDT