Dr. Alan D. Boehm
Head, Special Collections
Co-Director, MTSU Printing Press Project
Dr. Alan Boehm
Middle Tennessee State University
Murfreesboro, TN 37132
Email: aboehm (at) mtsu (period) edu
Campus Mail Box: 13
I direct and supervise Special Collections in all its myriad aspects. This includes the acquisition, cataloging, and conservation of rare books; the provision of specialized reference services; the creation and revision of department policies; research for and preparation of rare book exhibitions; and other responsibilities. As co-director and project historian for the MTSU Printing Press Project, I preside over typesetting and presswork operations involved with the Library's replica of an early-modern wooden hand press. I give numerous public printing demonstrations and guest lectures on the history of printing and publishing and other matters of print culture. Along with these activities, I am involved in numerous aspects of faculty self-governance here in Walker Library.
Walker Library External Relations Committee
Walker Library Promotion and Tenure Review Committee
Ph.D in English Literature, 1660-1825, Indiana University-Bloomington
MLS, University of Missouri-Columbia
MA in English and American Literature, University of Wisconsin-Madison
BA in English and American Literature, Indiana University-Bloomington
My research lies within the realm of scholarship known as "print culture studies"--a phrase, once respectably obscure but now, alas, regarded as jargon. I've been interested in the relationships that obtained between eighteenth-century English booksellers (i.e., publishers) and those authors of the period who shaped the printing and publication of their texts, and I've also been interested in the literary as well as the "bookish" experience of the readers who bought those texts. My most recent research has focused on the everyday social world of London printing houses in the late 1600s and 1700s and the network of traditional cultural practices circulating among journeyman printers who worked there.
Eleanor M. Garvey Fellow in Printing and Graphic Arts, Houghton Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Harvard University. 1993.
Visiting Scholar, Institute for Advanced Study, Poynter Center, Indiana University-Bloomington, 1992.
"Ordinary Books: Typographic Composition and Traditional Culture in the Late Seventeenth- and Eighteenth-Century London Printing House." 45-page typescript. Submitted to Studies in Bibliography (2013)
“'The Well and Good Government of the Chappel’: A Note on Printing-house Customs, ca. 1680-1750.” Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America 103 (2009): 89-97.
A few years back, when my research began encompassing eighteenth-century printers, I pretty quickly realized I needed a better understanding of the period's printing houses and printing procedures. This, in part, led to the MTSU Printing Press Project, which involved the construction of a fully operational replica of a "common press" of the sort used by printers from the late 1500s to the early 1800s.
Throw me in a kayak and put a split-bamboo fly rod in my hands.