The Sol. M. and Mary Ann O’Brian Malkin Lecture in Bibliography is named for the two founding editors of AB Bookman’s Weekly, which from 1948 to 1999 was among the most important journals in the antiquarian book selling world. Covering book collecting and research librarianship, as well as used and rare book selling, the journal was consistently full of trade news of interest to dealers, collectors, and librarians.
In 1984, Mary Ann Malkin began to support an annual lecture in honor of her husband, Sol Malkin, in recognition of his contributions to the antiquarian book trade. Michael Winship gave the first Sol M. Malkin Lecture in Bibliography at Columbia University in December 1985. After Sol Malkin died in 1986, a few months after Winship delivered the inaugural lecture, Mary Ann herself continued to support Rare Book School, both at Columbia and, then, at the University of Virginia; in the late 1990s, she allowed RBS founding director Terry Belanger to change the name of the lecture the Sol. M. and Mary Ann O’Brian Malkin Lecture in Bibliography. Until her death in 2005, she came down from New York City to attend most of the Malkin Lectures and she left the School a significant portion of her estate. She was truly a Friend of RBS.
Malkin lecturers over the years have included such luminaries as Greer Allen, Nicolas Barker, William P. Barlow, Jr, Robert Darnton, Mirjam Foot, Christopher de Hamel, Lucien Goldschmidt, James Green, Selby Kiffer, Richard Kuhta, Katharine Kyes Leab, Paul Needham, William S. Reese, Kenneth Rendell, Bernard M. Rosenthal, Anthony Rota, Justin G. Schiller, Roger E. Stoddard, G. Thomas Tanselle, and Marjorie G. Wynne. Joining their ranks as this year’s Malkin Lecturer is the distinguished collector-scholar Robert H. Jackson.