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Inspiration for me happens when I open my heart to it, but I rarely find the energy to see it through. At least for things which are mostly personal and aren't a part of my daily work schedule. Last night I was inspired ... again.
James Mosley gave the first Justin Howes lecture and it was inspiring. His energy and determination for preserving and recording the history of type is amazing. The amount of knowledge this one man has about the world of type founding and type history is enough to make me wish we did have a fountain of youth so that we will never be without him.
He used the term "material bibliographer" to describe what he does. Or at least that is how I heard it. He might have been simply talking of what people who study books on a material level are called. People that study type and what was used are material bibliographers. He spoke of the importance of these people, especially today when libraries such as the Imprimerie Nationale are losing their homes.
He mentioned the idea of a world-wide database where anyone interested or in need of information concerning type founding or history could go. The technology is there. It would take a huge amount of work, but can you imagine? Can you stop and imagine a website with a database to type history around the world? Doesn't it give you chills? He spoke of the world being smaller and the type community no longer be localized but international and constantly growing. I thought of Typophile and how similar the idea was. What a wonderful thing to meet and discuss and learn from one another.
Afterward I went up to thank him personally and to say hello. (I was lucky enough to have him as one of my lecturers while studying at Reading.) You'll be pleased to know that he mentioned Typophile and made a similar comparison. Did you know he reads our forum?
It was a wonderful first lecture in what, I hope, will be a long line of lectures honoring a man, Justin Howes, who truly was one of the great material bibliographers of our time.