Introductory remarks by Paul Gehl
The 2012 APHA Awards Committee nominates the Reverend Michael F. Suarez, S. J., internationally recognized authority on book history, editor, bibliographer, teacher, book collector, and poet as the recipient of the APHA Individual Award. This award, of course, addresses only one dimension of the remarkable career of Father Suarez, in that it is intended to recognize “a distinguished contribution to the study, recording, preservation, or dissemination of printing history, in any specific area or in general terms.”
In this specific regard, then, the Association recognizes that across some twenty-five years, Michael Suarez has published notable works in the academic study of printing and publishing history, has taught undergraduates and graduate students alike to understand the importance of the book as an object, and has encouraged the production of new historical scholarship by others. In the first of these fields, scholarly publishing, we cite above all his many important articles on publishing and the book trade in seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth-century Britain. Suarez’s 1996 book Traficking in the Muse is a study of poetic canonicity as established by publisher Robert Dodsley. In addition to these direct contributions to the history of printing, he is co-general editor of The Collected Works of Gerard Manley Hopkins (in progress) and has co-edited one volume of it. As a teacher, we recognize his long career at LeMoyne College, Fordham and Oxford Universities, and the University of Virginia. As a mentor and facilitator of other scholars, he is probably best known for his work as co-editor of and contributor to the Oxford Companion to the Book (2010) and of the Cambridge History of the Book in Britain (2009), but he has also been a contributing or advisory editor to the Oxford Chronology of the Book and The Oxford Companion to English Literature, 6th edition, and he edited the six-volume edition of Dodsley’sA Collection of Poems by Several Hands (1997).He has also edited the collected essays of D. F. McKenzie, and authored a number of original methodological talks and essays on writing and using book history. We commend as well his willingness to give frequent public lectures on topics related to book history.
In September 2009, Michael Suarez assumed the directorship of the Rare Book School at the University of Virginia, a forum in which he is already making important new contributions to the study of bibliography, printing and book history, curatorship, and librarianship. The APHA award comes with our sincere best wishes for the future success of his own work and that of the Rare Book School.
It is a pleasure to present this year’s American Printing History Association Individual Award to Michael Suarez.