Mason Community Invited to an Evening with C-SPAN’s Brian Lamb

Posted: September 19, 2011 at 1:01 am, Last Updated: September 16, 2011 at 8:37 pm

By Catherine Ferraro

Brian Lamb. Creative Services photo

As part of the 13th annual Fall for the Book, the Mason community is invited to attend “An Evening with Brian Lamb” in the Johnson Center Cinema on Wednesday, Sept. 21, at 7:30 p.m.

The event marks the donation to the university of the entire collection of 801 nonfiction books used on C-SPAN’s long-running “Booknotes” television series. Hosted by Lamb, C-SPAN founder and CEO, “Booknotes” was televised from April 1989 through December 2004. The hour-long show featured one-on-one interviews with nonfiction authors to discuss their latest writings.

During the event, Lamb will be joined by presidential historian and Mason Scholar-in-Residence Richard Norton Smith. The pair will reflect on some of the high points of the series, including interviews with former presidents Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush. They will also discuss the show’s influence on American culture.

A $25,000 grant from the C-SPAN Education Foundation will allow University Libraries’ Special Collection and Archives (SC&A) to catalogue and preserve the collection.

Richard Norton Smith. Photo © 2009 David J. DeJonge

In addition to the 801 books, the collection will include associated archival materials, such as notes, reviews and letters and correspondence with authors. Many of the books contain marginalia, which served as the basis for Lamb’s interview questions with the authors. Each hour-long interview and corresponding transcript will also be available online.

Eventually, programming will be developed for teaching and learning purposes through a web portal that will enable broader research opportunities for scholars around the world. Also, SC&A will expand the collection and archive by acquiring additional primary related materials.

Lamb is among the nearly 150 authors, artists and performers participating in Fall for the Book, which runs Sept. 18–23 on Mason’s campuses and at venues throughout Northern Virginia, Washington, D.C., and Maryland.


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