Yale University Library News

When Is a Book More Than a Book? Annual Adrian Van Sinderen talk.

March 18, 2016

All are invited to join us for the annual Adrian Van Sinderen lecture on Wednesday, April 20 at 4:30 pm, by Glen S. Miranker, an avid bibliophile and former chief technology officer at Apple. In order to encourage undergraduates to collect books, build their own libraries, and read for pleasure and education, Adrian Van Sinderen, Class of 1910, established two prizes in 1957, one for seniors and one for sophomores. The annual lecture – which will take place in the Sterling Memorial Library Lecture Hall – reflects his passion for book collecting and is open to the public.

Miranker describes book collecting as "a peculiar pastime. Why engage in such an abstruse and potentially costly activity when you can own reading copies at very modest expense? Pursuing and acquiring are only a part of bibliomania. Many books have a tale to tell beyond what's printed between their covers. Tracking down the backstory for my books is another thrill of the chase…and a principal reason to be interested in books as artifacts. We will explore this idea through a number of examples, demonstrating that book collecting is more than 'A Gentle Madness'—as Nicholas Basbanes so graphically describes it."

Glen Miranker graduated from Yale College in 1975 with a B.S. in computer science. He holds a Ph.D. in computer science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Miranker joined Next Computer in 1990 and Apple Computer in 1996. For most of his tenure at Apple, he ran hardware development and served as Apple's Chief Technology Officer (Hardware), retiring in 2004. Long a bibliophile, Miranker now devotes himself to book collecting, lecturing, and assisting special collections departments and boards. He has been building his extraordinary collection of Sherlockiana since the late 1970s. He also collects and lectures on the history of cryptography and is a director of the National Cryptologic Foundation.