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Couper Phi Beta Kappa Library Lecture Series

This annual lecture honors Hamilton alumnus and trustee Richard “Dick” Couper ’44 for his commitment and contributions to Hamilton College and the Phi Beta Kappa Society, the oldest academic honorary society in America.

2021 spring Lecture

Ty SeiduleThe Richard “Dick” Couper ‘44 Lecture Series is pleased to present a "Robert E Lee and Me: A Soldier and Scholar Confronts His Own History" by Ty Seidule, Chamberlain Fellow and a visiting professor of history. Introduction by Joe Shelley, Vice President for Libraries and Information Technology Services. The lecture is scheduled for noon on Wednesday, February 10, 2021, via Zoom. 

Video of presentation

Kearney, Kathryn '21. "Robert E. Lee and Me and Us." Hamilton College News. February 10, 2021. 


Past Lectures

2019 Fall - Adam Morris

American Messiahs” (October 10, 2019 4:15 p.m.)
Taylor Science Center G027

The Richard “Dick” Couper ‘44 Lecture Series is pleased to present “American Messiahs” a presentation by Adam Morris. Introduction by Joe Shelley, Vice President for Libraries and Information Technology Services.

2019 Spring - Nicholaas Rupke

“Contested Museum Objects in Darwin's Century” (April 8, 2019 noon)

Nicholaas Rupke, Johnson Professor of History at Washington and Lee University, in conjunction with the Natural Things Conference, will present this year's Couper Lecture. 

2017 Fall - Peter Devereaux

"From Sumerian Clay to MARC: A Broad History of the Card Catalog"

September 12, 2017, 4:10 p.m.

Peter Devereaux, a writer-editor with the Library of Congress Publishing Office, presents the Couper Phi Beta Kappa lecture for fall 2017. 

2016 Fall - Mark Edington, Oya Reiger, and Jerry Singerman

“The Landscape of Scholarly Publishing” (October 20, 2016)

Mark Edington, director of the Amherst College Press; Oya Y. Rieger, associate university librarian for scholarly resources and preservation services and Jerry Singerman, senior humanities editor at the University of Pennsylvania Press will participate in a panel discussion titled “The Landscape of Scholarly Publishing,” moderated by Lisa Trivedi, professor of history at Hamilton College.

View Announcement

2015 Fall - Charles Watkinson

“Open Access Monographs: Why Should Authors, Librarians, and Administrators Care?” (October 20, 2015)

Charles Watkinson is Director of University of Michigan Press and Associate University Librarian for Publishing. (view announcement)

Campus news article: University of Michigan Press Director Discusses Open Access Monographs in Couper PBK Lecture (October 24, 2015).

2014 Fall - Haim Goren

“Edward Robinson: ‘Father of the Scientific Study of the Holy Land’” (September 24, 2014)

by Dr. Haim Goren, historical-geographer, until recently Vice President for Academic Affairs of Tel-Hai Academic College, Upper Galilee, Israel, and chair of the newly-established M.A. program of Galilee Studies. (View announcement)

2013 Fall - R. David Lankes

“What Can Higher Education Learn from Libraries?” (October 10, 2013)

by R. David Lankes, professor and Dean's Scholar for the New Librarianship at Syracuse University’s School of Information Science and director of the Information Institute of Syracuse. View announcement)

Reviewed by Benjamin Anderson ’14 - “R. David Lankes Discusses What Higher Ed Can Learn from Libraries” October 11, 2013. 

2013 Spring - David Morgenstern

“The Elders Speak: The NEA’s Jazz Oral History Project, 1972-1983” (April 8, 2013)

by Dan Morgenstern, jazz historian, author, critic, eight-time Grammy Award winner and recently retired head of Rutgers University's Institute of Jazz Studies. (View announcement)

Reviewed by Esther Malisova ’13 - “Dan Morgenstern Ties Jazz History to Oral Tradition in Couper Lecture” (April 9, 2013)

2011 Fall - Kevin Smith '81

“From Schopenhauer to Schwarzenegger: The Impact of Copyright on Art and Scholarship in the Digital Age” (October 6, 2011)

Kevin Smith ’81, Scholarly Communications Officer of Duke University’s Perkins Library.(View announcement)

Reviewed by Bonnie Wertheim ’14 - “Kevin Smith ’81 Details Copyright Impact in Digital Age” (October 7, 2011)

2010 Fall - Christian Goodwillie

“History of Shaker Music Explored in Couper Lecture” (November 12, 2010)

Christian Goodwillie, Hamilton College rare books librarian, and Jane Crosthwaite, professor of religion at Mount Holyoke College (View announcement.)

Reviewed by Esther Malisov ’13 - “History of Shaker Music Explored in Couper Lecture” (November 16, 2010)

2010 Spring - Tracy Mitrano

“Copyright Conundrums” (April 29, 2010)

by Tracy Mitrano, director of IT Policy and Computer Policy and Law Programs for the Office of Information Technologies at Cornell University (View announcement.)

Reviewed by Pat Dunn ’12 - “Cornell’s Tracy Mitrano Details Copyright Problems Facing Higher Education” (April 30, 2010)

2009 Spring - Bryan Alexander

“Is Google Making Us Stoopid? A Response” (January 29, 2009)

by Bryan Alexander, director of Research for the National Institute for Technology and Liberal Education (NITLE) (View announcement.)

Reviewed by Mariam Ballout ’10 - “Is Google Making Us Stupid? Bryan Alexander, Responds” (January 30, 2009)

2007 Fall - Glendyne Wergland

“Sex, Celibacy, and Gender Roles among the Shakers” (October 23, 2007)

Glendyne Wergland (View announcement.)

Reviewed by Mariam Ballout ’10 - “Gender Roles in Shaker Communities were Complementary,” Couper Phi Beta Kappa Library Lecturer Says (October 24, 2007)

2006 Fall - Ray English

“Liberating Research through Open Access” (September 15, 2006)

Ray English (Azariah Smith Root Director of Libraries at Oberlin College). English spoke about the need for fundamental reform in the system of scholarly communication, and advocated a move toward open access publishing.

Reviewed by Caroline Russell O’Shea ’07 - “Ray English Presents Second Annual Couper Library Lecture” (September 18, 2006)

2005 Fall - David Stam

“An Army without Ammunition: Books and the College Library” (Inaugural Couper Phi Beta Kappa Lecture, September 9, 2005)

David Stam (Syracuse University librarian emeritus). Stam discussed the trials and tribulations of Hamilton Library in 19th Century. (Read the lecture, PDF)
(View announcement.)

Reviewed by Laura Trubiano ’07 - “Inaugural Couper Phi Beta Kappa Lecture Features SU Librarian Emeritus David Stam,” (September 12, 2005)

About the Lecture Series

The Couper Phi Beta Kappa Lecture was established in 2005 to honor Hamilton alumnus Richard “Dick” Couper ’44. Couper died in January 2006. Each year a distinguished speaker is invited to present topics related to the college's special library collections or to present an issue related to libraries in general. 

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