Throughout the year, the Bell Library sponsors or co-sponsors a variety of special events: lectures, conferences, performances, receptions, and other cultural activities. Check this page regularly for new links and listings! And don't forget to investigate our Exhibits and Annual Lecture pages, too.

Upcoming Events

31 March 2016:  Annual Rutherford Aris Memorial Lecture in Medieval Communication Technologies

Lisa Fagin DavisPlease join us at 7:00 p.m. on March 31, 2016 to hear Lisa Fagin Davis, executive director of the Medieval Academy of America, present "Scattered Leaves:  Reconstructing the Beauvais Missal."  Dr. Davis will share her discoveries made during a multi-year project exploring the medieval collections in archives across the U.S.  in an effort to reconstruct the Beauvais Missal, originally created in the 13th century.

Thursday, March 31, 2016,  Free and open to the public.

7:00 p.m.  120 Elmer L. Andersen Library, University of Minnesota west bank campus.  A dessert reception will follow the lecture.

Reserve your seat now!


13 April, 2016:  The Map Thief

Author Michael Blanding will talk about his book, The Map Thief. The Gripping Story of an Esteemed Rare-Map Dealer Who Made Millions Stealing Priceless Maps. E. Forbes Smiley III, esteemed and respectable antiquarian map dealer, was also a map thief. He was finally arrested while caught in the act of removing maps from books in the Yale University Library in 2005. He later confessed to stealing 97 maps valued at over $3 million total, and served 3 years in prison for his crimes.

Join us for this author's talk on Wednesday, April 13, 2016. 7:00 p.m. at the James Ford Bell Library, 4th floor, Wilson Library on the U of M west bank campus.

A reception and booksigning will follow the talk at approx. 8:00 p.m.      Reserve your seat now!  


Michael Blanding is a Boston-based investigative journalist whose work has appeared in WIRED, Slate, The Nation, Consumers Digest, The Boston Globe Magazine, and Boston Magazine. His first book, The Coke Machine: The Dirty Truth Behind the World's Favorite Soft Drink, was published by Avery/Penguin in 2010. His latest, The Map Thief: The Gripping Story of an Esteemed Rare-Map Dealer Who Made Millions Stealing Priceless Maps, was published by Gotham Books in June 2014 and named a New York Times Bestseller; an NPR Book of the Year; a New England Indie Bestseller by the New England Independent Booksellers Association; winner of an NES Book Award by the New England Society of New York; and a MassBook Must-Read by the Massachusetts Center for the Book. Blanding currently is a senior fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University, and a staff writer at the Harvard Business School. He has taught journalism at Emerson College, Northeastern University, and Grub Street Writers.

This event is sponsored by the Associates of the James Ford Bell Library, the Friends of the University of Minnesota Libraries, and the John R. Borchert Map Library at the University of Minnesota.