Dr. Emerson Storm Fillman Richards-Hoppe

Rare Book and Manuscript Specialist

Talking about the Apocalypse for a session of the M6 Reading Group, 2019.

I am an advocate for old books and libraries.


I am fortunate that I get to work with books professionally as the Rare Books Cataloguer of Pembroke College, Cambridge.


I am also an independent rare book seller, offering ethically sourced and reliably researched fine books and antiques.

I received my PhD in Comparative Literature from Indiana University, Bloomington with a Graduate Area Certificate in Medieval Studies and a minor from the English Department focusing on Medieval British Languages (Old Irish, Middle Welsh, and Middle English).

I hold a Certificate of Proficiency (History of the Manuscript) from the University of Virginia’s Rare Book School and have taken coursework at the University of London's Rare Book School as well as the École nationale de Chartes.


I have worked in, and for, Special Collections since 2015. In 2017, I began working for private collectors and university libraries to catalogue medieval holdings for academic and sales catalogues.

My work station at the Portico Library where I volunteer and restore books from the 16th to 20th c.

I love words, written, spoken, and printed.

When I read Dante's reverence for the power of language, expressed in De vulgari eloquentia and later in La Commedia, I understood my own relationship with words. Having published my first short story when I was 15, I began my academic career with a concentration in Creative Writing in the Department of English at the University of Florida, where I specialized in Creative Non-Fiction and Prose.

Growing up in Florida, I was enrolled in Spanish classes from Kindergarten through senior year of high school. My passion for learning langauges set in when I became determined to learn Italian. During my time at the University of Florida, I was able to learn Italian, as well as German, Latin, Breton, Middle English, Scots, and French. I chose Indiana University for my Ph.D. in part because of its strength in modern and ancient language programs and continued my study of Latin and Middle English, as well as Old French, Old Irish, and Middle Welsh.

I have always admired books-- old books, new books, rare books, common books. One of my fondest memories is waking up with my two best friends at 5am to be the first in line for the Friends of the Library Book Sale in Gainesville, Florida. We each had $10 in our pockets and by the end of a hot, dusty day of choosing books, we would come away with bags of books and spent the rest of the evening with take out food, sharing out finds with each other. This passion has developed into a serious study of the History of the Book and proper collection of antiquarian books.

The Eiffel Tower, 2012

Mobilis in Mobile

The phrase Mobilis in Mobile comes from Jules Verne's Vingt mille lieues sous les mers and means "Mobile in the mobile element." I have had the opportunity to be mobile in the mobile element as my life's trajectory has seen me move from Sanford, to Geneva, to Gainesville, Florida, with a brief stop in Mannheim, Germany, to Bloomington, Indiana, to Paris, France (with residences in Asnière-sur-Seine, le Xe arrondissement, and Poissy), back to Bloomington (a couple of times) and to Manchester, England (a couple of times), with summers in Sunset Park, Brooklyn.

I love my cat, Little Mister, and I've watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer more times than I can count any more. I enjoy a good hike around nature or the city, especially with my film camera.

Joyfully in the Beinecke, 2016

Little Mister, a very scholarly cat

Examining the Voynich Manuscript in the Beinecke, 2018

Student profile from Indiana University's Medieval Studies Institute

The website banner is my own photo of fol. 33r of the Paris Apocalypse (Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, MS fr. 403).