Rare Book School

RBS Home | Course Schedule | Admissions | myRBS | Support RBS | Contact RBS | Previous Years

Certificate of Proficiency

In 2011, Rare Book School inaugurated its Certificate of Proficiency Program, which allows students to create a specialized focus for their coursework at RBS and to earn formal recognition for their concentrated studies at the School. The program enables students to plan for and to attend a series of related classes that reflect their bibliographical interests; enrolled students will select and/or propose and complete a series of five classes within eight years (i.e., a student completing a certificate in 2014 can apply courses to the certificate from 2007 and on; a student completing a certificate in 2013 can apply courses going back to 2006, &c.). Prospective students should complete a proposal for a course of study, available online. Certificates are awarded every April and October.

Certificate of Proficiency Proposal

(Mac users: Please note that the Mac Preview application will not fill out this form correctly.)

 

1. Frequently Asked Questions

When and how can I join the RBS Certificate of Proficiency Program?
Students can enroll in the programat any time. Students should submit a proposal, available online, for a particular certificate.

Can my former RBS classes count toward my certificate?
Yes, so long as all of the courses counted toward the certificate are attended within the required eight-year period. This means that a student completing a certificate in 2014 can apply courses to the certificate from 2007 and on (but not before 2007), a student completing a certificate in 2013 can apply courses going back to 2006, and so on.

If I’ve already taken the five courses within the last eight years, can I get a certificate?
Yes, so long as the courses fulfill the requirements for one of the programs outlined below.

Can the same course count towards two certificates?
No; you cannot "recycle" courses for multiple certificates. Students who have concerns about meeting specific requirements should contact and consult with RBS's Program Director.

2. Certificate of Proficiency Programs

A. The Certificate of General Proficiency

To obtain a certificate of general proficiency, students must attend any four courses, plus any one historical survey, such as The Printed Book in the West to 1800, The History of the Book in America: A Survey from Colonial to Modern, or Printed Books since 1800: Description and Analysis. History of the Book, 200–2000 also counts toward this certificate.

Survey courses

Course no.

Printed Books to 1800: Description & Analysis

G-20

Printed Books since 1800: Description & Analysis

G-30

The History of the Book, 200–2000

H-10

The History of the Book in America: A Survey from Colonial to Modern

H-15

The Book in the Manuscript Era

H-20

The Printed Book in the West to 1800

H-30

The Printed Book in the West since 1800

H-40

B. The Certificate of Proficiency with Area Concentrations

Students must attend five courses, including one survey course (see table above and note that follows), plus an area requirement for three courses in one concentration.  Please note, History of the Book, 200–2000 does not fulfill the survey requirement for a concentration.

Survey requirement: one historical survey, such as The Printed Book in the West to 1800, The History of the Book in America: A Survey from Colonial to Modern, or Printed Books since 1800: Description and Analysis.

Area requirement: three courses of a designated area (e.g., history of bookbinding, history of illustration; history of manuscripts; &c.) See list of areas below.

Example 1

Certificate of Proficiency with an Area Concentration in the History of Bookbinding

Survey requirement fulfilled by

The Printed Book in the West to 1800

Area requirement fulfilled by

Introduction to the History of Bookbinding, American Publishers' Bookbindings, 1800–1900 and Advanced Seminar in the History of Bookbinding

Elective, in this instance fulfilled by

Introduction to the Principles of Bibliographical Description

 

Example 2

Certificate of Proficiency with an Area Concentration in the History of Manuscripts

Survey requirement fulfilled by

The Printed Book in the West to 1800

Area requirement fulfilled by

Introduction to Western Codicology, Introduction to Illuminated Manuscripts, and The Handwriting & Culture of Early Modern English Manuscripts

Elective, in this instance fulfilled by

Digitizing the Historical Record

C. The Certificate of Proficiency in a Specialized Area

Students must attend five courses, including four courses within an area.

Example 1: Certificate of Proficiency with a Specialization in Illustration
Specialization requirement fulfilled by: History of Printed Book Illustration in the West, Book Illustration Processes to 1900, Japanese Illustrated Books, 1615–1868, and The Identification of Photographic Print Processes
Elective: Rare Book Cataloging

Example 2: Certificate of Proficiency with a Specialization in Medieval and Early Modern Books and MSS
Specialization requirement: The Book in the Manuscript Era, 15th-Century Books in Manuscript and Print, Introduction to Illuminated Manuscripts, and Introduction to Paleography, 800–1500
Elective: Introduction to Archives for Special Collections Librarians

3. Areas

Area

Applicable Courses (as of January 2014)
NB: Courses marked with * are not currently offered.

Course no.

American Book History

American Publishers' Bookbindings, 1800–1900

B-75

Publishers' Bookbindings, 1830–1910*

B-90

The History of the Book in America: A Survey from Colonial to Modern

H-15

The American Book in the Industrial Era, 1820–1940

H-50

The History of American Music Printing & Publishing*

H-55

The History of European & American Papermaking

H-60

The History of the Book in America, c.1700–1830

H-70

Bibliography

Introduction to the Principles of Bibliographical Description

G-10

Printed Books to 1800: Description & Analysis

G-20

Printed Books since 1800: Description & Analysis

G-30

Analytical Bibliography

G-45

Advanced Descriptive Bibliography

G-50

Scholarly Editing: Principles & Practice

G-55

Advanced Seminar in Critical Bibliography

G-70

History of Bookbinding

Introduction to the History of Bookbinding

B-10

Medieval & Early Renaissance Bookbinding Structures

B-40

Advanced Seminar in the History of Bookbinding

B-50

American Publishers' Bookbindings, 1800–1900

B-75

The Description of Bookbindings*

B-80

Publishers' Bookbindings, 1830–1910*

B-90

Cataloging & Description

The Description of Bookbindings*

B-80

Developing Collections: Donors, Libraries & Booksellers

C-30

Provenance: Tracing Owners & Collections

C-90

Introduction to the Principles of Bibliographical Description

G-10

Printed Books to 1800: Description & Analysis

G-20

Printed Books since 1800: Description & Analysis

G-30

Analytical Bibliography

G-45

Advanced Descriptive Bibliography

G-50

Scholarly Editing: Principles & Practice

G-55

Reference Sources for Researching Rare Books

L-25

Rare Book Cataloging

L-30

Advanced Rare Book Cataloging

L-35

Visual Materials Cataloging

L-40

Introduction to Archives for Special Collections Librarians

L-60

Implementing Encoded Archival Description*

L-80

Designing Archival Description Systems*

L-90

The Book in Continental Europe and Great Britain

Introduction to the History of Bookbinding

B-10

Medieval & Early Renaissance Bookbinding Structures

B-40

Advanced Seminar in the History of Bookbinding

B-50

Law Books: History & Connoisseurship

C-85

Provenance: Tracing Owners & Collections

C-90

The History of the Book, 200–2000

H-10

The Book in the Manuscript Era

H-20

15th-Century Books in Print and Manuscript

H-25

The Printed Book in the West to 1800

H-30

The Printed Book in the West since 1800

H-40

The Stationers' Company to 1775

H-80

The Illustrated Scientific Book to 1800

I-40

Introduction to Paleography, 800–1500

M-10

Introduction to Western Codicology

M-20

Latin Paleography, 1100–1500

M-40

Introduction to Illuminated Manuscripts

M-50

The Handwriting & Culture of Early Modern English Manuscripts

M-70

Western Manuscripts & Documents, 1500–2000*

M-80

Digital Materials

Digitizing the Historical Record

L-65

XML in Action: Creating Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) Texts

L-70

Implementing Encoded Archival Description*

L-80

Designing Archival Description Systems*

L-90

Born-Digital Materials: Theory & Practice

L-95

The Medieval Manuscript in the Twenty-First Century

M-95

The Global Book / NB: Requires four courses from three regions

America

American Publishers' Bookbindings, 1800–1900

B-75

Publishers' Bookbindings, 1830–1910*

B-90

The History of the Book in America: A Survey from Colonial to Modern

H-15

The American Book in the Industrial Era, 1820–1940

H-50

The History of American Music Printing & Publishing*

H-55

The History of European & American Papermaking

H-60

The History of the Book in America, c.1700–1830

H-70

Asia

The History of the Book in China

H-85

Japanese Illustrated Books, 1615–1868

I-85

The Art of the Book in Edo and Meiji Japan, 1615–1912

I-90

Hokusai & Book Illustration

I-95

Continental Europe and Great Britain

Introduction to the History of Bookbinding

B-10

Medieval & Early Renaissance Bookbinding Structures

B-40

Advanced Seminar in the History of Bookbinding

B-50

Law Books: History & Connoisseurship

C-85

Provenance: Tracing Owners & Collections

C-90

The History of the Book, 200–2000

H-10

The Book in the Manuscript Era

H-20

15th-Century Books in Print and Manuscript

H-25

The Printed Book in the West to 1800

H-30

The Printed Book in the West since 1800

H-40

The Stationers' Company to 1775

H-80

The Illustrated Scientific Book to 1800

I-40

Introduction to Paleography, 800–1500

M-10

Introduction to Western Codicology

M-20

Latin Paleography, 1100–1500*

M-40

Introduction to Illuminated Manuscripts

M-50

The Handwriting & Culture of Early Modern English Manuscripts

M-70

Western Manuscripts & Documents, 1500–2000*

M-80

History of Illustration

History of Printed Book Illustration in the West

I-10

Book Illustration Processes to 1900

I-20

Advanced Seminar in Book Illustration Processes

I-30

The Identification of Photographic Print Processes

I-35

The Illustrated Scientific Book to 1800

I-40

Japanese Illustrated Books, 1615–1868

I-85

The Art of the Book in Edo and Meiji Japan, 1615–1912

I-90

Hokusai & Book Illustration

I-95

Introduction to Illuminated Manuscripts

M-50

History of
Letterforms

15th-Century Books in Print and Manuscript

H-25

Introduction to Paleography, 800–1500

M-10

Introduction to Western Codicology

M-20

Latin Paleography, 1100–1500*

M-40

Introduction to Illuminated Manuscripts

M-50

The Handwriting & Culture of Early Modern English Manuscripts

M-70

Western Manuscripts & Documents, 1500–2000*

M-80

Type, Lettering and Calligraphy, 1450–1830

T-50

Type, Lettering and Calligraphy, 1830–2000

T-55

The History of 19th- & 20th-Century Typography & Printing

T-60

Librarianship

Developing Collections: Donors, Libraries & Booksellers

C-30

Artists’ Books: Strategies for Collecting

C-80

Special Collections Librarianship

L-10

Reference Sources for Researching Rare Books

L-25

Rare Book Cataloging

L-30

Advanced Rare Book Cataloging

L-30

Visual Materials Cataloging

L-40

Donors and Libraries*

L-55

Introduction to Archives for Special Collections Librarians

L-60

Digitizing the Historical Record

L-65

XML in Action: Creating Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) Texts

L-70

Implementing Encoded Archival Description*

L-80

Designing Archival Description Systems*

L-90

Born-Digital Materials: Theory & Practice

L-95

History of Manuscripts

The Book in the Manuscript Era

H-20

15th-Century Books in Print and Manuscript

H-25

Introduction to Paleography, 800–1500

M-10

Introduction to Western Codicology

M-20

Latin Paleography, 1100–1500*

M-40

Introduction to Illuminated Manuscripts

M-50

The Handwriting & Culture of Early Modern English Manuscripts

M-70

Western Manuscripts & Documents, 1500–2000*

M-80

Advanced Seminar: Medieval Manuscript Studies

M-90

The Medieval Manuscript in the Twenty-First Century

M-95

History of Printed Books to 1800

Medieval & Early Renaissance Bookbinding Structures

B-40

Printed Books to 1800: Description & Analysis

G-20

The Book in the Manuscript Era

H-20

15th-Century Books in Print and Manuscript

H-25

The Printed Book in the West to 1800

H-30

The History of the Book in America, c.1700–1830

H-70

The Illustrated Scientific Book to 1800

I-40

Western Manuscripts & Documents, 1500–2000*

M-80

History of Printed Books since 1800

American Publishers' Bookbindings, 1800–1900

B-75

Publishers' Bookbindings, 1830–1910*

B-90

Printed Books since 1800: Description & Analysis

G-30

The Printed Book in the West since 1800

H-40

The American Book in the Industrial Era, 1820–1940

H-50

Type, Lettering and Calligraphy, 1830–2000

T-55

The History of 19th- & 20th-Century Typography & Printing

T-60