54. Introduction to Descriptive Bibliography

Terry Belanger and David Ferris, et fils
(Evaluation of the RBS 1994 version of this course)

Introduction to the physical examination and description of books and other printed materials, especially of the period 1550- 1875. The course is designed both for those with little or no prior exposure to this subject and for those with some general knowledge of the field who wish to be presented with a systematic discussion of the elements of physical description (format, collation, signings, pagination, paper, type, illustrations and other inserts, binding, circumstances of publication, &c.). A major part of the course will consist of small, closely-supervised laboratory sessions in which students will gain practice in determining format and collation. Another feature will be extensive hands-on museum displays (changing daily) of tools (type and paper molds, engraved plates and lithographic stones, bookbinding finishing irons, &c.), samples (paper, leathers, cloth, &c.), and books (and parts of books) representative of various periods and styles.

Number of respondents: 39


Leave         Tuition        Housing        Travel

Institution   Institution    Institution    Institution
gave me leave paid tuition   paid housing   paid travel

53%           44%            30%            33%

I took vaca-  I paid tui-    I paid for my  I paid my own
tion time     tion myself    own housing    travel

6%            53%            59%            51%

N/A: self-    N/A: Self-     N/A: stayed    N/A: lived 
employed, re- employed,      with friends   nearby
tired, or had retired, or    or lived at
summers off   exchange       home

41%           0%             8%             13%

  CBS Bicen-  CBS Bicen-     CBS Bicen-
  tennial     tennial        tennial
  Scholarship Scholarship    Scholarship

  3%          3%             3%

Nine students (24%) were rare book librarians; seven students (18%) had a non-professionally related interest in the subject; four students (10%) were antiquarian booksellers; four students (10%) were full-time students; three students (7%) were general librarians with some rare book duties; three students (7%) were general librarians with unspecified rare book duties; three students (7%) were retired; two students (5%) were archivist/manuscript librarians; and one student (3% each) was the administrator of a complex of historical institutions, an Air Force officer working on his PhD in English, a graduate student/author, and a teacher/professor.