Terry Belanger, David Ferris et fils
No. 44: Introduction to Descriptive Bibliography
5-9 August 1996
1. How useful were the pre-course readings?

1: Pre-course readings were very good, but not in the order recommended. Reading Gaskell first, which I did, proved invaluable for understanding Bowers. 2: I think it was all very good. I would emphasize that the two Bowers chapters are the ones that should be read most carefully. 3: The readings were essential and the video tape, which gave a visual reference to all the material, was invaluable. 4: Pre-course readings very helpful. Videotape even more so, and fun to inflict upon significant others (not so fun when they remember it better than I). Do a video on collation, please, please, please! 5: Very usefulBowers must be read at least once before coming to class. The video is good and without it (and my work experience) I would have been quite confused. 6: My favorite was Carter. We should perhaps be asked to read some of Gaskell first, then go back to Bowers, concentrating on Chapter 5. Bowers is very dense, and often essential information is in the notes. The video was helpful, although a bit of an overkill after I read TB's article in Book collecting: A modern guide. I should add that it would have been more helpful had my workbook and chainline paper arrived on time (they arrived hours after I left for Charlottesville). I should also add that my husband enjoyed the video immensely, and immediately started determining the format and gatherings (we weren't up to collating yet) of one of his books (an 1801 geography).7: Pre-course preparation was necessary (luckily, I'd done it willy-nilly, although I'd been accepted late). 8: All were useful, though I wish better emphasis could've been made on the best order of the materials. I would've started with TB's article in Book collecting, followed by the videotape (although I feel undue stress was put on having the accompanying materials for the video, which I found I did fine without), then Carter, Gaskell, and Bowers. I suggest more specific directions be given for how to skim, sample, and take in Gaskell and Bowers. 9: The readings would be helped by having a list of definitions on a sheetto be used with the readings. Gaskell was informative; Bowers presupposes a background that I do not have. 10: The readings were/are indispensablemaybe add articles from recent journals? The videotape was very usefulI was glad I had seen it prior to taking the course. 11: Ha! Bowers was nearly impossible to understand beforehandand began to become clear as soon as the first collation lab was in session. Gaskell was quite useful. The videotape was merely an extra. PS: My tube of materials took over 20 days to arrive via library rate. 12: Pre-course readings essential; it is Bowers we all will remember, very beautiful in a way. (Bowers' difficulties make him better than Gaskell [honest!].) Tape very good. 13: Essential. From a previous recommendation, I read Gaskell before Bowers, and I pass that recommendation on. If you get confused by Chapters 5 and 7 in Bowers, read Appendix I first, then go back to 5 and/or 7. Tape was useful!14: Gaskell was very helpful. Bowers was a bit turgid for beginning. Videotape provided an excellent chance for visual understanding of some of the things being read about. 15: Useful, but of course heavy (Bowers). The videotape was very basic.16: Readingsabsolutely necessary. Videoquite useful.17: I applied for and was accepted too late to send for the videotape, but was able to do about a third of the pre-course reading, which I feel was indispensable.18: The pre-course readings were very useful; the videotape was very successful. 19: Videotape and handbook were great, though I didn't feel the need for the other materials in the tube before the course. Carter was wonderful, but Bowers gave me hot flashes and cold sweats. 21: The course assumes the readings have been completed, so they are "essential" rather than "useful." The video is helpful, but the packet with the transcript and paper for folding exercises is even more so. 22: Anatomy of a book was an excellent introduction, but I found that Gaskell served as a better introduction than Bowers. Bowers did not work for me until I began to work with the material. 23: Just one question: Would it be possible to list some of the reading requirements in the course descriptions? That way one could get a head start on things. The video is very useful and, along with the transcript, provided a nice complement to the reading. 24: Very helpful, and they will be more useful upon my return to them. Video was a nice introduction to format; sometimes the camera could have scanned the material slowly and rested for a few seconds before they started folding. 25: Readings were useful and essential. Video was good as visual reinforcement of what I had been reading. 26: Anyone not already familiar with the information contained in the reading list would likely find the course very difficult to follow without it. 27: Pre-course readings were indispensable. Video was helpful. 28: The pre-course readings were helpful. Bowers, of course, was more of a challenge than I was prepared for. Marks in books was interesting, but many of the marks seemed atypical and not related to what we have been studying.
2. Were the course syllabus and other materials distributed in class useful (or will they be so in the future, after you return home)?

1: Yes. Perhaps you could include ordering information on all the equipment we examined. 2: Yes. Very useful. 3: Yes! It is always great to get a proliference of material to bring home so that you can refer back to it. 4: Yes. 5: Yes. 6: Very useful. It was very helpful to have the chainline paper and the facsimile sheets (Trostbüchel, etc.) to fold. I also appreciated the material in the carrier packets and tackle boxes. Good teaching! It was a rare and precious experience in graduate education. 7: All distributed materials will be slowly and lovingly destroyed through constant use. 8: Very much so! I'm very excited about this! (I wish, however, that we could get the bibliography on disk as well as in print.) 9: Very much so. 10: YesThank you! 11: Yes. Yes. 12: Yesexcellent materials. 13: Yes.14: Very. 15: Yes, especially the list of references. Good! 16: Yes and yes. 17-18: Yes. 19: Yes, though perhaps the exit reading list could be put on the BAP Website (if not already there) and paper copies given only to those who don't have Web access. 20: Yes. 21: Very much so. The index to Bowers has already been helpful, and the reading list will be very useful as guidance for exploring the various topic areas. 22: Yes. 23: The course syllabus is something I shall attempt to follow for the next year in preparation for next year's RBS. Especially helpful are the annotations and the rankings. The format is attractive, although the binding is already giving (but I shall have mine rebound!). 24: Yes, especially the reading list (RBS collections). 25: Yes. 26: Yes, I intend to keep mine for reference (as well as the first issue to give to someone else). 27: YesI expect to do much reading based on the list of books. 28: Yes, especially the reading list will be of great usefulness.
3. Was the intellectual level of the course content appropriate?

1: Yes, I appreciated the rigor with which the course was taught. 2: Yes. I think that if a student reads the readings assigned prior to class, the level is most appropriate. 3: Yesit was very difficult, but rewarding. 4: Yes. 5: Frankly, I was nervous about intensity and time rather than difficulty, but I actually didn't feel pressuredI had enough time to do the homework without killing myselfand the lab sessions were quite relaxed. 6: Yes. 7: Yesmuch wisdom in repeatingover and overwhat we should have caught the first time in Bowers. Even better were the digressions into "it's more complicated than that." It always is, but I need specific examples of how it all gets more complicated vis-à-vis bibliography. I feel (somewhat) better able to begin asking the right questions, because RBS was able to point out how questions tend to go.8: Yes. 9: Yesperhaps too many non-related stories and jokes. 10: Yes, but I could also have been happy if it had been a little more intense. 11: I'll flatter myself and say Yes. 12: Even as a quite literate person, DesBib took me to the point I thought I was (but wasn't) when I signed up. I am very grateful for the course. 13: Yes. 14: Well conceived. 16-20: Yes. 21: Very much so. 22: Yes. 23: I think that it was for an introductory course in descriptive bibliography. I was stimulated throughout the class sessions. The books and formats and problems were varied enough to keep one guessing and focused. 24: Yesand it seemed to serve the needs of the students. Nobody (so it seemed) felt left behind and there was always a new challenge or opportuntiy to expand one's bibliogrpahical horizons! 25-28: Yes.
4. How effectively were the various parts of this course organized and co-ordinated?

1: Very well. 2: Very well. I think that the work flowed logically toward an end. 3: Very effectively. 4: Amazingly well organized. 5: The daily schedule made the week fly byand made sense to me. 6: The lectures could have been better organized. TB has a tendency to go on tangents by way of explanation. It's difficult to know when to take notes and when to sit back (or lean forward) and enjoy. A brief summary on the board would be helpful in remembering where we are. 7: Very effectively. Not a moment wasted. 8: Unfortunately, we received the lecture relevant to each Museum after we'd already been. Logistical accident? Otherwise, it was well organized. 9: It is poor to have to work on formats (homework) prior to the lecture that covers this subject. Perhaps there should be two full days of joint (whole class) lectures first and then go on to the homework labs and Museums. 10: Lectures would have been a little more useful if they had been prior to that day's homework instead of the next day. 11: It was explained to me that the philosophy of RBS is to let the student tough out the material alone before some assistance. I emphatically believe that TB's first lecture should be on collationa live, not book experience. This way that first load of homework on Monday night will mean something instead of just being "mean." 12: A rich, mature fix. Fine wine.13: Well. 14: Very well, excepting the mishap with the fumes. 15: See no.9, below. 16: Quite. 17: Very effectively. 18: Very well organized. 19: Fine, though by mid-week I found lunch, Museum, and break stringing together and becoming a little boring. 21: Amazingly well done. Despite the size of the class, it functioned as a class of three at the critical moments. The entire group was together only the first and last periods. 22: They were organized well, with the exception of Thursday's exercise in quasi-facisimile. More time could have been spent on describing (and the treatment, in general) of illustrations in the book. 23: I felt the organizationdividing the class into two parts and then into two and three person cohortswas extremely effective. I understand now, at the end of the course, the reason why the "introduction" really came with the last day (ie, in the summation). This is an effective tool, I see now in hindsight. (The first day I was not so sure about this, but it worked.) 24: I felt that the homework could have been a better use of my time if a short 10-minute spiel on the topic was provided, rather than having everything explained in lab. 25: Very well. A good variety of activities. 26: Very well. 27: See no.9, below. 28: Very effectively.
5. To what extent did the Museum (and the Museum's reference library and 3-D Carter contribute to the success of the course? How could the Museums be improved?

1: Museum was excellentall those objects that I probably would never have seen elsewhere. This was a significant part of my learning. You should print off the labels (in some compact format) as handouts for the classthey were very helpful (and if you do, send it to the 1996 class, too!). Also, should require attending the demonstration of the hand press in operation. This helped a lot. 2: I felt this was a very important aspect of the course. You cannot describe a binding until you have actually touched it, seen it, and compared it to others. Likewise with printing materials. The Carter section was a wonderful way to enhance understanding of what Carter was talking about. 3: The Museum sections were extremely helpful in providing visual references to subjects addressed in class and readings. They were also a very good way to present mounds of information on a broad variety of topics that could not be addressed in class. 4: They made the course well worth driving 320 miles for. How about a short ID-type quiz after or during each (like a lab practicum)? Would force us to pay closer attention. 5: The Museum is the best teaching aspect of the course. Day 1 was not as helpful to me as the other days, but 3-D Carter is great (although confusing when the words written on the items don't actually have their own entries in Carter!). 6: I was thrilled by the Museum. It made the course live and breathe. One reason the course appealed to me was the mention of the Museum, but it exceeded my expectations. There is nothing else like it. In addition, the hand press demonstrations were excellent. BC is a pro at explaining the press, and I was thrilled (again) to see and use (at last!) the machine I've been writing and reading so much about. Pictures just don't cut it. 7: Museum is essential to the success of this course; it makes concepts real. I paid my money expecting a hard week of bibliographical accounting (bookkeeping?). I got it (and needed it), but seeing the objects I was accounting for was a beautiful surprise. It made me love books all over again. Please keep as many of the Museums open for as long as you possibly can. I wanted to go back and review. And who else does this? 8: These were invaluable! Because there is so much material in these, I suggest that open hours be extended, if possible. I only profited from the examples of descriptive bibliography on the second day (due to exhaustion on Day 1). A number of the things I spent time on from 3-D Carter ended up being explained/illustrated in later Museums, making me wish I'd passed those over in favor of items in Carter I never did get time to see. 9: The Museums are the best part of this course. It may not be possiblebut it would be wonderful if the exhibits could be visited after hours. 10: Museum was my other favorite part (the cohort group my favorite)it was extremely helpful to see everything. Museum could be longer. 11: I very much enjoyed the Museum. It provided the perfect graphic accompaniment and I will tell you without embarrassment that the McCloud collator made me hot! 12: Does anyone notice? I think the best thing about the Museum was not the artifacts (so much) but the marvelous label texts about them; these were very clever, witty, well-written texts. 13: Usefulthe concept of a 3-D Carter is delightful! You need some French chagrin (goat) and moroccoit's different from the English.14: Very important part of the program, again being able to visualize what is being described. 15: See no.9, below. 16: Museum and 3-D Carter contributed greatly to the success of the course. The presence of lab instructors in the Museum would have helped. 17: The Museum and 3-D Carter were very useful, particularly in regard to bindings, illustrations, typethings that require a lot of hands-on experience. 18: The Museum contributed greatly to the success of the course, but there was not always someone handy to ask questions of. 19: Very interesting, generally, but overall I think too much time was given to the Museumsperhaps making the Museums available on a standing basis during the week (if possible) and focusing on a narrower group of materials in a directed session? 20: A brief written or oral explanation would have been helpful. I did not realize until the second day that the books assembled with Carter examples were examples of Carter's entriesa great idea. In setting up museum tables, if exhibits/items are meant to be viewed/read in order, then instead of a zigzag pattern, a snake [or boustrophedon -Ed.] pattern should be set up. I would like having a lab instructor present at each Museum session. No matter how thorough the explanations, I always had a question and items would get out of order. Demonstrations of the paper mold, etc., by lab instructors made the exhibits more meaningful. 21: The Museum is a tremendous resource. In the best of all possible worlds it would be a permanent installation so all of it could be accessible at all times. Short of that ideal, finding a way to make it available for a greater length of time each day would be helpful. 22: The Museums and 3-D Carter were fantastic. I would advise students to take personal copies of Carter along. I found myself wanting to take notes and add to Carter's comments. 23: The Museum was outstanding. Sometimes the attached descriptions of the displays were not as precise as one would have liked, but you could still figure it out. I wish, though, the Museums could be open later (ie, into the evening). I know this would put added stress on the staff. The 3-D Carter was an amazing thing, to have all the materials before you after reading the often hard-to-picture entries in Carter. Some of the Carter examples are not in the Carter editions and need to have explanations attached. Is there a better supplement to Carter than Stoddard's Marks in books? 24: I loved it. 3-D Carter was a superb idea. I wish they were a little smaller, so that each exercise could be digested better. 25: Very helpful, but some of the explanatory sheets weren't very clear. A privilege to see and touch all the wonderful things. 26: They both contributed very much. The 3-D Carter is very helpful. I often found myself realizing that I had not understood Carter until I saw an example. If there is any fault with the Museums it would be that there is so much that you feel rushed. 27: The reference library was very useful in evaluating items on the reading list. Museums could have had more live instruction. 28: I appreciated the Museum more with each passing day. The 3-D Carter was really helpful. I also found the various displays with the accompanying explanations very useful.
6. How successful were your format-and-collation labs? How effective was you lab instructor in conveying the material to be covered? How could the labs be improved?

[1-3: Peter-john Byrnes] 1: You have to go over your work in some detail or else not learn at all. Labs were fine: our particular cohort was a good group. PB was excellent and shared so much of his knowledge of printing, c19 books, etc. Plus he was very patient. 2: I think I was moderately successful in that I was able to create a collation and understand when I did get something wrong. Certainly more time would be desireable, but for one week I think I've gained a good understanding. More time collating fewer books might be helpful: it would give you time to pay more attention to detail. 3: Maybe they would have been more helpful to work in groups (or maybe pairs) or at least for the instructor to go over one problem before sending us out on our own. There were many times when I truly felt lost and could have learned more working with others first.[4-9: David Gants] 4: Would have liked more varied homework: eg, exercises identifying types of paper, binding, typography, etc. Also, the collation exercises were sometimes so sophisticated that our lab instructor got lost (and not because he is dumb). Perhaps more straightforward examples would have been more appropriate at the introductory level. 5: DG was able to answer my questions and/or explain the errors I made very clearlyand very kindly. Time could have been better arranged for everyonewe barely made it though the books in the time provided. Also, I couldn't figure out why I had been put with the others in my groupour interests were quite different. 6: My lab instructor was patient and tactful and very enthusiastic about the subject. But on Wednesday he spent way too much time on one book and allowed one person in the cohort to monopolize lab time. When you only have three days, this is a serious mistake. (On the other hand, he showed concern for the student's needs.)7: I was disappointed. One student never did homework at all. The other was more interested in being the best bibliographer than in learning how to do format and collationvery irritating. My instructor was an absolute angel about all this, I hasten to add. But I did not feel I was in the company of students who needed to learn this well. I wanted more productive pickiness and intensity. I need it, or my advisor will eat me alive. 8: Excellent teacher-to-student ratio. We just ran out of time too often. Just half an hour more would've helped. Also, it would've been useful to maintain some continuity throughout the labsfor example, repeatedly returning to at least one single book, building upon our first lab's format to do collation, the second day's collation to do pagination, etc. 9: It would help if lab formats would incorporate the instructor explaining step by step the descriptive bibliography of one book. DG is an enthusiastic and dedicated teacher. [10-15: David Jenkins]10: Very successfulI had marked improvement each day. DJ is greatmy cohorts and I really enjoyed working with him and with each other. No improvements needed unless the class is taken farther and in more depth. 11: DJ was a doll and provided just the right amount of humor to an otherwise excruciating process of learning. I still believe my preview comment regarding a lecture on collation would be over-the-top beneficial. 12: Very satisfactory labs. Young DJ was the most congenial and competent of Arielsvery good (on this model, TB is Prospero). I wish to thank also the constructor of the cohorts. My group was perfect for me. 13: These were the practical side of the course and were essential. Our lab instructor was both instructive and kind (we made lots of errors), which, in turn, encouraged us. One needs to see many books, even though it takes lots of time.14: Worked very well with the group, showing poise and conveying confidence in his teaching. 15: Very good. [16-21: Richard Noble] 16: Labs were quite successful. RN was an excellent instructor. Labs would have been improved by better lighting conditions. 17: I feel that the labs were very successful. My instructor is extremely knowledgeable and conveyed the material very clearly (and I thank him). 18:All excellent. This was the most useful part of the course for me. 19: Generally fine. RN was very pleasant and answered questions well. I think it rather high-schoolish to forbid students to work together and consultafter all, much learning is to be had through consultation. 20: Excellent. It was great to have a lab instructor who could comment on the pitfalls of AACR1 and DCRB in describing rare books and show how he would describe the book, the notes he would make. 21: The labs were where the major learning took place. The lab instructor was superbknowledgeable yet gentle, and with a great sense of humor. Having the same lab instructor for each of the three labs helped build a good relationship in the small group. [22-26: A. Timothy Rogers] 22: Too brief! ATR was a brilliant instructor; he went out of his way on several occasions to find answers for our group. He has a great ability in being able to explain Bowers. My only criticism is that one week is too short to "get" DesBib. 23: ATR was great. He had a command of the materials, answered all questions patiently and never made me afraid to be wrong. He interacted well with everyone in the cohort. 24: If nobody told me it was ATR's first crack at lab instruction, I would have never known. He was clear, helpful, more knowledgeable than he gave himself credit for, and was very forgiving of our mistakes. 25: Very usefulthis is something that can only be learned by doing. Lab instructor was very helpful and the group as a whole had a non-judgmental attitude. But the pre-class reading list should emphasize that format/collation will not be gone over in class and that people really need to do the reading so they can jump right in with the homework assignments. 26: Invaluable. I can't imagine trying to do this without them. If I learned 1 from reading Bowers, I learned 4 from doing it myself and 10X from the lab. [27-28: Kelly Tetterton] 27: Lab instructor was very good. Wish there were time to do more books. 28: I thought the labs were useful, but perhaps too much given to the instructor's preferences. More than once my work was corrected because she did not adhere to the Bowers book. Overall, though, she was quite helpful.
7. To what degree did the actual course content correspond to its RBS brochure description and Expanded Course Description, as well as to your own expectations?

1: Seemed close. I had done some work in descriptive bibliography before, so I knew what I was in for. 2: I think it corresponded very well to my expectations. 3: It was more information than I could ever have imagined, or that ever could have been enumerated in the course description. 4: Corresponded very well as a whole. Perhaps one needs a bit more warning that parts of this course resemble a Collation 101 class. 5: The course is less intense and difficult than I had anticipatedbut otherwise fulfilled its purpose for me in all the ways that I expected. I suppose that one cannot apply the intensity and responsibility of a univeristy level course to a one-week session. This is, after all, a kind of summer camp. 6: I didn't expect to be doing so much collatingand the course description should indicate that three-four hours a day are needed to do homework. I like collating, and the Museum, as I said, exceeded my expectations. 7: Very closelyaccurately, even. 8: It had a more general scope than as described (in my opinion, a plus). The Museums and reference works gave us entree to the gamut of book arts concerns. 9: Pretty well. 10: It corresponded nicelyI expected the course to be more intense and more difficult than it was. 11: It was the real thing. 12: All very well. Ideally, I might have preferred a more complex and demanding presentation (but then again, I do read a lot). But the course was much as I anticipated and wished. 13: The practical and philosophical combined beautifully here. 14: Everything as advertized, perhaps a bit more than anticipatedpleasant surprise. 16: Good correspondence of content/RBS brochure/Expanded Course Description. 17: I think that the course is what it is advertised as being. 18: Good match. 19: I expected more hands-on work with format and collation and an instructor and this part was, it seems to me, almost secondary to the other parts. The Museum periods were too long and unfocused. 20: It corresponded very accurately to the brochure and Expanded Course Description. 21: The content was exactly what had been anticipated. 22: I expected the course to be difficult and it was. If I hadn't read Bowers, I would have been in the dark from Day 1. The descriptions made it very clear that this was a serious, adult course, and made

it extremely clear that Bowers needed to be read before coming. 23: I was expecting a more rigorous course (ie, quizzes, working until midnight on problem sets, etc.) from the description. I worked hard, but I was expecting that homework would be done on one's own time (ie, after 5pm). 24: It covered more than I though it would, but you could have bragged a lot more about the resources provided once here. Life was a (helluvalotta) choice. 25: Very well. 26: It conformed very well, except that I actually learned more about collation than I expected. 27: I anticipated more instruction on typefaces. 28: I was expecting more direct instruction, although I am not critical of the fact that there was less than I was expecting, except in the area of format and collation (see no.9, below).

8. What did you like best about the course?

1: The variety of teaching tools: lecture, Museum, homework, lab. Excellent collection of expertise and resources; I'll miss this when going home. 2: TB's lectures give you the benefit of years of experience. They are worth their weight in gold. Much of the information can't be found it a book! They were excellent. 3: The staff was exceptionally helpful, not condescending and NEVER, EVER disparaging. RBS is always a great environment to learn in! 4: Hands-on experience. BC's lecture. Museums. (Am I allowed to put in more than one thing?) Ohbibliography in the syllabus, and discussion of relevant people in the field, too. 5: Museum!!! (And the exit reading list.) 6: Picking things up and holding them in my hands. I especially enjoyed the type mold, the Lyon edition of Fuchs (1547?), and the leaves of the Greek Aldine Aristophanes. Also collating. 7: Handling Museum objects, especially the binding materials. Having the Carter examples. 8: A good mixture of general introduction to book history (and resources relating to it) and of the specific philosophy and skill of descriptive bibliography. 9: The Museums. 10: Homework, labs, and Museum. 11: The Museum labs and the opportunity to examine physically so many different books during homework. 12: My labs with young DJ were stimulating, funny, and very instructive. I also like TB's sage advice (when it is sage). 13: See no. 7, above. I think I have had an introduction to a discipline that I may use in some way (if only in reading bibliographical material). 14: Challenge, but informed in a well contrieved way. 16: TB. 17: The labs. 18: The format and collation labs. 19: Learning how to make a printer's hat, of course! TB's lectures were great and highly entertaining. 20: Being able to see and handle so many rare books, especially the sheets of unbound books. And the printing press demonstration. Also meeting other librarians working in other non-academic situations/institutions. 21: The hands-on experience in small groups working with an experienced lab instructor, working with the actual materials. 22: I appreciated the opportunity of having my homework checked and corrected. 3-D Carter was wonderful, but I felt that more emphasis should have been placed on bindings and on book illustration (another course, another time?). 23: TB, ATR as the lab instructor, and the time spent with the books and also with the 3-D Carter!!! I think ATR is an excellent instructor, as I've mentioned above. TB's lectures did not cause me to feel MEGO [My Eyes Glaze Over -Ed.]! 24: Museum periodthe chance to touch and play with the books, etc. 25: All of it. 26: The actual experience doing collation and then going over it in lab. 27: Format and collation labs. 28: Being able to work directly with the books.

9. How could the course have been improved?

1: Probably need to rearrange pre-course readings so we come here better prepared. 3: See no. 6, above. Also, maybe fewer students. 4: TB's lectures were entertaining and informative, but often not directly relevant to the day's ostensible topic. Also: I was shocked to find that no advice was given us on Day 1 or any other day about how to handle a rare book under normal circumstances (no pens, wash hands before examining, etc.) There is a reason the teaching books are disintegrating, and this is it. 5: I like the way things are run. 6: Make the lectures more coherent. Otherwise it can't be improved. Unlike some of the 95 participants, I thought the parts about book history, typography, etc., were very helpful and rounded out the course. After all, why do DesBib if you don't know about what you're describing. 7: Perhaps four people per lab? 8: I feel we would have profited much more in the descriptive bibliography class in a hands-on presentation/discussion of examples of descriptive bibliographiesfor example, taking us together through several different bibliographies, pausing to point out differences in audience, use of standard collation formulas, and varying purposes for these specific bibliographies. 9: It would be helpful if pre-course reading lists would also specifically indicate which chapters in which books need extra care and work. 10: More collating homework (with titlepage transcription) on Thursday night. 11: I would like to see DesBib as a two-week course. The information is so vast and the time so short. 12: I know some will write, rein in TB. But let him range. (Rangenot rage. He was quite kind, really.) 13: I have no idea. 15:The course is planned in a way that I like, with lectures, Museum, and labs, but I don't think it really worked out as well as it could have. I would have liked the lectures to have been much more directly connected to the Museum, the Museum as a direct extension of the lecture. Although this is probably believed to be so, in reality there is a gap between the two that sometimes made me confused. The first day I did not really understand what was going on. The labs, though, were very good and I think that this must be the best way to learn a little about collation. 16: Longer labs. 18: More use of Gaskell, with reference to Bowers when Gaskell doesn't go deep enough. Although the pre-course readings and video wer good, it's hard to find time beforehand. That's why I came to a courseto have uninterrupted time to work on bibliographical description. Instructor said that format is no problem. This is not true! There should have been more in-class discussion of Gaskell's method of determining format (p.84ff) or, if his method is not good, some alternative method of determining format. Folio, quarto, and octavo are usually easy, but not the smaller formats. Perhaps this need will be addressed by Part 2 of the video. Still, I'd rather have done more of this in class or lab. Less time still could have been given to quasi-facsimile transcription. Perhaps also less to lecture and more to labs. 19: A little tighter focus on hands-on work with format and collation.20: Perhaps more titlepage transcription to the first daymove some of the unassigned/free time Friday morning to the other days. Have optional lab period Friday morning in which you and your lab instructor could go over some of the recurring problems you are having with the collation. 21: I would have found it helpful for the lab group to work through the description of one or two books to see how an experienced person apparoaches a description, before setting off to do so individually. 23: I still think the initial introductory lecture should get into Bowers specifically. Would a lecture/discussion be a waste of what little time we have? 24: As I mentioned, the time could have been shifted. Perhaps a longer lecture period (sorry, TB, I know it would be tiring, but they were so informative!) 25: Some of the instructions about the schedule/logistics could have been more clear. 26: TB uses inductive method rather than deductive, with which I actually agree, although it's pretty hair-raising. Nonetheless, maybe just a tiny little bit more introduction to format/collation/foliation/pagination/transcription before casting us to the ternder mercies of Bowers. 27: Lectures could be more effectively integrated with the labs and Museums. 28: I would suggest giving some direct instruction on format and collation before throwing us into the exercises. Also, being more clear about homework expectations might help.
10. Please comment at will on the quality/enjoyability of the various RBS activities in which you took part outside of class, eg Sunday afternoon tour, Sunday night dinner and videos, Bookseller Night, tour of the Etext Center or Electronic Classroom, printing demonstrations, evening lectures, &c.

1: J. Kevin Graffagnino was okay. Brett Charbeneau's and TB's talks were very interesting. You should have BC speak every yeara very good combination of humor and information. 2: The evening lectures were most enjoyable and very well done. 4: JKG's lecture was rather lightweightbut perhaps this was deliberatesome people want a break after paying close attention to minutiae during the day. (But I didn't.) Could have been more intellectual. 5: JKG=terrible. BC=terrific. TB=not what I expectedless of a substantial talk and finale than I thought it would be. 6: JKG's lecture struck me as pat and self-congratulatory. It also reminded me of a very tasteful infomercial. BC's lecture was sensational. He's an excellent speaker, and I was very excited to hear about his research. TB's lecture was informative and cheerfully pessimistic. 7: Very worthwhile. BC was a treat. 9: JKG was self-promotion for a forthcoming book and was a disappointment. BC and TB were informative and very useful/interesting. 10: JKG's lecture was indulgent, boring, and a waste of my time. BC's lecture was very enjoyable and encouragingI loved it. I wish TB had spoken more about the state of bibliography, current happenings, ideas, etc. 11: JKG should have been shot. BC was a most enjoyable recounting of a unique personal search with eventual historical significance. Make 'em laugh as well as inform them. TB was himself. 12: BC's was OK, if a bit "I have young man's disease." TB's was quite well written. 13: I thought JKG was terrible. I would like to have attended BS's, but I wanted more to work on my homework, and so missed it. I always enjoy TB's lectures! 14: BC was entertainingdid not attend TB's. 16: JKGa boring one-hour advertisement for his book. BCwonderful. TBwonderful. 17: JKG relied too much on reading from his book. He has, no doubt, had an interesting career, and perhaps could have devoted more of his talk to other aspects of it than this one publication. BC was very interesting. It is a pleasure to hear a gifted speaker describe so engagingly research that emerges from a deep-rooted interest. TB gave an interesting, thought-provoking reflection on the past and future of the field.18: Enjoyable. 20: BC's lecture was greatlectures by practioners rathen than academics are the best. TB's lecture was to the pointdescribed exactly what was/is happening at my institution (books to the landfill). 21: Very enjoyable, appropriate for a summer evening. The Rotunda is an elegant setting for them. 22: JKG: I expected a lecture and heard a book promotion. BC: Excellent! He was an interesting and lively speaker. His love for bibliography really rang out. You should use him as a bibliographic recruiter! 23: JKG was a dreadful boreand an offensive one at that. The mistress and sex jokes did not amuse and the whole thing is best forgotten. BC was great and a personal inspriation for me. TB was the same to me as BC: gold. 24: The two I attended were enjoyable and gave a nice feeling of community. 25: JKGtoo light, not worth my time. TBexcellent. 27: Lectures were very good. 28: I missed BC's lecture to do homework. Of the two I attended, I found TB's the more interesting and thought provoking. JKG was disappointing. We all have personal testimonies, I am sure, that we could give about our lifelong love of books. His lecture would have been better directed at a more general audience which might have thought his experience was something unique or special. The quotations, read one after the other, got old fast.
11. Any final thoughts or advice for other persons considering taking this course in a future year? Did you get your money's worth?

1: Do your readings ahead of time! Be prepared to work hard. Absolutely got my money's worth. 2: I would recommend the course to anyone serious about understanding rare books. I think it is a must for anyone in the field. I definitely got my money's worth. 3: An invaluable course for anyone contemplating a career in the history of the book, special collections, etc. Money's worth? Absolutely! 4: Got my money's worth (my coffee's, too). The few flaws are enormously outweighed by the virtues and benefits to be gained. Bravo. Advice for other persons? Come to RBS. 'Nough said. Viva TB, and congratulations. 5: Definitely got my money's worth. I would like to come back. 6: If one has any interest in book history, this is a good course to take. It's very important and the only opportunity to do and see many of the things we did. Make sure you spend three-four hours on homework, but don't be afraid of making mistakes or be embarrassed when you do (because you will). The Museum alone is worth the price of admission! RBS is a huge bargain in education. I can't wait to come back! Please offer "Physical Evidence in Early Printed Books" again! 7: Yes. 8: More than my money's worth. I'll be back! Ohthe staff, I must add, were both affable and resourceful! 9: 1) Spend a year studying Bowers. 2) Yes, I got my money's worth. 10: Advice: Do the reading! I want to come back next year, I want to take courses every year! Create DesBib II. 11: Start reading Bowers two months in advance (my six weeks for both books wasn't enough) and lay your hands on books (if you can) upon which to apply his bizarrely logical formulae. Money? How do you compare knowledge to money? 12: The entire experience was so majestical and magical I thought I was on Prospero's isle. I really did. (Thanks.) 13: See no.1, above. Also, be prepared to be patient and painstaking in the labsit's faster that way. 14: Read and re-read. Time and money well spentat least the money of my institution. 15: Yes. 16: Advice: Read Bowers 100 times; get plenty of rest before coming to Charlottesville. Money: Yesand more. 17: I was very impressed by the level of organization and the wealth of the teaching resources as well as the enthusiasm of all concerned. Yes, I feel the the course is worth what it costs. 18: Yes. 19: The detailed index to Bowers should be sent out pre-course. Generally, I do think I got what I paid for. 20: Hand out or send after the course is over examples of full descriptions of some of the books gone over in the labs

a sample folio, quarto, octavo, duodecimo. 21: The UVa grounds are a wonderful setting for this gem of a program. I definitely received good value for the investment. Thanks for a very good week. 22: I received triple my money's worth! The warning about pre-course readings should be seriously considered. 23: Get sleep and read as much as you can before you arrive. It is an incredible opportunity to work with people central to this field, to have hands-on access to materials, and to be in a room where people feel passionately about this. I recommend it highly and am terribly satisfied.24: 1) Take the breaks provided you. If you rest the brain, it will function better for you next period. 2) It is a great confidence-builder: before this course, I would often convince myself that rearranging the paper clips on my desk was a far more pressing need than cataloging the c18 folio staring at meI now look forward to the challenge. Thank you, thank you, thank you. 25: It was a great experience to be introduced to this part of the book world. I would recommend RBS to my bookish friends and hope to come back another year. 26: My money's worth was 20% of the tuition, strictly. [The student's institution paid the other 80%. -Ed.] I think the RBS courses are all actually a very considerable bargain, especially considering the really refined logistical coordination that goes into them. 27: Do the pre-course reading. Yes, I got my money's worth. 28: Yes, I believe I did get my institution's money's worth. I'm carrying back a lot of information that I will use in my work.

Number of respondents: 28

Leave Tuition Housing Travel
gave me leave
paid tuition
paid housing
paid travel
75% 64%* 41%* 43%*
I took vac-
tion time
I paid tui-
tion myself
I paid for my
own housing
I paid my own
4% 31% 48% 50%
N/A: self-
employed, re-
tired, or had
summers off
N/A: self
retired, or
N/A: stayed
with friends
or lived at
N/A: lived
21% 5% 11% 7%
*Includes one student (4%) funded by a grant.
There were 28 students, six rare book libarians (21%), four general librarians with some rare book studies (14%) four full-time students (21%), three conservation/binder/preservation libarians (11%), three general libarians with unspecified rare book duties (11%), two antiquarian booksellers (7%), two archivist/manscript libarians (7%), two teacher/professors (7%), one collector (4%) and one librarian between jobs (4%).