Terry Belanger

I-20: Book Illustration Processes to 1900

6-10 January 2006


1)   How useful were the pre-course readings?

1: Very useful. 2: Gascoigne’s text [How to Identify Prints] was a wonderful introduction to the subject. 3: Very. I will be using my Gascoigne as my primary print identification reference source for a long time to come. 4: The reading was directly relevant. 5: Gascoigne quite helpful and TB’s caveats about Gascoigne’s illustrations will be taken to heart. 6: One definitely should have pre-course knowledge on print identification. Though it is difficult to read Gascoigne with no items or comparison in front of you. 7: Very good. 8: Very helpful: necessary to read ahead of the course but likely much more comprehensible after the course is completed. 9: Excellent. I had previously read Gascoigne. I read the 2nd book, then re-read Gascoigne. 10: Indispensable.


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: Absolutely, and an excellent way to stay organized during class; will be a good road map for the future, too. 2: N/A. 3: Yes – I believe they will be extremely useful when I return to work and my interns. 4: They were appropriate for the class and will be useful later. 5: N/A. 6: Extremely, to be working solely with originals. 7: Yes, very useful this week and in the future for reference. 8: Yes – I plan to read more in them when home. 9: The exit bibliography will keep me busy for years. 10: Both.


3)   What aspects of the course content were of the greatest interest or relevance for your purposes? Was the intellectual level of the course appropriate?

1: Hands-on study of the prints. Yes. 2: Teaching from original materials was wonderful. 3: Being able to handle a variety of prints throughout the week was most relevant to my purposes as I am dealing with prints and print identification on a daily basis. 4: Looking at the prints and the close discussion that followed. I enjoyed the context provided by the instructor’s amusing and wide-ranging anecdotes. 5: Although I catalog c20 prints primarily, it’s good to understand c19 processes, techniques, and vocabulary. 6: Looking at many prints and trying to identify characteristics. 7: Learning time of processes’ use, overlap. 8: I tended to be more focused on the description of illustration process techniques, rather than identification assistance. This is personal style - I need to know “why” and “how” and can use them as springboards to discern “what.” 9: I liked the opportunity of seeing “live” all the different types of things. The intellectual level was challenging, but very appropriate. 10: Broad survey of print categories was of greatest interest and relevance.


5)   What did you like best about the course?

1: Hands-on study of the prints. Knowledgeable professor. 2: The examples offered in original materials, the instructor’s encyclopedic knowledge of the subject tempered by a dry-ish sense of humor. 3: See question 3. 4: The reflections and comments of the teacher. Much is/was very interesting. 5: The opportunity to handle specimens was invaluable. 6: Having original examples to look at. 7: All of the examples. 8: Seeing all of the beautiful prints. 9: The chance to see all the prints. 10: Teacher’s presentation and materials shown.


6)   How could the course have been improved?

1: If administratively possible, a list of attendees beforehand so that it might be possible to share housing costs and/or get to know one another beforehand. 2: N/A. 3: Better lighting in the classroom. Thank you for continuing to improve it as the week progressed. 4: The air in the Morris Room got pretty stale and well-breathed. It might be nice to crank up the A. C. 5: No comments. 6: Great course, though more history on development of presses, machinery would have been interesting to me. 7: N/A. 8: A bit more space to work in and better lighting. 9: I would have been willing to start earlier. 10: Perhaps two weeks!


7)   We are always concerned about the physical well-being both of the RBS teaching collections and of materials owned by the Grolier Club. If relevant, what suggestions do you have for the improved classroom handling of such materials used in your course this week?

1: None. Everything was well-organized and professionally done. 2: N/A. 3: N/A. 4: No ideas for improvement... I was so happy to examine the wonderfully selected materials at close range. An astonishing privilege! 5: No suggestions. 6: Joining tables might give more space to lay down prints flat. 7: N/A. 8: Newer mylar for the earlier acquired prints so that adhesive on “spine” of sleeve does not migrate into prints themselves. A book cradle or two for some of the disintegrating, acidic books passed around. 9: No suggestions. 10: None.


8)   If you attended the Monday and/or Tuesday night lectures, were they worth attending?

1. Yes. 2: Yes. 3: I attended the Monday night event and was quite interested to learn the state of RBS. 4: I attended and enjoyed both. 5: Did not attend. 6: N/A. 7: I attended Monday night’s lecture, and enjoyed it and learned much about RBS. The [David] Stam lecture on Tuesday was very good, too. 8: I attended Monday’s lecture and enjoyed hearing about the future of RBS from TB. 9: Attended Tuesday (too tired Monday). The exhibit was of interest to me so it was good to hear about it. 10: O.K.


9)   If you attended Wednesday evening study night at the Grolier Club, was it worth attending?

1: Yes. 2: N/A. 3: N/A. 4: Did not attend study night, but enjoyed Eric Holzenberg’s tour of the Club. 5: Did not attend. 6: Interesting to have a view of the Grolier. 7: N/A. 8: I attended only for the tour, which was very nice. 9: N/A. 10: Did not attend.


10) Did you get your money’s worth? Any final or summary thoughts, or advice for other persons considering taking this course in a future year?

1: Absolutely!!! The course more than met my expectations and was much more demanding than I expected. Be certain to read before coming and be prepared for an intellectually exhausting week - one that is highly enriching and very satisfying. 2: It might be interesting if TB were to start a dialogue with Art Spiegelman, who seems to be developing a list of the early American "comic" press. 3: I believe I got my money's worth, plus, but my mind is still a muddle from cramming in so much information in 30 hours. For students who haven't done any printmaking processes, I recommend taking the Charlottesville session. It definitely helps to have some hands-on experience with the different methods. 4: Yes, of course, well worth the time and money. 5: The course was well worth it. 6: Indispensable course for anyone attempting to identify prints. 7: Yes. 8: The class was great - I certainly got my money’s worth (and also now, more than ever, want to take more RBS courses). 9: Absolutely. This has been one of the most intellectually stimulating courses that I’ve taken. I think the lack of lab and field trips made this so. 10: Yes! Come prepared and prepare to learn.

Number of respondents: 10


Leave                       Tuition                    Housing                   Travel

Institution                 Institution                 Institution                 Institution

gave me leave            paid tuition               paid housing              paid travel

50%                            20%                            30%                            20%

I took vaca-                I paid tui-                  I paid for my              I paid my own

tion time                    tion myself                 own housing              travel

30%                            60%                            10%                            30%

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

20%                            20%                            60%                            50%

There were 2 general librarians with some rare book duties (20%); 2 full-time students (20%); 3 conservators/binders/preservation librarians (30%); and 3 students with “other” occupations (30%): “catalog librarian and printed ephemera”; “Specialist librarian (systems)”; and “semi-retired.”