C-70: Collecting the History of Anglo-American Law
5-9 June 2006
1) How useful were the pre-course readings?
1: The materials were very helpful for the course and of lasting reference value. 2: Very good. The need to know terminology was important and, the readings were great in this area. 3: The pre-course readings were extremely useful. I acquired a strong grounding for the course. Each reading was relevant and helpful. 4: Very useful. Gave me an excellent background so I could hit the ground running at the course. 5: Useful in giving background information, but I don’t feel they were required. 6: They were very useful for background and also were referred to frequently in class; one reading in particular was essential for a class assignment. 7: The pre-course readings were very useful and well-thought-out choices. I’m sure I’ll refer to them after RBS as well. 8: Good. Instructors made only reference to the materials, so as to not lose time going over them. The readings were all relevant. 9: Very helpful. I would have been lost without them. 10: The pre-course readings were essential to my basic understanding of the lectures. Although extensive, the readings were very useful and will be useful in the future. 11: Very useful materials on legal literature. 12. They were very informative.
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: They were useful and distributed at the right time. 2: Yes, especially references to the web sites. 3: Yes. I will certainly use these materials in the future; they will remain useful long past the class discussions. 4: Absolutely useful for the class. I know exactly what to expect, and it all helped me follow along in the course well. Will definitely keep and use in the future. 5: Yes -- and I will use them at home. 6: Yes. 7: Yes, the outlines in particular will be helpful in organizing my notes, and the binder full of handouts was a pleasant surprise. 8: Yes. I anticipate using them in the future as a reference guide. 9: Very useful. 10: The course syllabus was useful and will be useful in the future. 11: YES. 12. Yes.
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: The class discussions following the assignments were very interesting. The teaching by eminent librarians was very valuable. 2: Again identification of resource material as well as identification of key rare book titles. Intellectual level challenging and more than appropriate. 3: This question is difficult to answer because the content was so rich and deep. I learned from every aspect of this course. 4: Intellectual level was perfect. All the resources we learned about -- books, bibliographies, web sites, articles, et&. 5: The overview of legal bibliography. Yes, the intellectual level was appropriate. 6: Anglo-American legal bibliography and antiquarian book market, generally. Yes, the intellectual level of the course was appropriate. 7: The experiences of the instructors and knowledge of their collections. 8: The general level of knowledge and experience of the instructors was awe-inspiring. Their ability to communicate complex issues was tremendous. 9: Yes, very well spent. 10: The history of law books and publishing in both Britain and America. The intellectual level was perfect. 11: Physical make-up of books, legal bibliographical resources, librarians’ and book dealers’ strategies. 12. The legal bibliography parts were especially interesting to me. The course was very good.
4) If your course had field trips (including visits to the Dome Room, the McGregor Room, the hand printing presses in the Stettinius Gallery, the Etext Center, UVa’s Albert and Shirley Small Library, RBS’s Lower Tibet, &c.), were they effective?
1: Yes. Excellent. 2: Very well spent, and the rare book librarian, a Ms. White, I believe, was very helpful. 3: Yes! 4: Yes! Went to UVa Law Library, Special Collections -- tremendous experience! Wonderful. 5: Yes. 6: Yes -- we visited the Special Collections at the Law Library and viewed several works that had been discussed in class. We also had an opportunity to talk to the Special Collections librarian. 7: Yes, our field trip to the Law Library Special Collections was well worth the time. 8: Yes, we visited the UVa Law Library. The opportunity to examine material discussed in class was very valuable, and made the subject come alive. 9: The instructors were exceptional. Despite the long day, they kept my attention. 10: The field trip to the UVa Law School Library was wonderful! 11: Yes. I think the director would have spoken all day about the new Special Collections Library. The Law Library Special Collections was also very interesting. 12. Yes. The Law School Library has a wonderful collection.
5) What did you like best about the course?
1: Meeting other people with a specialist knowledge of rare law book collecting. 2: Listening and learning from Morris Cohen and David Warrington talk about rare books. 3: The instructors were excellent. They work very well together and taught a great amount of material. I am very grateful I was able to take this course. 4: The instructors. Absolutely the best. 5: The ratio of student to instructor, the quality of the instructor, and the pace of the instruction. 6: The ease of discussion and exchange of information with both the instructors and with the other members of the class. 7: Everything. 8: The instructors. 9: Everything was wonderful! 10: The faculty and the field trip. (See above.) 11: Gaining an insight into the approaches of librarians of major collecting institutions. 12. It was extremely stimulating, and I learned a great deal.
6) How could the course have been improved?
1: The first assignment would have been even more exciting if everyone had in advance been asked to look at all the books and to say what they would have been prepared to pay. 2: Additional time identifying other rare law books. 3: It was excellent. I wish they would offer a second part. 4: Can’t be. Seriously. 5: Perhaps the classrooms could be improved. 6: The pace at the beginning was a little slow for me, but perhaps that was appropriate for the mixture of the class participants. 7: I can’t really think of anything -- maybe a bit more on pricing and how to determine a fair price. 8: More hands-on experience. 9. Better chairs and a larger room. 10: More time, although I don’t have any suggestions as to how to extend the time. 11: No ideas. 12. I would have liked even more legal bibliography.
7) We are always concerned about the physical well-being both of the RBS teaching collections and of materials owned by UVa’s Special Collections. If relevant, what suggestions do you have for the improved classroom handling of such materials used in your course this week?
1: No. 2: A longer session of hands-on at Law Library Special Collections facility is recommended. 3-11: None. 12. I don’t have any suggestions.
8) If you attended the Sunday and/or Monday night lectures, were they worth attending?
1-3: Yes. 4-6: N/A. 7: Yes, I attended them both and enjoyed them both, especially the one on bindings. 8: N/A. 10: I did not attend the Monday night lecture. The Sunday night lecture is necessary to attendees. 11: Sunday, I attended. Good overview of the school’s aims. I did not attend Monday. 12. N/A.
9) If you attended evening activities, was the time profitably spent?
10) Did you get your money’s worth? Any final thoughts?
1: Yes. It was extremely good value. 2: Yes! I would highly recommend this course. 3: Yes. I most highly recommend this course to anyone considering taking it. 4: Absolutely! I want to come again for another course -- the highest recommendation of all. :) 5: Yes, I got my money’s worth. It was well worth attending. 6: Yes -- and I would recommend it highly to others. 7: Yes. I’d advise any law librarian or collector with a special collections interest to take the course. The instructors are top-notch and very willing to share their experiences and expertise. 8: Yes. I can’t wait to find out what you are offering next year! 9: I do not think there are many professional education programs priced as reasonably as RBS. Many programs charge several hundred dollars for one or two day programs. 10: Yes. I definitely got my money’s worth. 11: YES. 12. Yes. I would recommend this class highly. Both professors were wonderful. They were also both very generous in talking to me out of class and volunteering to answer questions in the future.
Number of respondents: 12
Leave Tuition Housing Travel
Institution Institution Institution Institution
gave me leave paid tuition paid housing paid travel
67% 42% 67% 58%
I took vaca- I paid tui- I paid for my I paid my own
tion time tion myself own housing travel
8% 33% 33% 33%
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 scholarship home
25% 25% 0% 8%
There were 7 general librarians with some rare book duties (58%), 1 general librarian without rare book duties (8%), 1 antiquarian bookseller (8%), and 3 students at RBS in their roles as book-collectors (25%).