Susan M. Allen & William P. Barlow, Jr

L-55: Donors and Libraries

17-21 July 2006


1)   How useful were the pre-course readings?

1: Very useful and thoughtfully chosen for the course. 2: Interesting more than necessary, except for the tax information booklet, which must be read. 3: Pre-course readings were indeed useful, but I would have appreciated an expanded list of suggested readings. 4: Much is valuable carryover material – an awful lot. 5: A mixed bag. The tax information was essential. The history of collectors by Basbanes was fascinating, unlike the book on American collectors, which was uninspired. 6: Very useful, particularly the “Becoming a Fundraiser” text. 8: Pretty useful. We might have talked a bit more about them. Barlow’s pamphlet was quite good. 9: Very helpful in preparing me for the course, in particular understanding certain mind-sets of donors.


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: Very useful, and many of the handouts, particularly the Barlow tax booklet, will be fine references in the future. 2-3: Yes. 4: Great future benefit – for active use. 5: Quite appropriate. 6: Very useful, and I will use them in the future. 7: Yes. 8: Yes. Good stuff. 9: 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 tax considerations for the donor were of particular relevance for me. As a collector, the librarian’s point of view on negotiating gifts was interesting and helpful. 2: There was no wasted time, and each topic was interesting and potentially useful. Intellectually appropriate. 3: I was most interested in the tax laws and legal agreements (e.g. deed of gifts). Overall, I found the intellectual level of the course appropriate and stimulating – very fluid and interesting discussions. 4: The conciseness of such a big picture – the flow and organization of the subject matter. 5: The work of prospect researchers was enlightening and frightening. The intellectual level was appropriate. The role-playing was very valuable use of class time. 6: Donor relations, tax issues, history of “book giving” and philanthropy in the U.S., negotiating techniques and tools. 7: The tax issues sections were the most interesting and of the greatest help. I was continually [illegible – hp] with the knowledge of the instructors. 8: Of greatest interest was in finding potential donors, but everything seemed relevant. The intellectual level was right on. 9: Yes. Tax information and concerns.


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: Only visited SC to see the treasures and hear about the donors who gave them. Fascinating! 2: Yes. Seeing outstanding items from the collection was a treat; learning how and from whom they came here rendered the lesson pertinent. 3: I think the visit to SC to learn about UVa’s donors and collections complemented the discussions in class. 4: Yes. 5: Indeed, well spent, particularly tour of SC building, introduction of significant holdings. 6: Field trips were always useful and relevant. 7: Yes. 8: Yes – Christian Dupont’s presentation was great. I also like that we were in the Small Special Collections building so I could visit their displays. 9: Yes.


5)   What did you like best about the course?

1: The excellent presentations by WB and SA and the interaction among classmates that was generated by those presentations. 2: Instructors’ expertise and sense of humor, thoughtfulness and varied backgrounds of classmates. 3: Mix of collectors, librarians, booksellers in conjunction with the varied expertise of our two faculty, and with that, the knowledge that the faculty are absolute experts and authorities in their fields. This environment allowed me to ask – and have answered – a number of questions I have held for a long time. 4: Not an easy question. Being part of the process – very interactive – the driest issues came alive. A superb group of students and stellar professors. 5: Hearing from other collectors, listening to WB and SA talk about their experiences, Ellen Dunlap and Randy Holden – it was all valuable. 6: Everything! 7: Give and take between the instructors and the class and between classmates. I would like to add, that I have taken classes for 16 years but it appeared to me that SA and WB were extremely well prepared and were doing some homework, too. Additionally, they are very pleasant individuals and made the course exciting and fun as well as imparting a great deal of knowledge. 8: The mix of people. A great balance of librarians, collectors and booksellers. A VERY good crowd. 9: Anecdotal info on actual donors, donations, situations. And the UVa “highspot” presentation Friday morning.


6)   How could the course have been improved?

1: No suggestions. 2: Difficult to think of a way. The course content touched on many vital issues in librarianship, tangentially but significantly related to its focus. 3: There was a lot of emphasis at times on UVa and its collections and experiences. I wonder whether those outside the UVa community thought there was too much. 4: I could/should have read 100% of the materials. The more handouts, the better. 5: First day was disappointing and seemed to drag. Needed more anecdotes to get us going. 7: More detail about tax laws. 8: I can’t think of anything. Donuts, maybe. 9: No suggestions.


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:None. 3: I’m not sure whether cradles were available for use in all classrooms – if not, they should be. 4: Just fine. 5: None needed. 6: Everything was done in a professional and competent manner. 9: No opinion – not many items handled in this course.


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

1: Yes, both were superb. TB’s opening was just right! 2: Did not attend Sunday. Monday’s lecture... well, it was under the Rotunda Dome. 3: Did not attend. 4: Both were. 6: Yes, particularly TB’s introductory lecture. Rotunda lecture was less relevant. 7: Monday night lecture – newspapers and the AAS – interesting. 8: Monday night lecture was great. Meeting in the Rotunda was cool. 9: Yes.

9) If you attended evening activities, was the time profitably spent?

1: Was not able to attend either. 2-3: Did not attend. 5: Museum Night was very much so. 6: Yes, especially access to the RBS library. 9: N/A.


10) Did you get your money’s worth? Any final thoughts?

1: More than that – I am most grateful for the knowledge gained due to the course and syllabus preparation by WB and SA. I do hope we can continue to generate interest among collectors and dealers for the course. Vesta Lee Gordon added greatly to the class - an appraiser/dealer is important to the dialogue. 2: Yes. Find a sugar-daddy donor to pay your way. 3: Absolutely worth the time and money. Content of this course would only be appropriate for US-based students due to the particularities of tax law and donor culture. 4: This is a must take. Don’t care what your interest or specialty. Exposure to the faculty was a treat. 5: I’m going home to urge the librarians at my institution to get their asses over here. 6: Yes. 7: No money spent – but had it been, it would have been more than worthwhile. 8: I got my school’s money’s worth. I both enjoyed this course and found it helpful. I would heartily recommend it to anyone interested in the topic. Both WB and SA were great. I was very pleasantly surprised. 9: Absolutely! This is essential information for librarians, especially.

Number of respondents: 08


Leave                       Tuition                    Housing                   Travel

Institution                 Institution                 Institution                 Institution

gave me leave            paid tuition               paid housing              paid travel

63%                            25%                            25%                            38%

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

tion time                    tion myself                 own housing              travel

0%                              25%                            38%                            38%

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

38%                            50%                            38%                            25%

There were two general librarians with some rare book duties (25%), one rare book librarian (13%), one archivist/manuscript librarian (13%), one antiquarian bookseller (13%), and three book collectors (25%).