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Rare Book School at the University of Virginia

Rare Book School
Preliminary Reading List

Introduction to Special Collections Librarianship

Alice Schreyer


Preliminary Advices

Please read/become familiar with the following before coming to Charlottesville

Building on Strength: Developing an ARL Agenda for Special Collections; Working Symposium on the Future of Special Collections in Research Libraries (June 2001). Keynote by David H. Stam, "So What's So Special?" and presentation by Robert L. Byrd, "One Day ... It Will Be Otherwise: Changing the Reputation and Reality of Special Collections."

Carter, John. ABC for Book Collectors. 8th edn, by John Carter and Nicolas Barker. New Castle, DE: Oak Knoll Press; London: British Library, 2004. Indispensable and highly enjoyable. Also available directly from Oak Knoll Books, or it may be downloaded online as a .pdf file.

Panitch, Judith M. Special Collections in ARL Libraries: Results of the 1998 Survey Sponsored by the ARL Research Collections Committee. Washington, D.C.: Assocation of Research Libraries, 2001. Executive summary at http://www.arl.org/collect/spcoll/panitch/execsum.html.

"Research Libraries and the Commitment to Special Collections," ARL Task Force on Special Collections, December 17, 2002. http://www.arl.org/collect/spcoll/principles.html.

Traister, Daniel. "The Rare Book Librarian's Day. " Rare Books & Manuscripts Librarianship 1, no. 2 (1986): 93-106.

What's So Special About Special Collections? Inaugural issue of RBM: A Journal of Rare Books, Manuscripts, and Cultural Heritage 1, no. 1 (2000), especially Werner Gundersheimer's article "Against the Grain" available at http://www.arl.org/arl/proceedings/134/folger.html; and Dan Traister's polemical essay, "Is There a Future for Special Collections? and Should There Be?".

Your Old Books (Chicago: ALA, 1994). <http://www.rbms.nd.edu/>. Publications; Pamphlets and Brochures. Written for a general audience; useful introduction to concepts and categories of rare books and book values, and to FAQs rare book librarians regularly get about these topics.