28 July - 1 August 2008
Christopher Adams, Gerald Cloud, Haven Hawley, Lenore Rouse, Eileen Smith
Curator of the Course Museums
Printer in Residence
1) How useful were the pre-course readings? How successful was the advance use of the DVD, The Anatomy of a Book: Format, as a teaching tool?
1. The readings were invaluable, and essential. 2. They were essential. If possible, make abundantly clear to read Gaskell’s New Introduction to Bibliography first; then Bowers’ Principles. 3. The readings were essential; leave plenty of time to review and re-review them and don’t panic if Bowers is still mysterious when you arrive on campus. The videotape was a solid and extremely helpful entry point, and I found the transcript of it useful when doing other reading. 4. Very useful, though, of course, knowing what I know now, I would have used the materials differently. 5. Although the pre-course reading and videotape seemed difficult and sometimes incomprehensible, I shudder to think of how difficult the course would have been had I not been so prepared. 6. Excellent, including the videotape. 7. The pre-course readings were absolutely essential and prove themselves invaluable many times over; as did the Anatomy DVD. The Bowers especially make much more sense now than it did five days ago. 8. Pre-course readings are essential. You must read and re-read these books in order to at least be able to find the sections of Bowers necessary to answer your questions once you start examining the materials in lab. The DVD provided a solid basic introduction. 9. Pre-course readings were essential to profit for the class. The video was a good visual confirmation, but I would not consider it as essential. 10. Reading Gaskell and Bowers was essential, of course. I watched the video once, but could have done with another viewing. Reading previous evaluations and the preliminary advice page, I picked up some really useful tips on recommended reading order: the video, Gaskell’s discussion of format and imposition, TB’s article, the video (again), Bowers (Chapters 5 and 7), rest of Gaskell, Bowers (Chapters 1 and 2), Carter’s ABC for Book Collectors. 11. Pre-course readings were vital to understanding lectures and completing assignments. Video was helpful for visualizing the more complex formats. 12. The readings and DVD were incredibly useful. Clearly you can’t do any of the work from day one without reading Bowers. However, the readings; especially the TB article and the DVD were a great resource to get an overview of information before grappling with the challenging texts of Gaskell and Bowers. 13. Very helpful, although the DVD died after the first use. 14. Pre-course readings were all useful; well, essential. You have to read Bowers beforehand, but re-reading once you’re here will help a lot more. Order of reading should be: movie, TB’s article, Gaskell, Bowers, trashy novel, Bowers again. The first two are easy introductions if you’ve not done anything before. 15. Pre-course readings very useful, as was the videotape. 16. The DVD and ABC were both helpful, but not nearly as much as Gaskell and Bowers. 17. Essential reading. The DVD usefully boiled things down for me after weeks of rough going with Bowers. 18. I found the readings useful, but not perhaps quite as essential to being able to do the homework as I thought (which means the homework was simply more accessible than I expected.) The video was great; should be first on the list. 19. Essential, be sure to give yourself plenty of time for Bowers and Gaskell. 20. The pre-course readings were extremely useful. Though Bowers did not seem comprehensible upon initial reading, I found that once I arrived in class the information was in my mind and I could apply it to the tasks at hand. The video was also useful, and very much enhanced by the paper facsimiles for folding practice. 21. Course readings were essential to preparing one for the course. The video was very helpful as well. 22. The readings and DVD provided a solid, and necessary, foundation. They were well-chosen; specific to the week’s instruction. 23. Bowers and Gaskell are essential reading to the topic. Familiarity with the terminology is immediately useful; the rest of Bowers becomes clearer as the week goes on. 24. Generally useful. I barely looked the sample sheets that were sent with it. Maybe I should have. But I’m not sure how worthwhile they are to send. 25. The readings and the videotape were extremely useful and absolutely essential. 26. Essential. Without the readings I would have had no understanding of the lectures. The video was extremely helpful.
2) Were the course syllabus, exit reading list, and other materials distributed in class useful (or will they be so in the future, after you return home)?
1.Very useful, impressive. I’m looking forward to show the materials to my colleagues and to make use of the reading list myself. 2. Yes. I plan on locating items from the course museums that I didn’t have time for at my library. 3. I am overwhelmed by the amount of time, care, and knowledge that went into crafting the class and the generous amount of material that we are taking away with us; thank you so much! This is a great way to pursue the theories we discussed at greater leisure, and I think the tools will be valuable in my work. 4. Greatly so. 5. I expect the exit reading will be of use; the other materials were and will be. The workbook would have been even more useful in advance of the first day. 6. Well-designed and invariably helpful. 7. They were very helpful; the materials for the museums were especially rich and informative. 8. Yes; the syllabus set the stage and the exit reading list is most useful. 9. Absolutely. 10. Thoroughly so; especially the unexpected treasure trove that is the museum catalog. I plan to peruse it (and the workbook) extensively ad lib in the near future. Would have been nice to have all in-class handouts/references (even the Friday “slide rule handout”) bound into one volume; no loose sheets. 11. I’m ecstatic to have been provided with such an extensive reading list. 12. Wonderful materials! The exit reading list in particular will prove to be an invaluable resource. 13. Yes. 14. Everything was extremely useful and I anticipate returning to all of it again and again. The exit list is amazing. 15. Yes; extremely useful. The exit reading list is a great gift to the students. 16. Yes, very. I was impressed with how much thought and time went into them, and am sure I will use them in the future. 17-18. Yes. 19. Yes. A lot to digest them all while here, but will be looking at them further. The Bowers index was especially useful. 20. Yes, they were very useful both in completing the class work, and in preparing for the next day’s lectures and museums. I suspect that I will refer to the course materials frequently in the future. 21. Yes. 22. I think the exit reading list will be useful. 23. The exit reading list, syllabus, and workbook will be quite useful, and immediately applicable to my work. I look forward to investigating the recommended items. 24. Useful. 25. Yes and yes. 26. 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 best part was the lab sessions. They required more homework; much more than could be fitted into the daily homework slot, but the work really paid off. The intellectual level was appropriate. 2. The museums were probably the most relevant; intellectual level was exact. 3. As a beginner, I really appreciated the hands-on aspects of the instruction, which provided me with a sense of confidence that I was correctly understanding the readings and theoretical discussions. I found the course to be rigorous, but appropriately so. 4. Very challenging intellectually. Most relevant will be those assignments related to the book as a physical object. 5. I took the course to learn how to be a better reader of Fleeman’s bibliography of Johnson. Like an foreign language, writing is harder than reading, and so learning to write Bowers-ese was a great help in being a better reader. 6. All aspects were relevant, well-paced, clearly explained, and thoughtfully discussed. 7. The hands-on experience working with books for this course is something I had not yet been able to experience prior to RBS. The intellectual level was fine. 8. Learning how to use collation to reflect how a book was printed and as a foundation for researching the history of printing and the book. 9. It would be difficult to select any part of the content as of greatest interest. The class was at the appropriate level; it built on the pre-course reading, explaining and clarifying it, while never becoming tedious or repetitive. 10. (Besides forcing myself to read Bowers and Gaskell, of course) learning the basics by working on examples at every stage: whether in homework or at museums or during transcription exercises. Rarely, if ever, do academics do deconstruction of non-theoretical variety; so seeing components, machinery, binding threads, the innards basically of everything, was valuable. 11. Yes. Course content of most interest: developing the formulas, understanding relationships between signatures and imposition. 12. I liked it all. I’m still new to the field, so discussion of demonstrations on paper and printing types were much appreciated. They also nicely punctuated the intense homework sessions. Both lab and museum sessions really helped to pull information together. 13. Lab and museum experiences, homework and reading were very helpful. 14. The intellectual level was high, but appropriate. Some of the more esoteric discussions were not of as much interest to me as the hands-on bits, but that’s a matter of preference. The homework and labs were by far the best, meatiest part of the course. 15. Yes; intellectual level was appropriate. Hard to say which aspects of the course content were more interesting or relevant; most were. DG generously gave me an hour (or more) of his time to advise me on electronic scholarly editions. 16. The hands-on work and museums were the most important experiences for me. The lectures were very good, too, and were enhanced by the museums, especially. 17. Intellectual level was very high (which was appreciated greatly). 18. The homework was of most use to me. The museums were second. I think the lectures were surprisingly not as critical as I expected. Intellectual level was pitch perfect. 19. The hands-on experience examining the books and the museums items. 20. The attention paid to vocabulary/terminology was very relevant to me, as were the detailed explorations of the printing process. The emphasis in the labs and homework on thorough attention to the details of the books was also great. 21. Hands-on experience with difficult books helped build confidence that the students will be able to handle/describe most books that we will encounter in our work. 22. Yes, the intellectual level was appropriate; even more, it was challenging and stimulating. Of greatest interest: examining the physical makeup and components of books. Relevance: description as it is applied to cataloging. 23. The homework was of the most interest to me and immediately relevant to my work. The museums also provided fascinating hands-on examples as well as some fun. 24. I think all were useful, some more specifically, some more generally. As a professional librarian, I have to be concerned with both specific things (e.g., collation) and more general matters (e.g., the debate between Bowers and Gaskell). 25. The content was pretty much universally relevant. The intellectual level was appropriately rigorous. 26. Understanding signatures and their significance. Yes.
4) To what extent did the Desbib Museums and their catalogs contribute to the success of the course? How could they have been improved?
1. The Museum, and the amount of work and pedagogical theorizing it stood for was impressive. It highlighted and reflected the sometimes abstract notions of the readings and discussion perfectly. 2. See other responses. 3. The museums were a great help; the only improvement I could suggest would be to send the catalogs ahead with the video, so that students could think carefully about which exhibits might be most useful. (The homework made this difficult during the course.) 4. The museums are what elevate RBS above the few other educational endeavors of this sort. The museums are what put RBS in a class all its own. 5. They were very well done in context and presentation. I have no suggestions for improvement. 6. All complemented the labs and lectures e effectively. 7. I can’t think of any improvements; I looked forward to the museum sessions and was consistently shocked at how quickly the time passed. I’m not sure how this course could function without these. 8. All the museum materials and catalogs were very useful. They are a necessary aspect of getting your head around the history of the book. 9. The museums (and the books used in lab) were the most pleasant surprise. Handling type forms, stereotype plates, or descriptive bibliographies (with a sample of books covered) greatly enhanced my comprehension and enthusiasm. The teaching collection is a priceless resource. Thank you for sharing it! 10. Terminology, printing surfaces, binding; no complaints. Rather fabulous, in fact; kudos to the diligent and brilliant Melissa Mead. Perhaps the chance to set a line of type? Encourage people to pick a few biblio’s to work with throughout the period? More hands-on work than the other three museums, rather than seeing 30 sample biblio’s for a few minutes each? 11. The course would be greatly diminished without the DesBib museums. Amazing array of materials, clear text; was very pleased that the museum text was provided as part of the packet. 12. Really great preparatory work here from MM! The museums and their catalog descriptions really helped me to visualize what we were talking about; quite important to really get a handle on what it is we’re studying and describing. 13. Great. 14. The DesBib museums were great and really helped you learn. I wish that vocabulary had extended hours instead of paper. I finished paper, but needed much more time for vocabulary. 15. The museums on paper and printing were very helpful. The last museum not as helpful. 16. They were very well done. I think it could have been stressed more to look at the museum book in advance, because there were so many things to see. 17. Very useful to see examples of topics discussed in class. 18. Museum and catalogs are essential part of experience. First day; could have used more advance warning to spend time with examples as way to prepare for doing homework. 19. Perhaps a little more information in the course description about them. I didn’t realize they were a part of the course. 20. Many of the processes and concepts discussed in the readings and labs and lectures are a little oblique without tangible examples, so the museums are vital to understanding them. The museum booklet was so useful for interpreting the exhibits. I only wished that there could have been more time to take in so much information! 21. I found these less helpful than the labs. The ones I found most informative were the stations that set a task for the student to do, rather than a simple narrative. 22. The museums were very successful. I especially enjoyed paper and type. 23. The museums were quite interesting, particularly Tuesday’s. I feel there was often too much material to get through in one session and would have appreciated other opportunities to browse. The text of the catalog is highly entertaining as well as informative. 24. I think they were useful since they showed the richness of the subject, and each individual could get as much or as little as she desired from each item. 25. Having a clearer link between the catalog descriptions and the items on display would be a tremendous improvement. 26. I found the museums very interesting. It was a good experience holding these items of the past in hand. They contributed greatly to a deeper understanding of the material presented.
5) How successful were your format-and-collation labs? How effective was your lab instructor in conveying the material to be covered? How could the labs have been improved?
Christopher Adams: 1. The labs were very successful. They added perspective and hands-on experience to the readings and lectures. The lab instructor was both effective and thorough. 2. Went very well. 3. The labs were fantastic. I am so impressed with CA, who was gracious and encouraging, and who was adept at explaining concepts several different ways to ensure they would be understood. Gerald Cloud: 4. Extremely effective; can’t imagine how these could have been improved. 5. The labs were a fine instructional atmosphere, and the instructor was the “ideal copy.” 6. These were in many ways the best of the course, for merely reading about collation without attempting to undertake several would have been futile. The lab instructor was infinitely patient and helpful. 7. GC was great to work with. More explanations on “the sheets” would be helpful and pertinent. I really appreciated the way the lab groups were formed. 8. Labs were very successful, although I believe that we could allot more time to labs and even cover more books. Haven Hawley: 10. Hugely useful; the best part. Challenging, humbling, and enjoyable. I tended to complete homework faster, on average, than my fellow lab members, so no conflicts in terms of waiting for books to free up. HH was very good at contextualizing examples in terms of printing and type history; but I would have benefitted from slightly more formulaic “answer-checking” vide Bowers; the answer sheets. I suspect more so than my fellow lab members, who had no more questions about content than format, and Bowersian minutiae. 11. Labs were extremely useful. HH knows the subject very well and was able to articulate why a format should be constructed in a given manner. 12. HH was absolutely wonderful to work with; she helped explain impositions and formulae, and it was fascinating to hear from her own printing experience and her research (now I know to look for the gripper marks!). I’m not quite sure how my particular cohort was selected, but it worked quite well and we seemed well matched. 13. We started out with a few problems; could have used more information/overview of collation, &c.; we’re adults and don’t need to be told to get enough sleep and food during RBS. But subsequent sessions were very valuable. 14. The labs were wonderful, and HH was very clear. I liked that we were broken into small, like-minded groups. I understood HH’s printerly perspective, and the bookbinder’s information was also useful for my needs; if I’d been with catalogers it wouldn’t have been pretty. 15. The lab instructor was very knowledgeable, kind, and helpful, but I was hoping for more demonstration of the assignments before doing the homework. For example, the lab instructor might “do” one of the books in the box with us, and then it would be far clearer how to do the rest. Lenore Rouse: 16. The labs, while good, were the weakest sessions of this class. My instructor relied a lot on the answer sheets and at times could not answer my questions. She did follow up on them and was always prepared for the sessions, and overall I would say the labs were worthwhile. 17. My instructor was excellent: thorough, careful, dry sense of humor, &c.; no suggestions for improvement. 18. Labs were great, as was the instructor. I appreciate staff being at the ready in the work space for questions. 19. Lab instructor was fine and friendly, but didn’t seem to be natural teacher. I felt she was leading us to the answers rather than teaching us. However, the labs are essential to this course. 20. I found the labs very useful, and the instructor very encouraging and supportive; the environment was conducive to independent thinking and risk-tasking. I would also have been interested in interacting more with the other lab instructors as well; to have them rotate through the cohorts would have added more perspective and dimension. Eileen Smith: 21. Very successful; ES was terrific. Perhaps assigning more less-complicated books the first night of homework and fewer complicated books the final night. 22. Very successful. Rigor balanced with humor. I learned much from my mistakes. My lab instructor is a master teacher, presenting material clearly and more than competently. 23. ES was fantastic. She explained everything clearly, and her enthusiasm for the topic was obvious. 24. I found them very hard for a couple of days, since I was a bit slower than the other students in the lab, but I think they are generally an effective way to convey “hands-on” information. I eventually caught up for the most part and got comfortable. 25. Extremely successful! ES was tremendous: patient, knowledgeable, precise. She did a fantastic job of helping us (catalogers) understand how to apply what we were learning to what we do as catalogers. 26. The labs were very successful. My lab instructor was exceptional. ES made the lab experience real and not just theoretical. She explained things clearly and was receptive to questions.
6) What did you like best about the course?
1. The lab sessions. 2. Going over homework in lab groups. 3. The way the course has been structured makes it difficult to answer this question; the parts fit together so seamlessly and sensibly that it is hard to imagine any of them being lacking or emphasized more or less than the others. 4. Museums, labs. 5. The integrated way it was arranged and presented. 6. No particular aspect above the others. It was a cohesive experience, well-structured, and kept us moving on to new things. The homework was well-judged in amount and measure of challenge. The homework aspect adds an ethos to the course that others do not have. 7. The museum and homework sessions, which gave me more hands-on “book experience” than I’ve ever had before. 8. The mix of students, the great materials and instructors, and the fact that I can now collate a book! 9. The staff, who were patient, thoughtful, and incredibly generous with their time, expertise, and enthusiasm. It was also great fun to be around a wide variety of passionate book people on breaks and at meals. The networking opportunities were fantastic. 10. The chance to learn the details of Bowers from RN and the lab instructors. DG added substantial icing to the cake with his knowledge of text and technology, especially from the early modern period in which I have a particular interest. 11. I enjoyed every moment. 12. All of it. Perhaps I can’t say the hours of homework were my favorite, but I loved the labs as well as museums, and the chance to interact with DG and RN in the lectures. 13. Oddly, the homework, and then the readings and museums. 14. Labs and homework (although I feel odd admitting it). The Lawn. 15. Learning how to read, and produce, descriptive bibliographies. 16. The homework. It was a lot to do in a short amount of time, but definitely the more rewarding part of the class. 17. DG’s and RN’s lectures and co-bantering. 18. Doing hands-on homework and then reviewing answers. 19. Hands-on experience with the books and museum items such as the paper mold, intaglio plates, &c. 20. It was incredibly well-prepared and well-organized, with so much attention to detail. The way that the activity varied throughout the days was great; I think it allowed the level of intensity to be sustained longer. I felt that a lot of connections were made between the abstract and the concrete, which was very satisfying. 21. Hands-on experience. 22. The labs and museums; my learning style is suited to participation and hands-on activities. 23. Homework, and the opportunity to dig-in and put these principles right to work. 24. I enjoyed listening to RN and DG; really fascinating discussions! They complemented each other well. 25. Much as it shocks me to say this, the homework and the lab discussions the next day. 26. The lab instructor; her patience and knowledge, and her ability to share her knowledge.
7) How could the course as a whole have been improved?
1. I can’t think of anything! 2. The museums were difficult to complete in the allotted time. I did not come across a station that I thought was un-interesting. 3. I wish this course could be longer (though that would make attending it a hardship for many) given the condensed nature of the course. I think it is excellent. 4. Perhaps, since this was an introduction, keep the lectures mostly nuts-and-bolts and bit less on theory. 5. Wouldn’t presume to think I know how to do that. Except, perhaps, to distribute more materials in advance. 6. No suggestion. 7. It was great that the co-instructors were present for so many sessions when they weren’t lecturing. It would be very interesting (and probably very pedagogically rich) if they “debated” more in front of the students and shared more of their personal tendencies/preferences. 8. Extend last lab to two sessions; the afternoon session should be split between a wrap-up lecture and next steps. Provide handouts of the Bowers/Gaskell/MacKenzie debate. 9. This is a nit, but I wonder why the cohorts were organized around speciality. To me, it would have been interesting to mix folks up and get a range of perspective. Also, it feels to me as though our lab work consisted of three overlapping steps: 1. understand the physical subject book; 2. develop working notes on the book; and 3. encode the relevant parts of the notes into Bowers. We spent much lab and class time on 1 and 3. It would be useful to learn best practices concerning 2, something we did not touch on. 10. Instructor/lab instructor introductions could be fuller, so that students have a better idea of the larger super-set of resources available to talk with. 11. I would have liked more time for the Wednesday evening assignment but am unsure how that could have been scheduled. I would not suggest decreasing the number of books; six is perfect. 12. Not many suggestions. The final discussion of the Bowers/ MacKenzie/Gaskell debate was a very interesting culmination of our work this week, but it may have been easier to follow if we had the text to follow as RN read, to more fully engage with the discussion. I wish we had a chance to interact more with MM, perhaps as an introduction to the first museum or something. 13. RN’s lectures were very poor. Obviously, he knows a good deal but the little information that was conveyed was offered in a random, anecdotal style. The last ninety minutes on Friday was torture; why read many long, very long, passages as part of a lecture? DG was great, but could hardly get a word in edgewise. 14. Extend the vocabulary museum. Perhaps even more discussion. The library could be open later; or restaurants could be. Can you guys do anything about that?! 15. See answer to #5. I also think that at least one or two books should be done collaboratively in the homework session. Working individually reveals and solves some problems; working collaboratively would reveal and solve other problems. Also, if possible, please provide pre-1800 books since this course focuses on pre-1800 books. Too many c19 books assigned for homework. [The course description states that the course focuses on pre 1850-books. -Ed] 16. I think the schedule could be a little more flexible, without sacrificing any of the activities. I felt like I didn’t even have time to eat dinner the first few days. 17. A session on how to make paper might have been interesting. I felt that paper, given that it is so obviously physical, needed a little more consideration. 18. First example lectures didn’t seem to add that much from the reading that was assigned. Last day, could’ve benefitted from advance notice of transcription exercise (don’t think Bowers is assigned on this, so might have reviewed night before). More Q & A encouraged in lecture. 19. Sometimes the academia was overwhelming. 20. The last day dragged on; I was unable to pay attention during the final lecture as it was much less dynamic than the others, with far too much reading aloud. For me it didn’t give me much closure; I would have preferred something more activity-based. 22. I understand how we came to be “over-scheduled” on Wednesday. Still, since that was the day of our toughest homework, it was a pressured and stressful day. 23. I don’t know that it could! 24. I’m not sure how it could be improved; maybe make attendance at evening lectures an optional thing. 25. Perhaps fewer books the last day to allow more thorough examination of each one. And a concise list of preferred practices when Bowers does not come down strongly enough to make it clear. 26. The homework sometimes took up to four and five hours to complete. Some of the books seemed overly long to demonstrate the point. Should we really have to use books with 800-1200 pages?
8) If you attended the Sunday and/or other night lectures, were they worth attending?
1. Absolutely. Both lectures [Peter Stallybrass and Andrea Krupp, nos. 512 and 513] were brilliant. 2. They were well worth attending. 3. I wish I had attended the Monday lecture; the Wednesday and Sunday lectures were both enjoyable and worth attending and I regret missing out on what I’m sure was an engaging and informative talk. 4. I attended only one, and it didn’t stand out for me as much as every class did. 5. All were entertaining, some were highly instructional; all were worth attending given my purpose in being at RBS. 6. I attended all lectures. All were excellent! 7. Yes. 8. Yes; all lectures were an integral part of the experience. This also ensures that you meet other students and learn from them. 9. N/A. 10. Yes. I had heard versions of TB’s speech before and presentations on their research from both of the other speakers; but nonetheless all three presentations heralded the beginning of many interesting conversations with staff and students, so I am glad I attended. 11. Yes! 12. Always good to hear TB. Even with the hectic homework schedule, both AK and PS were well worth attending and gave me interesting ideas to think about. 13. Yes. 14. They were extremely interesting, and bookseller night gave us all something to look forward to while slogging away. 15. Both TB’s introductory lecture and PS’s lecture were outstanding. I didn’t attend the Monday night lecture because of homework. 16. Yes, the lectures were definitely worth attending. 17. Exceptionally so. 18. Yes, the lectures were interesting. 19-22. Yes. 23. The lectures were informative; however, Wednesday felt too rushed with lecture and printing demo, as well as the most difficult night of homework. 24. They were worth attending, but I have to admit 6:00 pm is a tough time for me to attend a lecture. I felt real sleepy after about 30 minutes. 25. Absolutely! AK and PS were both great fun to listen to, and both talks really enhanced what I learned in class by way of broadening my knowledge of book creation generally. 26. The Sunday lecture was a good welcome and opening. Although both the Monday and Wednesday lectures had appealing topics, I was unable to attend due to the amount of homework and the time of the library’s closing.
9) If you attended any of Museum Nights, was the time profitably spent?
2. Did not attend due to homework. 4. Very much so. 5. Yes. 6. Did not attend. 7. Absolutely. 8. N/A. 11. Did not attend. 12. Unfortunately, between homework and lectures I didn’t get the chance to revisit the museums. 13. Yes. 14. Didn’t go; was doing homework and didn’t feel it was necessary. 15. N/A. 17. N/A. 19. Yes. 21. Yes, but see no. 4. 23-25. N/A. 26. Yes, I really enjoyed the printing demonstration by Haven Hawley.
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. I would definitely recommend the course to my continental colleagues. It’s worth traveling for. 2. Very much so, if you come prepared, the course is not as hard as rumored. 3. It wasn’t my money, so this is a tough one. Had I spent the money on tuition I would consider it a bargain for what I received, and I hope that the knowledge I’ve acquired will enable me to provide more intelligent services to patrons at my library, and make RBS feel that my scholarship has done some good. Thank you so much for an exhilarating week! I would advise incoming students to read carefully; expect to work long and hard, and to take full advantage of the extraordinary resources available to you throughout the week. 4. Expensive, but worth every dime. 5. Yes. 6. Money was well spent. I regard this as a foundational course and shall strongly recommend it to others. 7. Actually, I felt that this course was a bargain in terms of price before I even arrived. I definitely feel it was worth every penny. Advice: don’t panic if Bowers doesn’t make sense before your course starts; he definitely very quickly will. Get lots of sleep before you arrive. 8. Yes; best money spent, ever! RBS uses your money to pay the best teachers, provide the best materials, and create a unique and valuable environment for learning. 9. I had very high expectations for the course and am delighted to say they were dramatically exceeded. 10. 1. Re-read Bowers’ Chapter Five as many times as you can; more than once is essential. During the RBS week (if you can find the time or energy), but better before. 2. You would do well to take advantage of the expertise of the lab instructors who teach other sections of lab; they are great resources, and will inevitably add texture and perspective to what you gain from your own lab instructor. And don’t forget Melissa Mead, who knows volumes about the RBS collection. 11. Yes! I recommend this course. 12. Yes! This is a wonderful class. Definitely challenging and fast paced, but I also feel like I’ve been given a lot of direction in terms of what to do next at RBS or in the field. 13. Absolutely; the structure of this course was amazing. The packaging of the exercises against the readings and the labs was invaluable. I do think it would be helpful to offer an opening lecture on collation, &c. Yes, we read Bowers in advance, but this does not prepare most people to jump in and do a collation. 14. Yes! Well worth any money. Do your reading ahead of time. Work hard on homework but take the time to drink a glass of wine on the Lawn with your classmates as that’s a learning experience, too. 15. Yes, I got my money’s worth (and more). This was an extraordinary opportunity to learn things that I could not have learned elsewhere. DG and RN bring extraordinary learning and experience to the course. Because of their different training and focus, I wish we could have learned equally from DG in lectures (he probably spoke less than 1/4 of the time). 16. Yes. I am very glad I took this course. 17. Absolutely! An experience that cannot be duplicated. 18. Yes; great hands-on experience and chance to benefit from the expertise of those in field. Invaluable. 19. Yes. It is a marathon, not a race, pace yourself. 20. Yes. 21. 1. Yes! 2. Take very seriously the reading list before class! Take notes! 22. Yes! 23. Bring or buy a[n extra] fan if you’re on the Lawn. Don’t let Bowers discourage you; all will be made clear. Take advantage of the talks, lecture, and breaks to socialize and network; the variety of people here, both staff and students, is fascinating. 24. Yes, I did. One thought: if you’re not a morning person, as I am not, consider bringing some strong sleeping pills. That helped me a lot. 25. Money’s worth, definitely. Advice; don’t be put off by the insane amount of work involved: it’s been one of the most fulfilling experiences of my professional life. 26. Absolutely. I got my institution’s money’s worth and more. The experience was extremely positive and the exposure eye-opening. I would recommend the course and advise you to come prepared for long hours and hard work; but you will be rewarded in the end.
Number of respondents: 26
Leave Tuition Housing Travel
Institution Institution Institution Institution
gave me leave paid tuition paid housing paid travel
54% 44% 38% 40%
I took vaca- I paid tui- I paid for my I paid my own
tion time tion myself own housing travel
23% 33% 52% 50%
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
23% 23% 10% 10%
There were 8 rare book librarians (32%); 2 librarians with some rare book duties (8%); 3 general librarians (10%); 2 archivist/manuscript librarians (8%); 2 teachers (8%); 2 full-time students (8%); 3 book collectors (10%); 2 conservator/preservation librarians (8%); 1 college administrator (4%); and 1 RBS staff member (4%).