Rare Book School

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L-30. Rare Book Cataloging

Deborah J. Leslie

Aimed at catalog librarians who find that their present duties include (or shortly will include) the cataloging of rare books or special collections materials. Attention will be given primarily to cataloging books from the hand-press period, with some discussion on 19th and 20th century books in a special collections context. Topics include:

This course is restricted to working catalogers experienced in AACR2, MARC21, and general cataloging principles and practices. No knowledge of early books is necessary. The goal of the course is to provide practice in each of the primary elements of the rare book catalog record, so that students will be equipped to begin cataloging their institution's rare book and special collections materials.

Requirements: In their personal statement, applicants should describe their experience with machine-readable AACR2 cataloging and provide a brief description of the types and date range of materials they expect to catalog with DCRM(B). In addition, applicants are required to submit 1-3 typical bibliographic records of materials they currently are cataloging, preferably original cataloging of modern books or serials.

Course Resources

  • Preliminary Reading List
  • Evaluations for this course:

Course History


Deborah J. Leslie has taught it at least once annually since 1998.


Various instructors taught this RBS course 14 times in this period.