Rare Book School

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The Directors Scholarship Fund

The Directors Scholarship Fund was established in 2009 as a revolving fund through which donors can directly support RBS scholarships; donations will be spent out as received. An alternate way of supporting RBS scholarships is to give to RBSs permanent scholarship endowment, the James Davis Scholarship Fund.

Origin of the Directors Scholarship Fund

When about a retirement gift in early 2009, Terry Belanger suggested that it take the form of contributions to an RBS Directors Scholarship Fund, established in order to help get the school and its various student constituencies through the next couple of years, which are bound to be tough financially. The money in the Fund would be spent out in scholarship awards, rather than added to the RBS endowment. Contributions would thus be immediately useful, and Terrys successor would be able to focus on other matters before turning to the fundraising that will inevitably be part of the job.

At the end of April 2009, letters soliciting contributions to the Fund went out: to the Friends of RBS; to present and former RBS faculty and staff members; to RBS attendees; to members of scholarly and professional organizations like the Rare Books & Manuscripts Section of the Association of College & Research Libraries; and to scholarly societies like the American Printing History Association, the Bibliographical Society of America, and the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading & Publishing. . Among the letter writers are John Bidwell (Astor Curator of Printed Books and Bindings, Morgan Library & Museum); William T. Buice III (Chair, RBS Board of Directors); Lynda Corey Claassen (Director, Mandeville Special Collections Library, University of California, San Diego); Ellen S. Dunlap (President, American Antiquarian Society); Joan Friedman (Treasurer, RBS Board of Directors); Robin Halwas (Robin Halwas Ltd, London); Melissa S. Mead (Digital and Visual Resources Librarian, Rush Rhees Library, University of Rochester); Paul Needham (Scheide Curator, Firestone Library, Princeton University), Kenneth W. Rendell (Kenneth W. Rendell Gallery, South Natick, MA); Richard Noble (Rare Book Cataloger, John Hay Library, Brown University); Alice Schreyer (Assistant Director for Special Collections & Preservation, and Director, Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library); Hans Tausig (Past Chair, RBS Board of Directors); Andie Tucher (Associate Professor, Graduate School of Journalism, Columbia University), and Karin Wittenborg (University Librarian, UVa).

The letters shared the same subject, but their authors writing styles varied considerably. Click here to see a sample of the letters.

By the end of June 2009, more than 500 donors had contributed more than $110,000 to the Directors Scholarship Fund.