Rare Book School

RBS Home| Course Schedule | Admissions | Support RBS | Contact RBS | Previous Years

Belanger Farewell 2009

This summer, Terry Belanger will step down after 26 years as director of Rare Book School. Terry has been teaching, mentoring, writing, promoting, and otherwise serving as a presence in fields related to the history of books and printing for nearly 40 years. In 1972, he established a master’s program in rare books at Columbia University. Rare Book School began at Columbia in 1983 as an adjunct to that program; the school moved with him to the University of Virginia (UVa) in 1992.

Directors Scholarship Fund

When asked by friends and colleagues about a retirement gift, Terry 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 will be spent out in scholarship awards (beginning in 2009), rather than added to the RBS endowment. Contributions will thus be immediately useful, and Terry’s successor will be able to focus on other matters before turning to the fundraising that will inevitably be part of the job.

Letters written by members of the RBS Board and by other friends and colleagues of Terry soliciting contributions to the Fund are being mailed 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 share the same subject, but their authors’ writing styles vary considerably. Click here to see a sample of the letters.

How to Contribute to the Directors Scholarship Fund

If you like, you can make a secure, online contribution to the Directors Scholarship Fund, via Paypal or credit card, through our online contribution form. It is not necessary to have a Paypal account. Once your contribution has been transferred to Paypal for processing, follow the instructions under the heading “Don't have a PayPal account?” to continue without Paypal. After your donation has been completed, you will receive an automatically generated tax receipt at the email address you provide.

If you prefer to make your contribution via telephone or mail, call Danielle Culpepper (RBS Administrator) at 434-924-8851.

Farewell Party

On Saturday afternoon and evening, 20 June 2009, there will be a public program, beginning at 4 pm, followed by a reception, until 6:30 pm, honoring Terry in the auditorium of the Harrison Institute and Small Special Collections Library at UVa. About a dozen speakers will collectively provide an informal history of the rare book program that Belanger established at Columbia University (1972-1992) and of Rare Book School in its Columbia (1983-92) and UVa (1993- ) manifestations. The speakers will include:

Roger E. Stoddard (Harvard University)
Joan M. Friedman (Urbana, IL)
Martin Antonetti (Northampton, MA)
Peter Herdrich (New York City)
Melissa Mead (Rochester, NY)
Katherine Reagan (Ithaca, NY)
Peter-John Byrnes (Chicago, IL).
Scott Fennessey (Charlottesville, VA)
John Buchtel (Laurel, MD)
Gregory Pass (St Louis, MO)
Jan Storm van Leeuwen (Voorschoten, the Netherlands)
Anna Lou Ashby (New York City)
Barbara Heritage (Charlottesville, VA)

Those who contribute $125 or more to the Directors Scholarship Fund will be invited to an informal standing buffet later that evening that will feature hors d'oeuvres, desserts, and wines.

Travel Directions

If you are using a mapping website or GPS for directions to Charlottesville, enter 105 Emmet Street as your destination, i.e. the intersection of Route 29 (= Emmet Street) and Ivy Road. From there, turn east onto University Ave, aka Route 250 Business. UVa is visible on both sides of the street. To drive by the Central Grounds (=main campus) of the University, proceed up University Ave past the tennis courts. Alderman Library is the large building on the right, and the Rotunda is at the top of the hill, also on the right. The reception will take place in the auditorium of Harrison Institute and Small Special Collections Library (170 McCormick Rd); the auditorium is located on the first floor, one floor down from the main entrance.

View Larger Map


Parking is available in the Central Grounds Parking Garage, accessible 24 hrs/day from Emmet St and – during the daytime – from Newcomb Road (off of University Ave). The rate is $2/hour Monday to Saturday, 7:30 am-5 pm payable in cash or check. After 5 pm the rate is $.70/hour until midnight. From midnight to 7:30 am there is a flat rate of $1; on Sundays parking is $.70/hour all day.

The University has many parking lots, and many restrictions governing their use. If you park in a lot for which you do not have the proper sticker or dashboard pass, you are likely to get a ticket (fines are $30 and up, depending on the gravity of the offense). There is some chance that you will get towed if you park illegally in a lot where “Towing Enforced” signs are posted. Many University parking lots allow permitless parking after 5 pm and over the weekend. Single-day on-the-street parking in the immediate precincts of the University is fairly limited (many spaces require a local resident’s permit: read the signs carefully). The most desirable curbside parking spaces in the University neighborhood tend to be two-hour-maximum.


There are several hotels within relatively easy walking distance of the Central Grounds of the University. A brief list includes: Budget Inn, Cavalier Inn, Hampton Inn & Suites, Red Roof Inn, Econo Lodge, and Courtyard Marriott. There are many other hotels and motels in Charlottesville, including the usual assortment of national chains, as well as an interesting variety of country inns and bed-and-breakfast places. The walking-distance Dinsmore House Inn has received good reviews from previous RBS attendants.


To mark the occasion, a keepsake publication will be distributed to all of the contributors to the Fund, with their names arranged by donor level. The keepsake will also include a detailed account of the presentations delivered at the 20 June public program. The cut-off date for inclusion in the keepsake, which will be sent out to donors in mid-July, is 20 June.