I-20: Book Illustration Processes to 1900
6-10 June 2011
1) How useful were the pre-course readings? (Leave blank if you applied and were accepted late for the course, and thus did not get the list in time.)
1: The pre-course reading was indispensible to my understanding of book illustration processes. I benefitted from the advance preparation. 2: VERY. Gascoigne is next to impossible to read (indeed it calls itself a book not meant to be read), but extremely valuable to have background ahead of time. Wish I had known how helpful/easier to read the later sections on "differences" and identification were—the first section would have made more sense. 3: Essential. 4: Extremely useful reading. Keeping up with the number of print processes would be impossible without reading. 5: Imperative! I would have been lost without the readings, and will be lost if I don't continue to refer to them. 6: Gascoigne is absolutely essential. Read cover to cover, and repeat. Hults was not particularly useful. 7: Exceedingly. 8: Very useful. 9: Very useful, but more so after I had seen examples in class and could then go back and look over readings. 10: Bamber Gascoigne was essential and very good!
2) Were the course syllabus and other materials distributed in class appropriate and useful (or will they be so in the future, after you return home)?
1: TB's workbook, full of illustrated examples, will live on my shelf of bibliographies and resources at work. His extensive bibliography is going to be particularly useful. 2: The bibliography alone will serve me well. Furthermore having quick reference tools (timeline to read, processes and images of tools after (or at least at the same time) as the second section) that make up for holes in Gascoigne will be handy when I'm back at work. 3: Yes, the bibliography will be immensely useful in future study. 4: Yes, more room could be left in the workbook for student notes. Otherwise, a wonderful resource, especially further reading and materials viewed. 5: Absolutely! This will become my bible, and the key to assembling my reference library for book illustration processes. 6: Workbook was useful, but not as much of a take-home resource as workbooks from descriptive/advanced descriptive bibliography. Will definitely refer most of all to additional reading list. 7: Absolutely, yes. 8: Yes to both. 9: Absolutely useful both here and later. 10: The workbook was useful and I took notes in it for future reference.
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: Viewing a large number of carefully selected prints was the best learning tool. It will certainly help me to identify prints as I catalog illustrated books and visual materials. The intellectual level of the course was appropriate for professional librarians, booksellers, &c. 3: Being able to identify prints by the process, class, other data. Art conservation is a little bit like detective works and this class definitely smoothes out some mysteries of book and printing history. 4: All of it is relevant, and all interesting. Yes, appropriate intellectual level. Large amount of information. 5: The hands-on materials used to illustrate each process were invaluable. I feel confident I can approach an image with the proper questions in mind. 6: Course level was perfect for me. Printing process and process identification were the focus of the course and were of the greatest interest to me. 7: My primary interest is up to 1860, so processes up to that point were most relevant, though I will use the information about later processes as well. 8: The hands-on approach to print processes vastly improved my understanding. 9: The lab sessions were useful, but I really enjoyed looking at examples. 10: Of greatest interest were learning the differences between the basic types of book illustrations, and how to determine the differences. The intellectual level was perfect for me.
4) What did you like best about the course?
1: The best parts of the course were its hands-on aspects: lab sessions in which we created three types of prints and handling more than 100 separate prints. 2: The lab sessions! It was great to have these breaks from looking at prints, but more importantly, it was good to get handy on understanding/appreciation of the various processes! (especially etching). 3: The packets! Everyone gets a chance to view examples of their own, close up. Access to original materials was the most valuable part of this course, aside from TB's experienced and astute observations and guidance. 4: Use of packets to illustrate each print process. 5: The entire atmosphere of the classroom. 6: Sample after sample of original materials make the process familiar and identifiable. 7: The packets, the labs, and the anecdotes. 8: TB's packets and explanations. 9: The lab sessions—although because I was never satisfied with my work, I think I preferred looking at the prints and discussing. 10: I love TB's insights and sharing of how to discover the processes. I marveled at the amount of examples he has to pass around to everyone. Seeing is learning!!
5) Did the instructor(s) successfully help you to acquire the information and skills that the course was intended to convey?
1: TB's deep knowledge of printing history and print identification helped me to acquire information and skills important to my work as a cataloger. 2: Yes—it is truly incredible how many examples we were able to go through in just one week! And TB's expvlanations/mnemonics (e.g., "text has to come from somewhere," "black islands on a white sea") will definitely stick with me. 3: Yes, with some insights on the rare book, manuscript, and print collecting world. Some of the stories behind the prints he acquired were more interesting than the pictures themselves. 4: Yes. 6: Absolutely. 7: Yes, as far as I could be helped. Ideally, I would take the course twice more. 8: Yes, absolutely. 9: Absolutely. I love checklists. Don't know if it's possible to create a flow chart or some sort of "if lines, then engraving" kind of chart, but that might help me remember the steps to take. My goal when I get home is to see if I can create an "if this, then that" for myself. Although, may not work. 10: TB gave us the information and tools for future learning on our own. The bibliography in the back of the workbook is the best reference.
6) Did you learn what the course description/advertisements indicated you would learn?
1-6: Yes. 7: Yes, and more! 8: Yes, and more—I learned more about photographic processes than I was expecting. 9-10: Yes.
7) Did you learn what you wanted to learn in the course? Y/N
1-3: Yes. 4: Yes, print identification skills certainly need practice, but we were warned that it can take a lot of training to accurately identify prints ... mainly yes! (Just hope to improve through practice!) 5-6: Yes. 7: Yes, and more! 8: Yes, and I found my own ignorance more profound than I realized, so I also had a great deal to learn. 9-10: Yes.
8) How do you intend to use or apply the knowledge or skills learned in this course?
1: With knowledge learned in this course, I intend to identify prints in books and add genre terms for them in my catalog records. I also plan to share my knowledge with colleagues. 2: Knowing how to identify processes will allow me to provide better descriptions of materials without having to rely on the curator of art at my home institution. 3: The course books and workbook will be very useful in future research. The "feel" I got for how certain printing processes look in original form (after looking at so many examples!) will stay with me for quite some time. 4: Use skills to examine books or prints in my library's collection. Use understanding of methods to explain to tour groups how images were printed. 5: Cataloging books. 6: I will use my skills in the description of items in our collection and as a knowledge resource for other members of our staff. I will also use the knowledge in answering reference inquiries about items in our collection. 7: In describing book illustrations in records, in discussions with researchers, in pursuing decisions, and in article writing. 8: I teach courses on print culture, which will now be able to incorporate better explanations of process. My own academic research will also benefit. 9: Assisting patrons; assisting staff with ID. Looking forward to going back and testing my knowledge (knowing that I still have a ways to go). 10: I will be more educated and thus better explain book illustrations in our collections to prospective donors, to my book acquisitions committee and book catalog.
9) How could the course have been improved? If you have a suggestion for a new course (and—equally important—a person who could teach it), please contact the RBS Program Director.
2: A little more time to go through the example folders for various processes would have been great (only time set aside for this process was on Monday). Maybe bring back "Study Night"? 3: Only TB could teach a course this way. Improvements? Only more description on photo-print processes, but that's covered in Jim Reilly's course. 4: Wonderful class. 5: None. 6: TB has been honing this course conscientiously for decades. I can't add anything to that. 7: Slightly more structure. Starting the week with a list of processes to be described. TB and Gascoigne's vocabulary and structure lined up somewhat, but occasionally I felt somewhat confused about when different processes were developed and flourished. Spending more time with the test images with discussion and explanation from TB would be great! 8: I don't know that anything could be improved within the time constraint. I tend to think very chronologically, and this course jumped around in time, keeping me on my toes. 10: It's obvious TB has spent years honing and improving this course.
10) If your course left its classroom to visit Special Collections (SC) or to make other field trips away from your classroom, was the time devoted to this purpose well spent?
11) We are always concerned about the physical well-being both of the RBS teaching collections and of materials owned by UVa's Special Collections. If relevant, what suggestions do you have for the improved classroom handling of such materials used in your course this week?
3: None. 6: Material was very well handled. Having an assistant to distribute and pick-up materials made things move smoothly and helped protect the materials from harm. 7: None. Hands-on approach was invaluable. 8: I'm impressed by the generosity and freedom of handling that the class allowed and enabled. That was one of the class's greatest strengths. 9: This system was wonderful. 10: Drinks should not be in classroom.
12) If you attended the optional evening events (e.g. RBS Lecture, Video Night, RBS Forum, Booksellers' Night) were they worth attending?
5: Yes 6: Yes, though I had seen several of the films already, so I skipped Video Night. 7: Absolutely, they should not be missed. Except Video Night. I have seen those videos and might have preferred a related fiction film. 8: I'm afraid that I couldn't. 9: Yes. 10: Yes, I attended both evening lectures. Outstanding!!
13) Did you get your (or your institutions) money's worth? Any final or summary thoughts, or advice for other persons considering taking this course in a future year?
1: Honestly, the knowledge I acquired could not be acquired in any better way. 3: Absolutely. 4: Yes, this class is so specialized that I think it is most worth the money. 5: Yes. 6: Yes. I am fortunate to have an employer that pays for my attendance. My employer gets its money's worth in my enhanced knowledge. 7: Yes, most definitely got money's worth. Tess was incredible!!!! 8: It was worth every penny of UVA's money! I fully expect to return to RBS for more classes. 9: Totally! TB is an amazing instructor and I enjoyed his knowledge. 10: Definitely. Yes and more. The depth of TB's experience and knowledge is priceless!
14) Would you recommend this course to others?
1: I understand why RBS is so addictive! Yes, highly recommended. 2: Absolutely! 3: YES. 4: Yep! 5: Yes. 6: Absolutely. Certainly one of the best courses. 7: Yes, without reservations. 8: I already have, and I will continue to recommend it both to colleagues and to good students. 9: Hell yeah. 10: Absolutely yes!
Number of respondents: 10
Institution gave me leave
I took vacation time
N/A: self-employed, retired or had the summers off
I am self-employed
Work has nothing to do with RBS course
Institution paid tuition
Institution paid tuition ___%
I paid tuition myself
Exchange or barter
N/A: Self-employed, retired or scholarship
Institution paid housing
Institution paid for ___% of housing
I paid for my own housing
N/A: stayed with friends or lived at home
Institution paid ___% of my travel
I paid my own travel
N/A: lived nearby
There were one special collections cataloger (10%), one archivist/manuscript librarian (10%), one antiquarian bookseller (10%), three rare book librarians (30%), one conservationist (10%), one professor of art history (10%), and two general librarians with some rare books duties (20%).
Where did you stay?
Brown College: 4 (40%)
Cavalier Inn: 2 (20%)
Hampton Inn & Suites: 1 (10%)
Other: 3 (30%)