Deborah J. Leslie

L-30: Rare Book Cataloging

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: Very. Although actually reading DCRM(B) isn't easy, having pre-course practice exercises helped get through that. 2: Incredibly useful. I would really recommend reading them carefully, because the class moves rather fast (in order to cover all the necessary material), and it was really helpful to have the introduction to the terminology via the readings. 3: I would have been lost if I didn't complete them! 4: Extremely useful. 5: Very. I felt that they filled some holes and brought my knowledge level up to the appropriate level to begin working on the first day. 6: Generally very helpful. 7: They were necessary. 8: They were essential for me to gain a basic understanding of rare book concepts (such as issue, state, and format) and to gain some familiarity with DCRM(B). 9: Somewhat. Without class time they were sometimes confusing, I don't think they should be done away with, though—since I wouldn't have learned much without them. 10: Very useful! They could have been enhanced by receiving the warm-up exercise sooner. 11: Extremely useful. 12: Very useful.


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: Very much so. The examples and notes will help me apply what I have learned, and there are several useful tools and illustrations in the appendices that I plan to share with the rest of our staff. 2: Yes, I plan to refer to all the material distributed regularly when I return home. 3: Yes. I plan on going over the workbook and inserting tabs so I can efficiently access the materials. 4: Yes. 5: Absolutely. 6: The binder is an excellent resource, one I will continue to use and share with other staff at my library. 7: I will need the workbook and other materials in order to do my job. I am grateful to the RBS for giving me these materials. 8: Yes, I think I'll refer back to them many times for examples of correct rare book cataloging and interpretations of the cataloging rules. 9: They will go on my bookshelf at work. DJL obviously puts a great deal of time and effort into these materials. 10: Yes, I will continue to consult the workbook regularly. I would, however, have liked a table of contents. 11: Yes, the workbook will be used on Monday as I start cataloging some hand press books. 12: Yes. They will serve as an excellent quick reference source in my work.


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: Learning how to apply DCRM(B) to early hand press works as well as learning how to identify variants, what variants were important and how to record format and signatures. The level was just right for me. 2: The teaching of DCRM(B) was most relevant and interesting, via specific examples. For example: learning how to compose signature statements by watching the process of leafing through the book through the document camera. Also, the direct examples of the differences between edition, issue, impression, &c., during the field trip to Special Collections. 4: All of interest, info about creating notes and tracings probably most immediately relevant; other aspects will probably become more relevant to my situation in the future. 5: Deeper description through notes and generally deepening my level of cataloging. Level was certainly appropriate. I also enjoyed learning more about the history of books and their physical attributes. 6: I needed to learn how to catalog using DCRM(B) and create a policy for my library so this course was perfect. Yes. 7: The handling and cataloging of hand press books. 8: The whole course was exactly what I needed so I can go back to my library and have the confidence to start cataloging rare books. 9: Hands-on DCRM(B) cataloging was invaluable. Everyone in the class was dedicated, which also helped. 10: I really found everything helpful and the intellectual level was appropriate. 11: The intellectual level was completely appropriate—all was useful. 12: All of it was relevant to cataloging my institution's special collections.


4)    What did you like best about the course?


1: The hands-on, practical exercises. 2: The exercises and the discussion afterward. The instructor was very knowledgeable as well. 3: Presentation of material with "real life" examples. 5: Building a great deal of knowledge and skills in a short amount of time. Learning from the instructor and from other participants as well. 6: The examples given to illustrate concepts and the time for practice, as well as getting to work with others. 7: Collation, binding and transcription. 9: Oddly—the homework—both pre-course and during—also the group activity. 10: Hands-on practice with rare books. 11: DJL's pedagogic technique, her insight and dedication. 12: Hands-on work with the texts.


5)     Did the instructor(s) successfully help you to acquire the information and skills that the course was intended to convey?


1: Yes. 2: Yes, she was excellent. 3: Yes, very much so. 4: I think so, but I'll know for sure after I try to apply them at work. 5: Yes. 6: Yes—DJL was a very patient teacher who listened and responded well to class questions and needs. 7: Yes. 8: DJL was a wonderful teacher. She's always enthusiastic and never let the class get dull. She really knows her stuff and was able to answer any questions that came up. 9: Yes—and then some. I didn't expect to learn as much as I did. 10-12: Yes.


6)     Did you learn what the course description/advertisements indicated you would learn?  


1-12: Yes.


7)    Did you learn what you wanted to learn in the course? Y/N                                                                                  


1-3: Yes. 4: Yes—mostly—more detail about 5xx through 8xx might be helpful to me, but I can't see what could have been omitted to make room for it. 5: Yes. 6: Yes—I feel I have had a very good introduction to what I needed to learn—I wish we had a semester to practice and ask more questions! 7-12: Yes.


8)     How do you intend to use or apply the knowledge or skills learned in this course?


1: Cataloging currently received materials as well as backlog. 2: To apply DCRM(B) cataloging to a special collection my institution wants to highlight. 4: At first, on recon project in Special Collections, including setting up some procedures, policy. Also the general knowledge acquired will give me some good vocabulary and understanding when talking to colleagues in Special Collections. 5: To develop policies, greater description. 6: Create a rare book cataloging policy and use DCRM(B) cataloging when appropriate. 7: Cataloging rare books at work. 8: I'm hoping to incorporate rare book cataloging into my regular workflow. 10: To improve my work at my current job, and to acquire a position in a rare book library in the future. 11: I am to become the rare book cataloger on July 1 at Tisch—I will be using the material on a daily basis. 12: Directly applicable to my work cataloging. DCRM(B) will be used to a much greater extent in my cataloging.


9)    How could the course have been improved? If you have a suggestion for a new course (and—equally important—a person to teach it), please contact the RBS Program Director.


1: Not sure it could be! It was perfect for me this year! 2: It was excellent as is. 3: I thought it was well presented. 4: The overall organization of the course was good, but sometimes the small things seemed a bit disorganized. Needed to get the pre-course assignment much earlier! For in-class exercises, it was hard to keep track of what people said and whether they were right or not, maybe using the white board would be helpful. 6: I really don't think there is more one could do than give more time but we really maximized our time here—teach a semester-long course on-line? 7: N/A. 9: Don't lose DJL! Oddly—again—more group work. 11: Really can't imagine how it could be—a great course. 12: Homework before class begins should be given at least a week in advance.


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?


1: We visited Special Collections for a firsthand view of variants and other things we had talked about in class. Very useful. 2: Yes, it was extremely helpful. 3: Yes. The discussion of the items was a good experience. 4-5: Yes. 6: SC trip was ok. It was useful to hear a bibliographer's perspective and see real works. 7: Yes it was well spent. 8: Yes, it gave us a chance to see examples of different editions, issues, and state and see what those might look like and how to deal with them in the catalog record. 9: Yes—very informative. 10: Yes, we went to SC, and I found it extremely valuable to see the materials and hear advice from another expert. 11-12: Yes.


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: All went well. 5: Yes. 6: I think good care was taken in handling materials. 7-8: The main problem was not having enough space on our tables for the books plus our course materials, notes, &c. 9: NONE. 11: None.


12)    If you attended the evening events (e.g. RBS Lecture, Video Night, RBS Forum, Bookseller's night) were they worth attending?


1: Yes—overall—glad the start times were earlier. 2: Yes, the Movie Night was extremely helpful in visualizing how books are made. 3: I attended all listed as well as the SC tour. All were informative. 4: Yes. 5: Videos about paper, binding, &c. were not of the best quality, but got the point across and properly illustrated the processes well. 6-7: Yes. 8: I attended the lecture, Video Night, and Forum and enjoyed them all very much. 9: Video Night was worthwhile for cataloging—should be mandatory. 10: Absolutely! These experiences enhance our time in class! 11: Video Night was particularly helpful. 12: Video Night was great, though two of the four films have been shown repeatedly in the past when I attended RBS.


13)    Did you (or your institution) get your money's worth? Any final or summary thoughts, or advice for other persons considering taking this course in a future year? (If you have further praise/concerns, please speak with Amanda or Michael Suarez.)


1: I know I did! Will have to see how much scope my institution will allow me now that I know what I'm doing! 2: Yes. 3: Yes. I should have brought a laptop. The limit of the number of users on the computers was frustrating. Printing was also problematic. 4: Yes. 5-6: Yes. 7: I hope so. It will depend on my performance later on. 8: Yes. I can't imagine that there's any better way to learn rare book cataloging, so it was absolutely worth the money. 9: Yes—advice—don't apply unless you have time to dedicate, it's not just 9-5 M-F; RBS is a full time experience. 10: This course is essential if you are/will be cataloging rare books. You get so much more out of attending the class than you would just reading the rules on your own. 11-12: Yes.


14)    Would you recommend this course to others?


1: Yes! 2: Yes. 3: Yes, after this class looking at a DCRM(B) record will all make sense and seem easy to construct! 4: Yes, if they are serious about learning to catalog rare books. 5-6: Yes. 7: Absolutely!! 8: Definitely. 9: YES! 10: Yes. Overall excellent experience. 11-12: Yes.


Number of respondents: 12





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 travel




Institution paid ___% of my travel




I paid my own travel




N/A: lived nearby






There were 2 rare book librarians (17%); 5 general librarians with some rare book duties (42%); 2 support staff members in a library with some rare book duties (17%); 1 music librarian with some rare book duties (8%); 1 cataloging librarian with rare book duties (8%); 1 general librarian with no rare book duties (8%).