H-40 The Printed Book in the West Since 1800
18-22 July 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: Helpful background reading. 2: I found the readings, especially Gaskell and Steinberg, occasionally hard to follow (mostly because I could not visualize what the author was writing about). I might have preferred a more argumentative and interpretive style of book. 3: Very good. 4: Quite. 6: Very useful for introducing aspects. More on theoretical/analytical issues would have been beneficial. 7: Very useful. This is perhaps the first time I managed to read all of them and it was very helpful. 8: Very useful to get the overview but it was even more helpful to see examples of the processes, tools, techniques in teaching kits and Special Collections examples. 9: Very useful. 10: Very useful. It would have been difficult to learn as much without the background. 11: minimally. Most of the necessary information was also supplied in class making them somewhat redundant. 12: Very helpful. 13: Very useful and necessary.
2) Were the course workbook and other materials distributed in class appropriate and useful (or will they be so in the future, after you return home)?
1: Yes. 2: Yes, I think so. They helped me visualize what was being described in the pre-course readings. 3: Yes I will share mine with colleagues. 4: Not sure. The workbook was a little useful in class, but it fell apart. If the workbook contained his lecture slides instead of just the images, it would be more useful. 6: Yes (especially the color version). Yes, most likely. 7: I did not follow along in the workbook because they were displayed on the screen. I imagine I will go back to the e-version after I return home to perhaps refresh my memory. 8: Yes. 9: The instruction followed the in-class workbook closely and I will likely refer back to it when I venture home. 10: The workbook was useful and I will refer to it occasionally for ideas and inspiration. 11: Somewhat more so, at least. In class they were supplanted by the PowerPoint, but may be a useful reference later. 12: Yes, useful. 13: Yes, these will be kept 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: Level appropriate. Nineteenth century processes particularly useful. 2: The fine letterpress and artists' books aspects of the class were both of the greatest interest and relevance to me. It was helpful, nonetheless, to be taught about machine press books in order to understand what such works were reacting against. 3: The section on etching and engraving was exciting. 4: The technological process and advances, and being able to examine the physical materials embodying the processes. 6: Explanations of terminology and technical processes. Yes. 7: Explanation of mechanical processes, the technological explanations, e.g., I now understand how lithography works, how rotary presses work, &c., &c. 8: For my purposes, the content was quite appropriate, since I am interested in how to present items in my own collection to students and it was helpful to have the chronological development presented clearly. 9: Most relevant were discussions and demonstrations of printing methods. 10: Yes. The information on paper and illustration processes was most useful. The overview of fine press books was also helpful. And everything else was interesting! 11: I particularly appreciated the c19 portion and the fine-press content. The c20 machine press material was less interesting. 12: Historical context of publishing processes and illustrations was most helpful. 13: Use of A/V films was interesting and examples of items discussed. Intellectual level was perfect.
4) What did you like best about the course?
1: Examination of materials and use of videos/video clips (much easier to understand processes when you can see the machines in action). 2: The hands-on lessons with books and exercises identifying media, dates and binding styles were terrific. More, more! 3: I enjoyed learning about typography fonts in relationship to book design history. 4: See answer to question three. Also EH's knowledge and his easy style. 6: The hands-on materials. 7: The movies and video clips of the different processes. Helped me understand. 8: Format worked. Lecture, special collections examples, then the exercises which allowed us to apply what we learned. 9: The mixture of students' backgrounds and how those experiences contributed to class discussions. 10: Special collections presentations. BH's lecture on Jane Eyre was a real treat and very informative. 11: Hands-on interaction with the books themselves. Far more informative than reading about it. 12: Examination of materials hands-on was most useful. 13: All of it.
5) Did the instructor(s) successfully help you to acquire the information and skills that the course was intended to convey?
1: Yes. 2: The instructor was extremely articulate and well-versed in difficult technical processes. Impressive. 3: Yes. 4: Absolutely. 6-8: Yes. 9: Absolutely. The instructor was very organized, presented context and used materials effectively. 10-11: Yes. 12: EH was somewhat disorganized which was distracting but his explanations and responses to questions were on topic. 13: Yes.
6) Did you learn what the course
description/advertisements indicated you would learn?
2-4: Yes. 6: Yes. Although not as much on the history of the book trade/selling as I had hoped. 7-13: Yes.
7) Did you learn what you wanted to learn in
1: Yes. 2: Yes. It made me realize that I need to make annual visits to RBS! There is so much more to learn and know. 3: Very much so. 4-13: Yes.
8) How do you intend to use or apply the knowledge or skills learned in this course?
1: In cataloging of c19 materials. 2: It will be useful to have a better intellectual grasp of the issues surrounding modern printing. 3: Rare book cataloging. 4: Professionally. 6: In my scholarly research and teaching. 7: I will directly apply this in my current project—cataloging a collection of c19 books. 8: Present a similar type of lecture at various times to target our collections or to further develop tutorials for our students interested in the book as object, history of printing. 9: To identify and describe materials in my institution. 10: I will be buying a loupe and magnifying glass and examining the rare books in our collection with a more educated eye. I also have many new program ideas related to things we learned and saw in class. 12: I'll be better able to assess values of c19 materials. 13: They apply to all aspects of my work in caring for our collection and doing scholastic research.
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.
1: I would have liked more on continental European books—class focused on U.S. and U.K. 2: Hard to imagine improvements! It was excellent. 3: I felt the Janson assignment should be replaced with another to better illustrate the changes—It was fine, actually, but could be improved. 4: A little more organization of the lectures; slides that put the lectures into outline or high points; including slide handouts in the workbook. 6: No significant need of improvement. 8: Perhaps a bit more updating, it would be nice to have some more recent examples of 2000 to today in terms of press work. But overall quite good. 9: I really don't believe it could have been improved. 10: EH was a great teacher. Perhaps having more of the information on names, dates, and processes as part of the workbook would help. And a supplemental bibliography of additional sources. The comb binding on the workbook did not hold up. 11: EH could be a little imperious at times. I did not always feel that "stupid" questions were handled super well; sometimes students seemed a little intimidated. 12: More hands-on evaluation and examination. 13: At the beginning the instructor seemed disorganized and scatterbrained in his presentations. A little better articulation in conveying thoughts would help keep the pace.
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: Special Collections came to us, since we were in the same building. 2: Yes! 3: Yes. 4: Yes, for the SC presentations in one class, and the presentation of BH on Jane Eyre. 6: Extremely. 7: Yes. The materials from SC and Lower Tibet were very illustrative. 8-9: Yes. 10: N/A. SC came to our classroom and the time was well spent. 11: Yes, we stayed here and had SC come to us. Some of the best sessions. 12: Yes, visit to Rotunda exhibit was very useful and on topic. 13: 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?
1: None. 3: Was fine. 6: None. 8: Great care was taken. 9: None. 12: Handling is quite adequate. 13: None.
12) If you attended the optional evening events (e.g. RBS Lecture, Video Night, RBS Forum, Booksellers' Night) were they worth attending?
1: Monday evening lecture was interesting and thought provoking. 2: I attended all except the Video Night and enjoyed them immensely. The "Googlization of Everything" lecture was particularly illuminating and entertaining. Apart from everything else, the events helped me reconnect with students in other classes. 3: Yes! 4: Both Vaidhyanathan and Krupp were fabulous. Very successful. 6: The lectures were worthwhile. Bookseller's Night less so. 7: Yes. Especially the Monday evening lecture. 8: Yes, especially enjoyed the lecture on Google and Human Knowledge Project. 9: Yes. 10: Googlization lecture was excellent. Publishers' bindings interesting but not particularly relevant to my work. 12: I skipped the videos but other events were fun and informative. For me the 5:30 time frame is best for an evening activity. 13: Yes.
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?
2: Yes! 3: People in dorms need some place close to get coffee before 8 a.m. and after 5. 4: Yes. The instructor assumes a certain amount of culture/artistic knowledge of the different time periods. Get yourself familiar with the arts and crafts movement, art deco, &c. 6: Yes. 7: Yes! 8-9: Yes. 10: Yes. This was a useful course and it showed me how much I still need to learn. 11: Yes. 12: Well worth the time and money. 13: Yes.
14) Would you recommend this course to others?
2: Yes! 3: Yes, definitely. 4: Yes. 6: Yes, highly. 7-8: Yes! 9: Absolutely. 10-13: Yes.
Number of respondents: 13
Institution gave me leave: 75%
I took vacation time: 0%
N/A: self-employed, retired or had the summers off: 17%
I am self-employed: 8%
Institution paid tuition: 66%
Institution paid tuition ___%: 0%
I paid tuition myself: 9%
Exchange or barter: 16%
N/A: Self-employed, retired or scholarship: 9%
Institution paid housing: 58%
Institution paid for ___% of housing: 0%
I paid for my own housing: 25%
N/A: stayed with friends or lived at home: 17%
Institution paid ___% of my travel: 0%
I paid my own travel: 34%
N/A: lived nearby: 8%
There were 6 rare book librarians (50%), 3 general librarian with some rare books duties (26%), 1 professor of Russian literature (8%), 1 PhD student (8%), 1 historian with antiquarian and librarian duties(8%).
Where did you stay?Brown College—3