Rare Book School

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Course Descriptions

Reading right through these descriptions may be useful for those unacquainted with Rare Book School, the more so in that the courses are arranged in subject order rather than by level of complexity. The heading on each subject page offers some guidance as to the most logical order in which courses may be taken.

A good many RBS courses are offered annually; others are offered on a less regular schedule. A list of the courses offered over the next year or so is given on the current RBS Course Schedule page.

A description of the RBS experience generally may be found on the RBS General Information page.

Electronic copies of many other RBS documents past and present are available from this website, including former students' evaluations of all RBS courses offered since 1995; in the past, prospective students have found these frank discussions particularly useful in deciding whether or not to apply for admission to a particular RBS course. For similar reasons, copies of the Advance Reading Lists for most RBS courses are available online.

B-10  Introduction to the History of Bookbinding
B-40  Medieval & Early Renaissance Bookbinding Structures
B-50  Advanced Seminar in the History of Bookbinding
B-80  The Description of Bookbindings
B-90  Publishers' Bookbindings, 1830–1910
Collecting and Collection Management
C-30  Developing Collections: Donors, Libraries, & Booksellers
C-60  Examining the Medical Book: History & Connoisseurship
C-80  Artists’ Books: Strategies for Collecting
C-85  Law Books: History & Connoisseurship
C-90  Provenance: Tracing Owners & Collections
General: Descriptive and Textual Bibliography
G-10  Introduction to the Principles of Bibliographical Description
G-20  Printed Books to 1800: Description & Analysis
G-30  Printed Books since 1800: Description & Analysis
G-45  Analytical Bibliography
G-50  Advanced Descriptive Bibliography
G-55  Scholarly Editing: Principles & Practice
H-10  The History of the Book, 200–2000
H-15  The History of the Book in America: A Survey from Colonial to Modern
H-20  The Book in the Manuscript Era
H-25  15th-Century Books in Print and Manuscript
H-30  The Printed Book in the West to 1800
H-40  The Printed Book in the West since 1800
H-45  Printing, Publishing, & Consuming Texts in Britain, 1770–1919
H-50  The American Book in the Industrial Era, 1820–1940
H-55  The History of American Music Printing & Publishing
H-60  The History of European & American Papermaking
H-65  Introduction to Printed Maps
H-70  The History of the Book in America, c.1700–1830
H-80  The Stationers' Company and the London Book Trade to 1830
H-90  Teaching the History of the Book
Illustration and Printing Processes
I-10  Introduction to the History of Illustration
I-20  Book Illustration Processes to 1900
I-30  Advanced Seminar in Book Illustration Processes
I-35  The Identification of Photographic Print Processes
I-40  The Illustrated Scientific Book to 1800
I-85  Japanese Illustrated Books, 1615–1868
I-90  The Art of the Book in Edo and Meiji Japan, 1615–1912
I-95  Hokusai & Book Illustration, 1800–1879
Libraries, Archives, and Electronic Resources
L-10  Special Collections Librarianship
L-25  Reference Sources for Researching Rare Books
L-30  Rare Book Cataloging
L-35  Advanced Rare Book Cataloging
L-40  Visual Materials Cataloging
L-55  Donors and Libraries
L-60  Intro to Archives for Special Collections Librarians
L-65  Digitizing the Historical Record
L-70  XML in Action: Creating Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) Texts
L-75  Electronic Texts in XML
L-80  Implementing Encoded Archival Description
L-85  Publishing EAD Finding Aids
L-90  Designing Archival Description Systems
L-95  Born-Digital Materials: Theory & Practice
M-10  Introduction to Paleography, 800–1500
M-20  Introduction to Western Codicology
M-40  Latin Paleography, 1100–1500
M-50  Introduction to Illuminated Manuscripts
M-70  The Handwriting & Culture of Early Modern English Manuscripts
M-80  Western Manuscripts & Documents, 1500–2000
M-90  Advanced Seminar: Medieval Manuscript Studies
Typography and Book Design
T-10  Introduction to the History of Typography
T-50  Type, Lettering and Calligraphy, 1450–1830
T-55  Type, Lettering and Calligraphy, 1830–2000
T-60  19th- and 20th-Century Typography & Printing: Continuity & Change
Not currently offered
B-60  European Bookbinding, 1500–1800
B-70  European Decorative Bookbinding
C-20  Book Collecting
C-40  Cataloging Private Collections
C-50  Managing the Past
C-70  Collecting the History of Anglo-American Law
C-75  Developing Collections of African-American Materials
G-60  Introduction to c15 Printing
H-75  Printed Ephemera
I-70  Lithography: The Popularization of Printing in the C19
I-80  Japanese Printmaking, 1615–1868
L-20  How to Research a Rare Book
L-50  Advanced Seminar in Special Collections Administration
M-75  Indian Manuscript Illustration, 1450–1800
M-85  Introduction to Islamic Manuscripts
T-70  Printing Design and Publication