I-20: Illustration Processes to 1900
4-8 June 2012
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 Bamber Gascoigne text was very useful as pre-course material. Because it is a pretty detailed book, I did not do any additional preparation for the course. 2: Gascoigne is an extremely good book. I did a little background reading on the history of illustration, but it wasn't necessary. 3: The Gascoigne was difficult to study in advance, but I can't see how it could be simplified. And a student would be lost without that preparation. 4: Gascoigne was essential; although a less "reference-like" history might be less cumbersome. I just don't know what that would be... 5: I felt the pre-course reading (Gascoigne) was very helpful and might even have benefited from a few more. 6: I did no additional preparation but this particular course closely follows the identification methods of Bamber Gascoigne, so reading that book (which is required) is essential. 7: Pre-course readings were essential. You would have been lost without doing them beforehand. 8: Indispensable. 9: Very useful. 10: More useful than I knew at the time (Gascoigne). Did some peripheral reading as well, which helped.
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: The workbook is a fabulous resource with great references for followup study after the course. 2: The workbook is useful. It would be helpful if more images were included to supplement those in Gascoigne. 3: Yes. 4: Yes—in fact, more examples in the workbook would be handy (see below at question number seven). 5: The workbook for this course is simply excellent and I know I will return to it again and again as a valued reference source. 6: Yes, very useful and very helpful, both as an in-class teaching tool and as a reference source for the future, especially the exit reading list. 7: Workbook was great, and sample packets in class were amazing examples. 8: Also indispensable. 9: Extremely useful in class; I trust they will be useful in future as well. 10: Very.
3) Have you taken one or more RBS courses before? If so, how did this course compare with your previous coursework?
1: I have taken "History of the Book 200–2000" and it was a great overall introduction to this course. This course is much more detailed. 2: This is my fourth class. There was significantly less class preparation required. This was important because it allows you to concentrate exclusively on the primary textbook used for the class, Gascoigne. 3: More preparation for this one, and more homework (but I'm older now and have to study harder to remember). 4: No. 5: With this course, I had far less background in the subject matter so I was (initially) at sea even with the pre-course reading. 6: Yes, this is my fifth course at RBS and it ranks at the top, equal to Descriptive Bibliography in its importance and usefulness. 7: I have taken multiple courses. This one was absolutely one of the best. 8: Yes. This class was far more hands-on and challenging. 9: Two previous courses. This one was equally intense, edifying, and entertaining. 10: No.
4) What aspects of the course content were of the greatest interest or relevance for your purposes?
1: This course was fabulous! It will benefit me greatly when I begin to catalog digitized prints and illustrations from our rare books. It was of great interest to have the opportunity to view so many different types of printing techniques. 2: The ability to look at a significantly large number of examples (packets) in order to learn how to identify prints. 3: Our study of early lithography will be particularly useful for me. 4: Examining actual examples provided. 5: Early printing processes are of the greatest interest to me. 6: Simply learning in great detail, methods of print identification. 7: I felt I went into the course knowing nothing, and came out with a grasp (however tentative) of the basic illustration methods. 8: Having examples of the various processes in hand. 9: The earlier illustration processes discussed. 10: For me the earlier material (pre-1900s) was the most relevant, but it was all interesting.
5) Did the instructor(s) successfully help you to acquire the information and skills that the course was intended to convey? Was the intellectual level of the course appropriate?
1: The intellectual level of the course was spot on! The class was well selected with varying experiences, but all were able to grasp the subject matter. 2: Yes. TB did a spectacular job in taking us by the hand and showing us methods on how to identify prints. 3: I only wish I had the brains to keep up! It was terrific and I can't believe it is over. 4: Oh yes, TB is excellent and the intellectual level was right on target. 5: Yes and yes. 6: Yes, and yes. 7: The level was on the money. 8: Yes, and yes. 9: Yes, appropriate level. 10: Yes.
6) What did you like best about the course?
1: The chance to view so many different print types coupled with the opportunity to participate in printing processes. 2: TB's "dry point" sense of humor, his personal stories on how many of these materials were acquired. 3: I felt challenged at every moment which was a joy. Particularly loved how TB thought on his feet when things went wrong, which was instructive in itself. 4: Actually making the different types, i.e., relief, intaglio. I wish there was enough time to make lithographs and/or a photo-processed print. 5: TB. 6: The depth of the knowledge of TB, his ability to convey this knowledge, his encouragement and his honesty about the difficulty of these things. 7: TB! He's a task master, but by God, he knows his stuff. He's one of those guys that is scary smart. 8: Being able to ask questions, back-track, get clarifications. 9: Great examples—the material we got to look at really made the course for me. 10: TB's anecdotes, and the number of examples we got to see. I also enjoyed the hands-on workshop!
7) How could the course have been improved?
1: Can't think of a thing! This class was absolutely fabulous! 3: I would recommend more repetition about what to look for in each process with reference to the clues given in Gascoigne, but really that's overkill. 4: I wish there was a way that we could take home examples of the examples used in the classroom...perhaps a scan on disc? It would jog our memories later on, at least, a reference. Also the ability to look at examples after class more often. 5: Two weeks; three daily 90-minute lectures per the status quo; one daily 90-minute session for independent specimen examination/review. 6: The only way I could think to improve the course would be to make it longer—i.e., to be able to spend more time on the various processes and their variants. 7: Don't think it could be—except if we'd had more room to browse the books which were available. 8: More side-by-side comparisons of similar processes (aquatints next to stipple, for example, or collotypes next to aquatints). 9: My only trouble with the course was that by the time we got to the photographic processes, by brain couldn't receive any more information. It might make sense not to try to cover so much historical time in one class. 10: I personally would have liked a little more social/literary/historical context for each process, as a beginner—but, I realize, there's not always world enough and time.
8) Did you learn what the course description/advertisements indicated you would learn?
1–7: Yes. 8: Yes. I learned that this is even harder than I thought, which was already pretty darn hard! 9: More or less; see previous. 10: Yes.
9) Did you learn what you wanted to learn in the course?
1–2: Yes. 3: No. I think I'd need two weeks of repetition to take it all in. 4–7: Yes. 8: Yes—beginning to at least know the right questions to ask. 9–10: Yes.
10) How do you intend to use or apply the knowledge or skills learned in this course?
1: I will be cataloging digitized prints and illustrations from our rare books and the class provided me the knowledge of how to approach the identification of a printing technique and the confidence that I may be correct. It also gave me a tremendous amount of resources to consult when I am unsure. 2: For curating an exhibition displaying printed works. 3: My cataloging AND acquisition skills will be enriched immensely—knowing how to examine both the printing and the illustrations more closely will help me (and my institution). 4: On the job identification of prints when necessary. 5: Although how precisely I will do so it not immediately apparent, I'm sure I will find a useful application for what I have learned this week. 6: Virtually every day in my work as an antiquarian bookseller I have to examine and identify illustration processes in books or prints. The methods and tips I learned in class will be invaluable. 7: Will be helpful in identifying prints in collected books, and also artists' prints included in some designer bindings. 8: Continue to examine every print I see, asking myself the questions I now know to ask. 9: Should help me with my rare book cataloging. 10: For my research, I plan to use the bibliographic information I learned about early illustration methods.
11) If you made any trips away from your classroom, was the time devoted to this purpose well spent?
1: No trips. 2–9: N/A. 10: We didn't.
12) If you attended the optional evening events (e.g., RBS Lecture, Video Night, RBS Forum, Booksellers' Night) were they worth attending?
1: The Wednesday night lecture was very entertaining. I always enjoy Booksellers' Night. 2: The Diderot lecture was pointless and too esoteric. The Chinese book lecture was extremely informative and illuminating. 3: Loved the videos, but found both lectures to be all over the place. 4: Generally, yes; although I was much too drained after course work to really enjoy every night (especially as we had outside work to finish). 5: I felt that all of the events I attended (lectures and Video Night) were well worth the time spent. 6: Evening events are always edifying in their way. 7: Monday night lecture was horrendous, Wednesday night lecture was wonderful. 8: Yes. 9: The Wednesday night lecture was very good. The Monday night lecture I did not find to be worth attending. 10: Yes—but I would have liked the videos made available online, or on DVD—especially since VCRs break!
13) We are always concerned about the physical well-being both of the RBS teaching collections and of materials owned by the 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?
1–2: N/A. 3: I think it was fine. 4–6: N/A. 7: I think everyone handled the course materials with respect and care. 8–9: N/A. 10: They were fine.
14) Did you get your (or your institutions) money's worth? Would you recommend this course to others?
1: Absolutely—well worth the money and they will be pleased with the result. 2: Money well spent. This is the best course I've taken at RBS, but I say that every time I take a course. 3: Absolutely! 4: Oh yes, by far. And yes, I would recommend this course. 5: Absolutely! I would recommend this course to anyone interested in books, even if they don't (think they) have an interest in illustration processes. 6: Yes, I felt like the week was time and money well spent. I would heartily recommend the course to other dealers, collectors, librarians, &c. 7: Lots of bang for the buck. And it's my own buck! 8: Yes. Unqualified. 9–10: Yes, and yes.
15) Any final or summary thoughts, or advice for other persons considering taking this course in a future year? (If you have further RBS praise or concerns, or if you have suggestions for a new course, please contact Amanda Nelsen [firstname.lastname@example.org] or Michael Suarez [email@example.com].)
1: Wonderful course! TB is a wealth of knowledge and it is an honor to have been in his class. 2: TB's course will forever be "etched" in my memory. In a sense, he exudes everything that is precious and unique about RBS. 3: The more you prepare, the more you'll get out of the course. It covers a LOT of ground and any vestige of context you come in with will only improve your retention. 4: Read before coming to class. Gascoigne might be dry as a parched leaf, but it really is essential. Do not come late to class or miss anything as the compression of information demands your complete attention! 5: It is an excellent course. TB is a great teacher, and his intimate familiarity with the materials and his willingness to tell us how and where he acquired them, thus giving us a peek into the history of RBS, is a special treat. 10: Don't be appalled by the Gascoigne; just relax and get the overall methods. Don't expect to have too much free time—come prepared to learn and work hard! Meet as many new people as possible—your classmates will be interesting people!
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 travel
Institution paid 50% of my travel
I paid my own travel
N/A: lived nearby
There were two librarians with no rare book duties (20%), two antiquarian book sellers (20%), one librarian with some rare book duties (10%), one rare book librarian (10%), one music cataloger (10%), one art history cataloger (10%), one book collector (10%), one full-time Ph.D. student (10%)
How did you hear about this course?
RBS Printed Schedule
Word of mouth
Where did you stay?
Brown College 5 (50%)
Cavalier Inn 1 (10%)
Courtyard Marriott 1 (10%)
Hampton Inn & Suites 1 (10%)
Other 2 (20%)