RBS News

  • RBS Mourns the Passing of Jay T. Last

    It is with great sadness that we acknowledge the passing of Jay T. Last, friend and benefactor of Rare Book School. He died in Los Angeles on 11 November 2021; he was 92.

    As a physicist and entrepreneur, Jay Last is renowned as one of the founders of the Fairchild Semiconductor Corporation, the origin of Silicon Valley. As an art collector, publisher, scholar, author, and philanthropist, Jay’s legacy of support for the arts, art history, and education will endure for many years to come. A collector of West and Central African Art, Jay, along with his wife Deborah, […]

    Posted 2 days ago by Laura Eidam
  • RBS Mourns the Passing of William P. Barlow, Jr.

    It is with great sadness that we acknowledge the passing of William P. Barlow, Jr., former Rare Book School faculty member and Treasurer of the School’s Board of Directors.

    Barlow died in San Francisco on 21 October 2021 after a heart attack; he was 87.

    Barlow began collecting books seriously as an undergraduate at the California Institute of Technology, continuing to collect when he transferred to the University of California at Berkeley, and thereafter for the rest of his life. He had the greatest collection of the works of the English printer John Baskerville in private hands, a superb collection of antiquarian bibliography, and many other collecting interests, including the Daniel Press and various private presses, restaurant ephemera, postal history, books on food and wine, and water skiing.

    Posted 1 month, 1 day ago by Laura Eidam
  • RBS Receives $100,000 NEH Grant to Prepare Curators and Teachers for the U.S. Semiquincentennial

    Rare Book School has been awarded a grant for $100,258 from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) program “Sustaining the Humanities through the American Rescue Plan.”

    RBS was one of 292 recipients among the 937 eligible organizations that applied. The grant supports the School’s initiative, “Living American History in Primary Documents,” which anticipates the approaching 250th anniversary of the United States by providing educational content for the cultural heritage professionals who care for our nation’s documentary records.

    “We are delighted to help prepare the custodians of our nation’s heritage to mediate their collections to a citizenry eager to learn more about their history,” said Rare Book School Director Michael F. […]

    Posted 1 month, 14 days ago by Laura Eidam
  • RBS Scholarship & Fellowship Applications Now Available

    We are now accepting applications for the 2021 Rare Book School scholarship and fellowship cycle.

    Applications are open for all RBS-awarded scholarships (for both first-time and returning RBS students), and for the M. C. Lang Fellowship in Book History, Bibliography, and Humanities Teaching with Historical Sources and the Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship for Diversity, Inclusion & Cultural Heritage. Applications for the SoFCB Junior Fellows Program are anticipated to open later in October. For general queries about scholarships or fellowships, see the FAQs page. Participation in the scholarship/fellowship program implies acceptance of the scholarship and fellowship Terms and Conditions. […]

    Posted 2 months, 2 days ago by Laura Eidam
  • A.S.W. Rosenbach Lectures in Bibliography

    Rare Book School Executive Director Michael F. Suarez, S.J., will deliver a series of three Rosenbach Lectures at the University of Pennsylvania, 25–28 October 2021 on “Printing Abolition: How the Fight to Ban the British Slave Trade Was Won, 1783–1807.” All lectures are free and open to the public, but space is limited and advance registration is required. The lectures will also be streamed live and recorded. Click here to register and learn more.

    The Rosenbach Lectures are the longest continuing series of bibliographical lectureships in the United States. The series began in 1931, and topics have included fifteenth-century printing, […]

    Posted 2 months, 11 days ago by Laura Eidam
  • RBS Announces 2021–22 RBS-UVA Fellows

    We are pleased to announce the 2021–22 cohort of RBS-UVA Fellows. Each RBS-UVA Fellow from this new cohort is completing an RBS course this summer. Many congratulations to all the Fellows; we much look forward to seeing their final projects next year! 

    The 2021–22 RBS-UVA Fellows are:

    • Rosario Cornejo – Ph.D. student, Department of Art
    • Loren Lee – M.A./Ph.D. student, Department of French
    • Sydney Montgomery – B.A. student, Department of Art
    • Eleanore Neumann – Ph.D. student,
    • […]

    Posted 4 months, 3 days ago by Laura Eidam
  • RBS Announces 2021 Summer Lecturers

    We are very pleased to announce the lecturers for this summer’s virtual lecture series. The lectures are free and open to the public to register; there is room for the first 300 registrants for each event to attend the live Zoom presentation. All lectures will take place at 5:30 p.m. ET via Zoom. Lectures will last 30–40 minutes with 10 minutes for Q&A, and will be followed by a reception in Gather.town. […]

    Posted 5 months, 20 days ago by Laura Eidam
  • RBS’s Andrew W. Mellon Society of Fellows in Critical Bibliography Awards Second Annual Essay Prize

    The Andrew W. Mellon Society of Fellows in Critical Bibliography at Rare Book School (SoFCB) is delighted to announce the winner of our second annual essay prize:

    Elizabeth Neswald, “Things that Don’t Talk Much and Things That Feel: Developing a Material Culture Methodology for ‘Black Box’ Medical Devices,” Nuncius 35 (2020): 632-59.

    In “Things that Don’t Talk Much and Things That Feel,” Elizabeth Neswald offers an incisive analysis of objects often overlooked by material culture studies. Neswald takes late twentieth-century home diabetes monitors––slim, black, about the size of a credit card and relatively featureless––as her objects of study. […]

    Posted May 19, 2021 by Laura Eidam
  • RBS General and Buice Scholarship Awards for 2021 Announced

    Rare Book School is pleased to announce the recipients of its General Scholarship Committee awards, as well as the winners of the Buice Scholarships for returning RBS students. Congratulations to these recipients and to the many recipients of Rare Book School’s Access 2021 scholarships! […]

    Posted May 14, 2021 by Laura Eidam
  • Hamilton College Seeks Special Collections Education and Outreach Librarian

    Our friends at Hamilton College are hiring a Special Collections Education and Outreach Librarian who will be “responsible for promoting, interpreting, and encouraging the use of the Library’s special collections in support of teaching, learning, and research.” We encourage anyone who is interested in applying to click here for more information about the responsibilities, qualifications, and application instructions. […]

    Posted May 12, 2021 by Laura Eidam
  • Announcing the 2021 RBS-Mellon SoFCB Junior Fellows

    The Andrew W. Mellon Society of Fellows in Critical Bibliography (SoFCB) at Rare Book School is pleased to welcome its 2020–22 cohort of Junior Fellows, including the recipient of the Nancy Norton Tomasko Fellowship. Many congratulations to all the new Fellows; we look forward to seeing you at RBS!

    The 2021–23 RBS-Mellon SoFCB Junior Fellows are:

    Nisa Ari – Beinecke Postdoctoral Fellow, Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, National Gallery of Art

    Margaret Galvan – Assistant Professor, Department of English, University of Florida

    James A. […]

    Posted May 10, 2021 by Laura Eidam
  • Announcing the 2021–23 RBS-Mellon Cultural Heritage Fellows

    Rare Book School is pleased to announce the 2021–23 RBS-Mellon Cultural Heritage Fellows in the Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship for Diversity, Inclusion & Cultural Heritage. Many congratulations to all the fellows.

    The 2021–23 RBS-Mellon Cultural Heritage Fellows are:

    • Meaghan Alston, Project Archivist, Wilson Special Collections Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
    • Yao Chen, Librarian for East Asian Studies and Global Studies, University of California Santa Barbara Library, University of California, Santa Barbara
    • Zayda Delgado, Special Collections Librarian & Archivist, Sonoma County History &
    • […]

    Posted May 7, 2021 by Laura Eidam
  • RBS Mourns the Passing of Lance Heidig

    Rare Book School mourns the loss of Lance Heidig, who died at his home in Ithaca, NY, on Tuesday, April 6th. He will be much missed by his friends and colleagues at RBS, where he attended many courses. His obituary and a guest book are available here. […]

    Posted April 8, 2021 by Donna Sy
  • RBS Announces M.C. Lang Fellows in Book History, Bibliography, and Humanities Teaching with Historical Sources

    With pleasure, Rare Book School announces the second cohort of M. C. Lang Fellows in Book History, Bibliography, and Humanities Teaching with Historical Sources. Congratulations to all, and we look forward to welcoming you to RBS this summer!

    • Marta Ameri, Assistant Professor in the Art Department at Colby College
    • Alexander Bevilacqua, Assistant Professor of History at Williams College
    • Tess Chakkalakal, Peter M. Small Associate Professor of Africana Studies and English, and Program Director of Africana Studies at Bowdoin College
    • Jason Cohen,
    • […]

    Posted April 1, 2021 by Laura Eidam
  • RBS Moves to All Online Offerings for Summer 2021

    Owing to the status of the COVID-19 vaccines, Rare Book School has decided to transition from offering a combination of in-person and online courses to offering courses only online in 2021. 

    We will still offer a full roster of courses this summer. In addition to the online courses already listed on the schedule for 2021, students can look forward to many more listings over the next few weeks. All online courses will be primarily synchronous in nature, with most meeting for approximately 22 hours in a single week via Zoom between the hours of 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. […]

    Posted February 1, 2021 by RBS
  • RBS Mourns the Passing of Giovanni Favretti

    It is with great sadness that we acknowledge the passing of Giovanni Favretti, former Vice-Chair of Rare Book School’s Board of Directors.

    Giovanni grew up in Storrs, CT and graduated from Harvard College, majoring in Classics. He later studied conducting at the Universitat Mozarteum Salzburg. A polymath, he worked in many fields, from teaching to publishing to banking. An avid and accomplished pianist and singer, he sang bass in Amor Artis and served as a valued board member for multiple organizations, including the Metropolitan Opera Club (where he was a former president), the Bagby Foundation, Rare Book School, […]

    Posted January 19, 2021 by RBS
  • Apply Now for Summer 2021 Courses

    Applications for summer 2021 courses are now being accepted via our online application system, myRBS.

    Along with 20 courses in Charlottesville, courses will be held at the Lillian Goldman Law Library at Yale University; the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts at the University of Pennsylvania; the Free Library of Philadelphia; the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, New York Public Library; the Grolier Club; the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; and at the Latin American Library at Tulane University.

    In addition to the in-person courses, RBS will also be running a selection of synchronous online courses. […]

    Posted January 12, 2021 by RBS
  • RBS Mourns the Passing of Daniel Chabris

    It is with great sadness that we acknowledge the passing of Daniel D. Chabris, a longtime friend and supporter of Rare Book School. An enthusiastic and discerning book collector, Chabris created one of the largest private collections of the work of Sinclair Lewis, and also collected Washington Irving, Louis Bromfield, and Dante Alighieri. In June 2018, Chabris donated his collection of editions of Dante’s Divina Commedia to Rare Book School, which includes editions printed from the seventeenth century to the present, in both Italian and English. Rare Book School’s faculty and students have benefitted immensely from this generous gift which exemplifies the richness of our written heritage. […]

    Posted November 5, 2020 by RBS
  • RBS Announces Summer 2021 Schedule

    The summer 2021 Rare Book School course schedule is available! Please note that more courses for the summer of 2021 will be announced soon. Owing to circumstances created by COVID-19, final details for several classes are still being determined.

    To ensure that as many students as possible can participate in courses next summer, RBS is implementing a more flexible schedule than usual. If it is safe to do so, we will be offering a full suite of more than 30 in-person courses, along with several online-only courses. If in-person classes cannot take place, many of the courses will transition to being taught online. […]

    Posted October 30, 2020 by RBS
  • RBS Scholarship & Fellowship Applications Now Available

    We are now accepting applications for the 2020 Rare Book School scholarship and fellowship cycle.

    Applications are open for all RBS-awarded scholarships (for both first-time and returning RBS students), and for all fellowships including the SoFCB Junior Fellows Program, the M.C. Lang Fellowship in Book History, Bibliography, and Humanities Teaching with Historical Sources, and the Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship for Diversity, Inclusion & Cultural Heritage. For general queries about scholarships or fellowships, see the FAQs page. Participation in the scholarship/fellowship program implies acceptance of the scholarship and fellowship Terms and Conditions. […]

    Posted October 1, 2020 by RBS
  • Double Your Impact: Board of Directors will match all donations this month up to $100,000

    Rare Book School is excited to announce an extraordinary $100,000 matching-gift challenge as we seek to meet our Annual Fund goal following an exacting summer with no income from course tuition. Thanks to the vision and generosity of our Board of Directors, gifts of any size made through 30 September will be matched dollar-for-dollar, up to a total of $100,000. This year’s fiscal-year-end challenge is the largest in our history, underscoring the critical role philanthropy has in sustaining Rare Book School as a vital force for good.

    Confronted with the cancellation of in-person courses—affecting 38 courses and 467 students—Rare Book School launched RBS Online to provide opportunities for the community safely to gather, […]

    Posted September 11, 2020 by RBS
  • Recognizing a Grave and Egregious Pattern; Committing Ourselves to the Work Ahead

    We at Rare Book School deplore racism and discrimination in all its forms. Without reservation, we condemn the lethal ignorance and hatred that animates racism and the injustices that come from it. We recognize the loss of Black lives at the hands of law enforcement as among the most grave and egregious of the patterns of systemic racism in our time. No human being should be deprived of the most fundamental of human rights, the right to live. We abhor violence against people of color in all its forms, and we mourn those who have died while struggling for racial justice. […]

    Posted June 3, 2020 by sysop
  • Announcing the 2020 RBS-Mellon SoFCB Junior Fellows & Senior Fellows

    The Andrew W. Mellon Society of Fellows in Critical Bibliography (SoFCB) at Rare Book School is pleased to welcome its 2020–22 cohort of Junior Fellows, including the inaugural recipient of the Nancy Norton Tomasko Fellowship. The SoFCB also celebrates the advancement of several Junior Fellows from earlier cohorts to the rank of Senior Fellow. Many congratulations to all the Fellows; we much look forward to seeing you at RBS!

    The 2020–22 RBS-Mellon SoFCB Junior Fellows are:

    Crystal Donkor – Assistant Professor of English, Department of English, SUNY New Paltz

    Alison Fraser, […]

    Posted May 26, 2020 by RBS
  • RBS Online Now Live

    RBS is now offering a varied series of free digital programs centered on bibliography and the history of the book. These programs will focus on the study of textual artifacts and their crucial role in shaping understandings of cultural heritage and informing humanistic research. The offerings include five series: a Course-Related Content Series offered by RBS faculty members that will be available to students who were enrolled at RBS this summer in some cases and, in others, open to wider audiences; a Panel Discussion Series, featuring RBS faculty members and colleagues from the broader book community; […]

    Posted May 18, 2020 by RBS
  • RBS Releases New Presswork Documentary

    What can eighteenth-century facsimile printing presses teach us about the history of printing and technology, and about the roles that printing technologies play in the production of knowledge? “Presswork,” a public-facing program established in 2018, seeks to introduce scholars, students, and members of the general public alike to hands-on printing with historical presses. The program was created by RBS in collaboration with UVA’s Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, and has been funded through a grant from the Jefferson Trust, an initiative of UVA’s Alumni Association.

    The following documentary describes the scope of RBS’s “Presswork” […]

    Posted April 27, 2020 by RBS
  • Rare Book School Announces Andrew W. Mellon Fellows for Diversity, Inclusion & Cultural Heritage

    With pleasure, Rare Book School announces the inaugural cohort of the Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship for Diversity, Inclusion & Cultural Heritage. Congratulations to all, and we look forward to welcoming you to the RBS community!

    • Dorothy Judith Berry, Digital Collections Program Manager, Houghton Library, Harvard University
    • Christina M. Bleyer, Director of Special Collections & Archives, Trinity College
    • Ellen-Rae Cachola, Evening Supervisor & Archives Manager, Public Services, University of Hawaii Law Library, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
    • Azalea Camacho,
    • […]

    Posted April 13, 2020 by RBS
  • RBS’s Andrew W. Mellon Society of Fellows in Critical Bibliography Awards First Annual Essay Prize

    Rare Book School’s Andrew W. Mellon Society of Fellows in Critical Bibliography (SoFCB) is very pleased to announce the winner of the Society’s first annual essay prize:

    Michaël Roy, “The Slave Narrative Unbound,” in Brigitte Fielder and Jonathan Senchyne (eds), Against a Sharp White Background: Infrastructures of African American Print, Madison, University of Wisconsin Press, 2019, p. 259-276.

    Roy’s article was selected because the committee was particularly struck by his argument that the dominance of the bound book has distorted the history of narratives of enslaved people in the United States. In fact, […]

    Posted April 10, 2020 by RBS
  • The Kenneth Karmiole Endowed Lecture on the History of the Book Trades

    Rare Book School is excited to announce that Kenneth Karmiole has generously given a new endowment gift to fund an annual lecture on the history of the book trades. RBS expects to make an announcement in the fall, giving details about the inaugural Kenneth Karmiole Endowed Lecture on the History of the Book Trades in 2021, an event that will be a highlight of our summer programming.

    Ken is a member of the RBS Board of Directors and President of Kenneth Karmiole, Bookseller, Inc., in Santa Monica, California. Established in 1976, Ken’s antiquarian bookselling firm specializes in early printing, […]

    Posted April 2, 2020 by RBS
  • The A.S.W Rosenbach Lectures in Bibliography Postponed

    Due to concerns over the spread of COVID-19, The A.S.W. Rosenbach Lectures in Bibliography at the University of Pennsylvania are postponed until the fall. Rare Book School will announce the new lecture date as soon as it is set. […]

    Posted March 11, 2020 by RBS
  • Rare Book School and COVID-19

    June 3, 2020

    Although we have been expecting this announcement, it is still with sadness that we confirm that the University of Virginia will be keeping the campus closed through July and that we are likewise cancelling our courses here in Charlottesville. Since our founding in 1983, the only other summer in which RBS didn’t run a single summer course was 1992, the year the School moved from Columbia to UVA. While we will miss seeing students and instructors in person this summer, cancelling is the best way to keep members of the RBS community safe and healthy. […]

    Posted March 4, 2020 by sysop