Rare Books for Archivists

Certificate Eligibility: 
10 ARC, 1.5 CEU
2 days
Max Attendees: 

What are the basics archivists should know about rare books and why? This two-day workshop will introduce you to the management of rare books; the associated acquisition, identification, preservation, access and de-accession strategies; and the research potential for archivists and researchers.


Presentations by other experts on subjects like strategies of preservation for rare books, and rare book cataloging for archivists complement this unique workshop.

Learning Outcomes: 
Examine rare materials hands-on to understand the codex book during the hand-press era and the machine-press era
Inspect various tools of the antiquarian book trade (for acquisition, valuation, and/or deaccessioning)
Compare archival methodologies and rare book methodologies
Assess book collections that come with archival materials
Who Should Attend?: 

Practicing archivists without formal training in bibliography or special collections librarianship who find themselves involved with rare books—either frequently or infrequently—and who wish to learn more

What You Should Already Know: 

Archival or library training and/or related experience. Some basic familiarity with standard security, public services, and digitization practice is expected.

"Having the opportunity to discuss qualities, characteristics, and appropriate descriptions of/terminology for books while examples were in front of us was very useful. The overview of sources for determining rarity/availability and potential cost/value of books was also good. Having experts in conservation and cataloging join the workshop was wonderful and they both did a great job." — Donna McCrea
"The hands-on examination of a wide variety of books was invaluable. Is there any better way to understand and appreciate how a book is made and the changes in book structure than to compare and contrast a wide variety of books made at different times and in different places? Great stuff." — Chris McDonald
Co-Sponsor Provides: 
  • Classroom: Open horseshoe setup with 6-foot tables with two chairs each or 8-foot tables with three chairs each
  • Large table to lay out teaching materials
  • Large table to lay out other materials
  • Instructor workstation (a PC or laptop that has a USB port, runs standard MS Office software, has PowerPoint, and has Internet access)
  • LCD projector and replacement bulb for the LCD projector
  • Projection screen
  • One library truck/cart
  • Soft book supporters/cradles for large and small books and some book snakes
  • Instructor access (pre-workshop and day-of workshop) to rare institutional-specific materials (16th century)—handling of these materials can be restricted to instructor-use only if requested
  • Local Rare Book Cataloging professional to give 90-minute presentation
  • Local Rare Book Conservator to give 90-minute presentation
  • Coffee/tea/water for morning break
  • Water/assorted soft drinks for afternoon break