Tuesday, July 7, 2015


Rare Book School at the University of Virginia


Every summer, the Rare Book School at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville hosts week-long courses in June and July in the history of books and manuscripts, book design, book binding, paleography, history of illustrations and letterforms, and so on. In addition, the school offers certificate programs in various concentrations. Here's an overview of the type of things people will learn.

If you cannot make it to Charlottesville in June and July, the school also offers courses in other states: Lilly Library at Indiana University Bloomington (May); the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts at the University of Pennsylvania and the Library Company of Philadelphia in Philadelphia (July); at the Library of Congress in Washington (July); and at the Grolier Club and the New York Public Library in New York (October).

Prices are steep ($1295 per week) and the hours long and intense. If you cannot make it to any of the courses this or any other year, the school offers up for free advanced reading lists for all its courses. Students are required to have all the reading done before they arrive for the course.

Let me dream here. If I could've been in Charlottesville in June and July, this is what I would've taken:

June 7-12: Reference Sources for Researching Rare Books

June 14-19: The History of the Book, 200–2000; Introduction to Paleography, 800–1500; Printed Books to 1800: Description & Analysis

July 5-10: Advanced Seminar in the History of Bookbinding

July 19-24: Rare Book Cataloging; The Handwriting & Culture of Early Modern English Manuscripts

July 26-31: Provenance: Tracing Owners & Collections


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