RBS 2005 Course Offerings in
Libraries, Archives, and Electronic Resources
Rare Book School offers a number of courses primarily aimed at professional librarians and archivists (and those in training to become such), though a number of these courses are open to all comers, as well. Alice Schreyer's Introduction to Special Collections Librarianship (L-10) is aimed at those with little or no experience in both librarianship and rare books, whereas the Streit/Taylor Advanced Seminar in Special Collections Administration (L-50) generally offered every other year, assumes considerable experience in the field. Deborah J. Leslie's Rare Book Cataloging (L-30) and Helena Zinkham's Visual Materials Cataloging (L-40) are aimed at professional catalogers. David Seaman's Electronic Texts and Images (L-70) is open to anyone interested in the subject who has a basic acquaintance with HTML tagging. Daniel Pitti's Implementing Encoded Archival Description (L-80) is aimed at professional archivists. Greer Allen's Printing Design and Publication (T-70) attracts librarians and museum curators as well as those with a general interest in design. Many of the RBS history courses, e.g. Michael Twyman's Printed Ephemera (H-75), are directly relevant to library and archival concerns.
L-10. Introduction to Special Collections Librarianship
An introduction to the principles and practice of special collections librarianship, with an emphasis on rare books. Topics to be covered include: the definition and role of special collections, audiences and users, collection development, cataloging and processing, exhibitions and other outreach programs, preservation, physical facilities and security, grants and development, and the impact of digitization on special collections operations and services. Aimed at those with an interest in special collections librarianship, but who have no prior formal instruction in the field.
This course provides a conceptual and practical overview of special collections librarianship. It is intended for those who are interested in special collections and may be pursuing a career in special collections librarianship, but who have not had formal training or instruction. We will consider how special collections contributes to fulfilling the teaching and research mission of educational and cultural institutions and examine strategies for enhancing and expanding the use of special collections among a variety of constituencies, especially in college and university libraries. Current trends in higher education and libraries, including technology, distance learning, accountability and assessment, will be considered from the perspective of their impact on special collections. The course will cover opportunities and challenges of the current environment, in particular maintaining core functions of special collections (see topics listed above) while adding new audiences and activities.
In their personal statement, applicants should provide a brief description of their library or special collections experience, the nature of their interest in this course, and specific topics or issues they would like to see addressed.
L-30. Rare Book Cataloging
Deborah J. Leslie
Aimed at catalog librarians who find that their present duties include (or shortly will include) the cataloging of rare books or special collections materials. Attention will be given primarily to cataloging books from the hand-press period, with some discussion given to c19 and c20 books in a special collections context. Topics include: comparison of rare book and general cataloging; application of codes and standards (especially DCRB); uses of special files; problems in transcription, collation and physical description; and setting cataloging policy within an institutional context.
This course -- restricted to working catalogers experienced in AACR2r, MARC, and general cataloging principles and practices -- will provide training in the application of Descriptive Cataloging of Rare Books (DCRB). Lectures, discussion, and exercises will center around the following topics: DCRB and the differences between rare book and general cataloging; a brief introduction to printing and binding in the hand-press era; basic concepts of edition, issue, and state; the organization of the cataloging record, including levels of detail and variety of access points; problems in transcription, format and collation, and physical description; recent developments in codes and standards; the uses and requirements of special files; and setting rare book and/or special collections cataloging policy within an institutional context. The goal of this course is to provide practice in each of the primary elements of the rare book catalog record, so that students will be equipped to begin cataloging their institutions' rare book and special collections materials. Although some attention will be given to post- 1800 books, the primary focus will be on books of the hand-press era.
In their personal statement, applicants should describe their experience with machine-readable AACR2 cataloging and provide a brief description of the types and date range of materials they expect to catalog with DCRB. In addition, applicants are requested to submit 3-6 typical bibliographic records of materials they currently are cataloging, preferably original cataloging of modern books or serials.
L-40. Visual Materials Cataloging
Aimed at librarians and archivists who catalog published and unpublished visual materials. The emphasis will be on c19 and c20 prints and photographs being handled either as single items or as collections. Topics include: descriptive and subject cataloging; form and genre access; special problems in physical description; comparison of Graphic Materials, AACR2 (Chapter 8), and APPM guidelines; the relationship between physical processing and cataloging; establishing institutional priorities.
This course is intended for catalogers and curators of visual materials who have a working knowledge of AACR2rev. and/or APPM; MARC formats; and of general cataloging principles and practices. The emphasis will be on c19 and c20 prints and photographs being cataloged either as single items or as part of archival collections. Descriptive cataloging will focus on use of Graphic Materials, with comparison to AACR2rev. and APPM. For subject cataloging, we will compare LCSH, AAT, and LC's Thesaurus for Graphic Materials. For access to form and genre, we will compare Descriptive Terms for Graphic Materials with LCSH and AAT. Other topics will include differences between cataloging visual and textual materials, level of detail in the catalog record, the relationship between physical processing and cataloging, and establishing cataloging policy within an institutional environment. The class will make a field trip to LC to visit the Prints and Photographs Division, where presentations will include an overview of cataloging techniques in the digital environment.
Applicants should give a brief description of their experience cataloging rare and archival materials, their current duties with regard to visual materials, and the types of materials they expect to catalog. They are also encouraged to mention specific problems they have encountered, as well as any particular expectations they have for the course.
Tactics special collections librarians may use for interpreting needs and objectives to their administrations; assuring an active role for special collections in the research and curricular programs of their institutions; fund-raising, including the most effective use of friends' groups; coping with tight budgets and budget re-allocations; shaping the role of special collections in digital collections/virtual library projects; and taking part effectively in library reorganization and re-engineering projects.
This course is a practical seminar in the art and science of administering a special collections unit. It is intended for working special collections/rare book librarians with several years of professional experience, whose present responsibilities are becoming more broadly based. While the course is not focused exclusively on special collections in the academic library setting, there is a bias in that direction (both instructors have spent their entire careers in academia).
Class participation is actively encouraged, since participants learn from one another as well as from the instructors. Students are usually expected to present a case study from their own experience and to apply tactics gained in the course to a planned approach or solution.
Particularly aimed at rare book and special collections librarians who deal on a regular basis with donors (or who would like to increase their level of activity in this area); also open to donors (and prospective donors) who would like to know more about how libraries and institutional personnel deal with gifts (and with prospective gifts). Topics include: needs and opportunities (the American tradition of gifts to libraries, privileges and responsibilities of donors and libraries, dealing with bureaucracies). The institutional framework (institutional realities, dealing with changing priorities); library-donor relations (building working relationships, fulfilling obligations, coping with staff changes); tax and legal matters (tax incentives, deeds of gift, gift/purchase arrangements, gift vs. deposit, appraisals, institutional record-keeping).
L-70. Electronic Texts and Images
A practical exploration of the research, preservation, editing, and pedagogical uses of electronic texts and images in the humanities. The course will center around the creation of a set of archival-quality etexts and digital images, for which we shall also create an Encoded Archival Description guide. Topics include: SGML tagging and conversion; using the Text Encoding Initiative Guidelines; the form and implications of XML; publishing on the World Wide Web; and the management and use of online texts. Details about previous versions of this course are available online. Some experience with HTML is a prerequisite for admission to the course.
This course will provide a wide-ranging and practical exploration of electronic texts and related technologies. It is aimed primarily (although not exclusively) at librarians and scholars keen to develop, use, publish, and control electronic texts for library, research, or teaching purposes. Drawing on the experience and resources available at the University of Virginia's Electronic Text Center, the course will cover the following areas: how to create archival-quality etexts, including digital image facsimiles; the necessity of Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML) for etext development and use; the implications of XML; text analysis software; and the management and use of Web-based SGML text databases. As a focus for our study of etexts, the class will create an electronic version of an archival document, mark its structure with SGML ("TEI") tagging, create digital images of sample pages and illustrations, produce a hypertext version, and make the results available on the Internet.
Applicants need to have some experience with the tagging of HTML documents. In their personal statement, they should assess the extent of their present knowledge of the electronic environment, and outline a project of their own to which they hope to apply the skills learned in this course.
Designed as a continuation of Introduction to Electronic Texts and Images (L-70), this course will further develop practical skills for the use of TEI, the manipulation of XML datasets, and the delivery of data through stylesheets. Topics include: TEI document design for multiple genres and for cross-database searching; reading and modifying DTDs; the mechanics of SGML/XML conversion; basic PERL skills; grants and project management strategies; XSL stylesheets for content formatting, transformation, and delivery; XML conversion to ebook formats (including Palm, MS Reader, OeB, and PDF); discussion of METS and Open Archives Initiative harvesting; and basic Unix skills, including a guide to Unix text-manipulation utilities.
The RBS course Introduction to Electronic Texts and Images (L-70), is normally a prerequisite for this course, though applications from those with equivalent experience in creating, parsing, and manipulating SGML or XML content will also be accepted (with particular consideration given to TEI or EAD experience). In their personal statements, prospective students should describe the extent of their formal or informal training in, and experience with, electronic texts and images.
L-80. Implementing Encoded Archival Description
Encoded Archival Description (EAD) provides standardized machine-readable descriptive access to primary resource materials. This course is aimed at archivists, librarians, and museum personnel who would like an introduction to EAD that includes an extensive supervised hands-on component. Students will learn XML encoding techniques in part using examples selected from among their own institutions' finding aids. Other topics covered include: the context out of which EAD emerged; introduction to the use of XML authoring tools; the conversion of existing finding aids; publishing finding aids; funding sources for EAD projects; and integration of EAD into existing archival processing.
This course will introduce the application of Encoded Archival Description (EAD), Version 2002, to the encoding of archive and manuscript library finding aids. Though aimed primarily at archivists who process and describe collections in finding aids, it will also be useful to repository administrators contemplating the implementation of EAD, and to technologists working in repositories. Topics include: the history of EAD and its theoretical and technological foundations; an introduction to Extensible Markup Language (XML), including authoring and network publishing tools; the structure and semantics of EAD; use of software tools to create and publish finding aids; conversion techniques and methodologies, and templates for the creation of new finding aids; and the integration and management of EAD in an archive or library.
The class will jointly encode and publish a finding aid that will illustrate a wide variety of essential EAD and XML concepts. Students will also encode one of their own finding aids.
Applicants must have a basic knowledge of archival descriptive practices as well as experience using word-processing software with a graphical user interface. Some experience with the World Wide Web and HTML will aid the learning process. In their personal statement, applicants should indicate their relevant archival background, the extent of their previous experience with computers in general and graphical user interfaces and EAD in particular, and describe their role (present or future) in the implementation of EAD in their home institution.
L-85. Publishing EAD Finding Aids
This course will introduce students to standards and software used for publishing Extensible Markup Language (XML) encoded documents, with a focus on EAD encoded finding aids. It is aimed at systems support personnel in archives, libraries, and museums, or self-supporting archivists, librarians, and museum staff who would like an introduction to EAD publishing technology and methods. The course will focus on writing stylesheets using Extensible Stylesheet Language-Transformation (XSLT), but will also cover Web server technology, available software for indexing and searching XML encoded information, and use of Extensible Stylesheet Language (XSL) Formatting Objects to produce printed finding aids. Topics include: in-depth introduction to the Extensible Stylesheet Language (XSL); authoring of stylesheets using the XSLT language, focusing on XML to XML, and XML to HTML transformations; use of multiple stylesheets and frames; survery and functional evaluation of available indexing and searching software; use of XSL Transformation and Formatting Objects to produce PostScript, PDF, RTF, and other printable encodings; survey and functional evaluation of XSL and XSLT software. The course will conclude with a discussion of management and administrative issues presented by Web publishing.
The class will jointly write stylesheets for a complex finding aid. The stylesheets will involve XML to XML transformations, for example, transforming from one version of EAD to another, and XML to HTML conversions involving different design and navigation strategies. Students also will be given an opportunity to work with each other and the instructor on complex transformation challenges found in their own institutions. Applicants must have an excellent understanding of EAD encoded finding aids, a good understanding of HTML encoding, and an aptitude for computer technology as demonstrated by past experience. In their personal statement, applicants should document their qualifications in these three areas, and also describe their role (present or future) in the implementation of EAD in their home institution.