I teach a SJSU special collections seminar this spring. It’s time to revise my syllabus! Would you like to help
warp shape the budding professionals of our field?
Tell me in the comments: what am I missing?
Required Textbooks: (i.e.: BUY THESE THEY WILL BE USED)
Gailbraith, S.K. & Smith, G.D. (2012). Rare book librarianship: An introduction and guide. Santa Barbara, CA: Libraries Unlimited. Available through Amazon: 1591588812
Whittaker, B. & Thomas, L. (2009). Special Collections 2.0: New Technologies for Rare Books, Manuscripts, and Archival Collections . Santa Barbara, CA: Libraries Unlimited. Available through Amazon: 1591587204
Recommended Textbooks: (i.e. Know that these exist, there may be some readings from them, generally not required purchase)
Eliot, S., & Rose, J. (2009). A Companion to the History of the Book . West Sussex, UK: Wiley-Blackwell. Available through Amazon: 140519278X
Steele, V. (2000). Becoming a Fundraiser: The principles and practice of library development (2nd ed.). American Library Association. Available through Amazon: 0838907830
Theimer, K. (2010). Web 2.0 Tools and Strategies for Archives and Local History Collections. New York: Neal-Schuman Publishers. Available through Amazon: 1555706797
Carter, John. ABC for Book Collectors. Delaware: Oak Knoll Press, 2008. Available online: www.ilab.org/eng/documentation/29-abc_for_book_collectors.html
Additional Resources for specialization:
Mitchell, E., Seiden, P & Taraba, S. (2012) Past or Portal? Enhancing Undergraduate Learning through Special Collections and Archives. ACRL publications.
Brown, A. (2013) Practical Digital Preservation: A How-To Guide for Organizations of Any Size. Neal Schuman Publishers.
Week One: Introduction and Overview of Special Collections
- Introduction of Special Collections 2.0
- Introduction and Chapter 1 of Rare Book Librarianship
- Competencies for Special Collections Professionals (Web Link)
- What We Didn’t Learn in Library School, Or When the Dog and Pony Goes Bad (Web Link)
- Should There Be A Future for Special Collections? A Polemical Essay (Web Link)
- Entry on “Special Collections and Manuscripts.” Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science 3rd Ed. NY: Taylor & Francis, 2010. (Web Link to SJSU King Library copy)
- Take a look at Katie Birkwood’s overview of the field, too.
- Also, take a look at this video from the Folger on the proper handling of rare materials.
Week Two: What “Rare Book People” assume you know: Bibliography, Bibliophily, and History of the Book: a crash course.
- RBM v.10, no.1 This issue resulted from the 49th RBMS Preconference. Please skim the contents, and pay particular attention to Jackie Dooley’s article “Ten Commandments for Special Collections Librarians in the Digital Age.”
- Rare Book Librarianship, Chapter 2
- “Why bibliography matters” by T.H. Howard-Hill in A Companion to the History of the Book, ed. Eliot and Rose. [Available as an Ebook for A Companion to the History of the Book in King Library; there are limited simultaneous users, so you may want to get your own copy] You may also want to skim the other articles about the making of medieval manuscripts and early printing.
- Bibliography Defined by Terry Belanger
For further reading (not required, but if you want to know more):
- This is the first in a series of YouTube videos that demonstrates how Medieval manuscripts are made/recreated. They are worth a view. 🙂
- The British Library guide to manuscript illumination : history and techniques / Christopher De Hamel. http://catalog.sjlibrary.org/record=b1965785~S1
- A New Introduction to Bibliography/ Philip Gaskell. http://catalog.sjlibrary.org/record=b1251672~S1
- This has a very comprehensive, 250+ page description of how books are made from the hand-press era to the present. If you end up deciding that this area of the field is your thing, this book is worth owning.
Weeks Three & Four: Collection Development (acquisitions, purchases, gifts, records management)
- ACRL Code of Ethics for Special Collections Librarians (weblink)
- Rare Book Librarianship: Chapters 3 & 7
- Smyth, Elaine. A Practical Approach to Writing a Collection Development Policy (weblink to PDF article) Rare Books & Manuscripts Librarianship vol. 14 no. 1 27-31
- ACRL Guidelines on the Selection and Transfer of Materials from General Collections to Special Collections
- Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America website
- RLI 279: Special Issue on Special Collections and Archives in the Digital Age (June 2012) (This touches on Week 10 copyright issues, too.)
- NIU RBSC Collection Development Policy PDF
- Generic RBSC Deed of Gift Document PDF
- IRS Form 8323 PDF
- Instructions for Form 8323 PDF
- Recommended, if you can hunt it down, but not required: Scott, Patrick G. “Focus versus Breadth in Special Collections Acquisitions” Against the Grain special number on collection development (2010). . This was once available as a PDF in an IR, but is no longer. Discuss.
Weeks Five and Six: “Rare book cataloging” & classification and Collection Management
- Rare Book Librarianship, Chapters 6 and 8
- Special Collections 2.0, Chapter 5
- Ascher, James P. “Progressing Towards Bibliography, or: Organic Growth in the Bibliographic Record.” rbm.acrl.org/content/10/2/95.full.pdf+html (link to PDF article)
- Greene, Mark A. and Dennis Meissner. “More Product, Less Process: Pragmatically Revamping Traditional Processing Approaches to Deal with Late 20th-Century Collections.”Link to PDF article
- ACRL/RBMS Guidelines Regarding Security and Theft in Special Collections
- Reconsidering DCRM in the light of RDA: A Discussion Paper
- Final Report of the Bibliographic Standards Committee of RBMS on RDA/DCRM
- RBM Special Issue on Archival Processing (Spring 2011) (please read all 4 articles)
- For updates about the progress of the integration between Archon and Archivists’ Toolkit, browse around here: archivesspace.org
Weeks Seven & Eight: Outreach & Instruction
- Special Collections 2.0 Chapters 1 & 2
- Rare Book Librarianship Chapter 10
- Traister, Dan. “Public Services and Outreach in Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Libraries.” Reprinted from Library Trends, Volume 52, Issue 1, 2003, pages 87-108.(Link to open-access PDF copy of article)
- RBM Vol, 13, No. 2 (Fall 2012) Assessment special issue. Be sure to skim the whole thing. Try this link if the one above doesn’t work.
Week Nine: Preservation Week: From Paper to Digital
- Special Collections 2.0, Chapter 6 and Appendix 2.
- Rare Book Librarianship, Chapter 6
- Jennifer K. Sheehan. “Making the Most of What We Have: A Framework for Preservation Management in Rare Book Collections” RBM Fall 2009 10:111-121.(PDF of article)
- RBMS Preconference video: Seminar: Born Digital Manuscripts: A Primer (Scroll down to Seminar I to play the wmv file.) Captioning for SeminarI file
- Here’s an outreach video from the Smithsonian on the proper handling of non-rare books.
- Also, take a look at the British Library’s Preservation iconography
- Also take a look at Digital Preservation 101 from the Digital POWRR project website
- And the NDSA levels of preservation and OCLC’s Demystifying Born Digital Reports
Week Ten: Special Collections Administration
- Special Collections 2.0, Chapter 3.
- Rare Book Librarianship; skim chapter 5; Read Chapter 6 closely!
- Reese, Jr., Garth D. “An Examination of the Role of Participatory Management in Academic Special Collections Departments.” Library Leadership & Management 23, no. 4 (September 2009): 161-167.Library, Information Science & Technology Abstracts with Full Text, EBSCOhost (accessed August 3, 2011). Link to article in King Library (login required)
Week Eleven: Fundraising: Donor relations & grantwriting
- Smith, Steven Escar. “The Accidental Fundraiser“. and “A Field Guide to Happy Donors Chronicle of Higher Education (2011)
- Rare Book Librarianship, Chapter 10.
- Steele, V. (2000). Becoming a Fundraiser: The principles and practice of library development (2nd ed.). American Library Association. Ebook Available through King Library: requires login, maximum simultaneous users limited. Skim this whole book if you can. Pay particular attention to the opening chapters.
- Doan, T. and Morris. S. L., (2012). Middle managers and major gifts: Fundraising for academic librarians. The Bottom Line: Managing Library Finances. 25(4).
Week Twelve: Copyright in Special Collections
- SC 2.0, Chapter 4
- Rare Book Librarianship, Chapter 9
- International Study on Copyright and Digital Preservation (2008) (PDF) Focus on Section 5, which emphasizes the US.
- Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums (Link to PDF; skim this)
- Fair Use Challenges in Academic and Research Libraries (2010 Association of Research Libraries Report)
- Fair Use Overview (US Copyright Office) (Web Link)
- Copyright Term and the Public Domain in the United States (weblink)
- Well-intentioned practice for putting digitized collections of unpublished materials online (OCLC) (PDF)
- Archivists: Be Bold and Do Your Job (Web Link)
- Lynne’s Copyright Bookmarks (URL) My Delicious Account’s copyright links, for further reference.
Week Thirteen: Special collections vs. Archives vs. Museums vs. Historical Societies
Week Fourteen: The Future of Special Collections
- Special Collections in ARL Libraries (2009) (PDF)
- RBM, Spring 2009 issue
- Overholt, John H. 2013. Five Theses on the Future of Special Collections. RBM: A Journal of Rare Books, Manuscripts, and Cultural Heritage 14(1): 15-20.
Week Fifteen: Wrap-up; Final student presentations w/peer commentary
- no assigned readings due to frantic writing