University of Illinois

Graduate Certificate in Special Collections

The widespread digitization of texts and ubiquitous availability of electronic media have made special collections in libraries more important than ever. As research libraries begin to look more and more like one another, it is their special collections that set them apart, that remain a destination for scholars, a resource for teaching from primary materials, and a source of pride for an institution. Public libraries of all sizes also have or are acquiring special collections of local, regional, or national interest. Special collections librarianship is a growing field and one with a bright future. Our certificate addresses these realities and gives interested librarians and book people knowledge and experience in the field of special collections librarianship.

The RBMS task force recently released its report on Core Competencies in Special Collections Librarianship. The full report is available here. Our program keeps these criteria in mind as it strives to create truly competent special collections professionals.

Who should take this program?

The Graduate Certificate in Special Collections is intended for two audiences:

Library and information science professionals and students

Master's degreed library and information science professionals and current LIS students who want to develop expertise in rare book and special collections librarianship by taking graduate level courses to receive an academic credential.

Other professionals

Bachelor's or master's degreed individuals in other fields who want to develop or enhance their knowledge of topics related to rare books, manuscripts, and special collections in libraries, archives, and museums.

What do I do next?

If you are interested in earning a Certificate, or if you have completed coursework and expect to receive a Certificate, please email "Tonyia J. Tidline"-tidline, at illinois.edu- for information about coursework or status verification.

Program requirements

Students enrolling in this program must hold a bachelor's degree. A total number of 12 credit hours are required to receive the certificate, with a minimum of four courses to make up the 12 hours. We encourage you to come to campus and take at least two courses from the specially scheduled one and two-week, two-credit hour on-campus summer courses. You must apply for the certificate within one year of having completed the required coursework, and you must complete the coursework within three years of having applied. A GPA of 3.0 or above is required for any MBMS class to be counted towards the certificate.

Note: Courses from a prior master's degree or other schools may not be counted toward this certificate. GSLIS students pursuing this certificate may take the certificate courses within the scope of their master's degree program at GSLIS.

Required course

LIS 580: Rare Book and Special Collections Librarianship

This course is designed as a practical introduction to Rare Book and Special Collections Librarianship. The course covers for the neophyte as well as the experienced librarian the many issues of these departments' responsibilities, including selection, acquisition, receiving, cataloging, processing, shelving, circulation, inter-library loan, reference, preservation and conservation, security, exhibition, publication, and so forth, including the uses of information technology.
Credit: 2 GR hours
Syllabus Excerpt

Elective courses

Three or more courses should be selected from the following courses. Curriculum divisions are simply descriptive and do not denote program requirements.

Archival Studies

LIS 581 Administration and Use of Archival Materials
LIS 584 Arrangement and Description for Archives and Museums
LIS 590CA Community Archives - Heritage and Identity
LIS590HS Digital Public History: An Introduction
LIS 590PA Personal Archiving

Book, Manuscript, Printing, and Library History and Studies

ARTH 425 Manuscripts and Early Printing
FR 443 France and Modernist Magazines: International Publishing Networks and the Avant-Garde
HIST 520 Problems in Chinese History: Literary Culture and Communication in Ming Qing China
LIS 490BA Book Arts Seminar
LIS 512 History of Libraries
LIS 514 History of Children's Literature
LIS 590BB Bookbinding: History, Principles, and Practice
LIS 590BK The Picture Book: History, Art, and Visual Literacy
LIS 590BP Library Buildings and Society: From Past to Present
LIS 590BT Special Topics in Book Arts
LIS 590CP Rare Books, Crime, and Punishment
LIS 590GP Great Printers and Their Books
LIS 590HB History of the Book
LIS 590HT History of Bookbinding: Mechanics & Materials
LIS 590LP History and Techniques of Letterpress Printing
LIS 590MC Medieval Codicology: The Medieval Book from Sheep to Shelf
LIS 590MM Medieval and Early Modern Manuscripts
LIS 590PB History and Practices of Book Collecting
LIS 590PM Manufacture, Description, Uses, & Preservation of Paper in the Scholarly World
LIS 590PO The Book as Physical Object
LIS 590SPM From Script to Print: The Transformation of Medieval Culture c.1350-c.1550
LIS 5902 Renaissance of the Bible

Conservation and Preservation

LIS 582 Preserving Information Resources
LIS 586 Digital Preservation
LIS 590AV Audiovisual Materials in Libraries and Archives
LIS 590GN Conservation of General Collections
LIS 590PC Preservation and Conservation for Collections Care
MUSE 420 Collections Management

Information Organization and Resources

LIS 511 Bibliography
LIS 530A Music Librarianship and Bibliography
LIS 590BC Rare Book Cataloging
LIS 590DB Descriptive Bibliography
LIS 590RM Records and Information Management
LIS 590EB Enumerative, Descriptive, Historical and Textual Bibliography
LIS 590SR Reference Sources for Rare Books
LIS 590TL Theological Librarianship

Miscellaneous Courses

LIS 490MU Museum Informatics
LIS 590EP Electronic Publishing: Technologies and Practices
LIS 590EX Planning, Production & Practice of Library and Museum Exhibitions
LIS 590GE Genealogy and Library Service
LIS 590LI Legal Issues in Library and Information Science
LIS 590MH Special Collections in Museums and Historical Settings
LIS 590SL Special Library Administration
LIS 590SP Collection Development for Special Collections

Courses by Course Number

ARTH 425 Manuscripts and Early Printing

Surveys manuscript illumination and early book production from 300 to 1500 A.D.; topics include techniques of manuscript illustration and printing production in such masterpieces as the Vatican Virgil, the Utrecht Psalter, the Book of Kells, the Tres Riches Heures, the Gutenberg Bible, and Brant's Ship of Fools.
Credit: 3 UG or 3 or 4 GR hours

FR 443 France and Modernist Magazines: International Publishing Networks and the Avant-Garde

The experimentation that defines early Twentieth-Century literature first occurred in—and because of—avant-garde periodicals that took advantage of new publishing technologies and shifting readerships. Within that context, British and American writers often looked to the new literature and art of France as models for innovation. Many exiled themselves to Paris, precipitating an international exchange that saw the development of polyglot magazines and the radical deformation of language. Conversely, many French and British periodicals looked to American colloquial English as the best hope for reinvigorating European literature. This course will introduce students to the methods of periodical studies in order to gain an appreciation for the discourses of modernism in its original context of international and inter-lingual exchange. Our reading materials will consist of digitized magazines stored at the Modernist Journals Project, as well as the regular and special collections holdings of the University Library. The nature of these materials means that we will pay significant attention to issues of archival digitization and classification, using interactive technologies as appropriate to our methods. The course will be taught in English.
Credit: 4 hours

HIST 520 Problems in Chinese History: History of Literary Culture and Communications in Ming Qing China

Introduces students to recent scholarly works on the approaches, methodologies, and major issues in the study of print culture of China. Examines works on printing technology, book production, and publishing, concentrating on the Ming Qing periods. Questions include but are not limited to the following: How were printed books produced, distributed, and marketed? Who printed books and why? Were there niche markets in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries? Where and how did publishers obtain manuscripts for publication? Were books too expensive for the lower classes? Did the boom of commercial publishing in the sixteenth and seventeenth century create multiple reading publics of men and women? Is reading gendered? Also listed as EALC 450.
Credit: 4 GR hours

MUSE 420 Collections Management

An applied course in the preservation, documentation, and maintenance of the physical integrity of museum collections. Examines agents of deterioration and how to mitigate damage to collections; the chemical and physical properties of inorganic, organic, composite and textile materials; collections packing, shipping and storage methods; and collections hazards, safety and emergency planning. Provides practical experience and encourages skills development in collections management. Requires some in-museum work outside of regularly scheduled class hours.
Credit: 4 GR hours.

LIS 490BA Book Arts Seminar

Advanced study of the history, literature, aesthetics, and criticism of the Book Arts. This course will offer advanced study of the role of artists' books in contemporary art. It will offer students a new perspective on this diverse medium, incorporating the history of book production and its impact on societies and the cultural dissemination of information. Through readings and field trips, students will develop a critical awareness of the book as an art form.
Credit: 2 UG or GR hours

LIS 490MU Museum Informatics

Covers information organization and access in museums, exploring the relationship between information technology and modern museum environments. Students learn about classification systems for museums, computer systems for information storage and retrieval, universal access to shared electronic data, copyright in the digital world, virtual museums, interactive exhibits, and information management in museums, through lectures, computer-based activities, and interactive discussions. The final project involves design of an electronic portfolio of virtual museum resources. Students are encouraged to approach class topics from their individual backgrounds in the humanities, sciences, or social sciences. There will be additional assignments required of graduate students.
Credit: 3 UG or 4 GR hours

LIS 511 Bibliography

Covers enumerative bibliography, the practices of compiling lists; analytical bibliography, the design, production, and handling of books as physical objects; and historical bibliography, the history of books and other library materials, from the invention of printing to the present.
Credit: 2 or 4 GR hours

LIS 512 History of Libraries

[Same as Comm 512] The origins, development, and evolution of libraries and related institutions, from antiquity to the twentieth century, as a reflection of literacy, recognition of archival responsibility, humanistic achievement, scientific information needs, and service to society.
Credit: 2 or 4 GR hours

LIS 514 History of Children's Literature

Interpretation of children's literature from the earliest times, including the impact of changing social and cultural patterns on books for children; attention to early printers and publishers of children's books; and to magazines for children.
Credit: 2 or 4 GR hours

LIS 530A Music Librarianship and Bibliography

Explores music librarianship and music bibliography. Identifies the different types of music library and the professional organizations that represent them; examines why music materials often demand special treatment in a library, for example in acquisition, cataloging and classification, circulation, and conservation; introduces basic music reference tools; surveys the history of music printing and bibliography; examines copyright legislation as it affects the music library; identifies different types of music library patrons, and assesses those patrons' varied demands on the music library; introduces the professional literature of music librarianship; assesses what skills and training are needed by current and future music library professionals; examines the role of digitization and other technologies in the future dissemination of music materials.
Credit: 2 or 4 GR hours

LIS 581 Administration and Use of Archival Materials

Administration of archives and manuscript collections in various types of institutions. Theoretical principles and archival practices of appraisal, acquisition, accessioning, arrangement, description, preservation, and reference services. Topics will include: records management programs, collecting archives programs/special collections, legal and ethical issues, public programming and advocacy, and the impact of new information technologies for preservation and access. Lectures, discussion, internet demonstration, and field trips to the Special Collections Department and University Archives.
Credit: 4 GR hours

LIS 582 Preserving Information Resources

Covers the broad range of library preservation and conservation for book and nonbook materials relating these efforts to the total library environment. Emphasizes how the preservation of collections affects collection management and development, technical services, access to materials and service to users.
Credit: 4 GR hours

LIS 584 Arrangement and Description for Archives and Museums

The course will provide seminar discussions and a hands-on processing experience that applies current theories and practices utilized to solve the most common problems that are encountered by today's archivists and curators when arranging and describing historical records, archives, manuscripts, and artifacts. Discussions will focus predominantly on issues of intellectual and physical arrangement, description, and access. The course will introduce students also to the problems that archivists and curators face when responding to the challenges of today's digital technologies for both the preservation and access of archives and special collections.
Credit: 2 GR hours

LIS 586 Digital Preservation

This course examines the current problems with and approaches to digital preservation that are fundamental to the long-term accessibility of digital materials. We will examine the range of current research problems, along with emerging methods and tools, and assess a variety of organizational scenarios to plan and implement a preservation plan. Topics will include basic information theory, preservation of complex digital objects; standards and specifications; sustainability and risk assessment; authenticity, integrity, quality control, and certification; and management of preservation activities.
Credit: 4 GR hours
Syllabus Excerpt

LIS 590AV Audiovisual Materials in Libraries and Archives

As analog film, video, and audio materials and playback equipment become obsolete, libraries and archives with audiovisual (AV) materials in their collections face great challenges in preserving these materials. AV preservation and collection is costly, time-consuming, and requires specialized knowledge. This course will discuss the ways that librarians and archivists are responding to the challenges of audiovisual handling, preservation and collection.
Credit: 2 GR hours

LIS 590BB Bookbinding: History, Principles, and Practice

A hands-on exploration of multiple styles of bookbinding. Students will acquire fundamental technical knowledge by creating a variety of book structures using traditional tools and materials. An appreciation of the history of bindings will be gained through readings, visits to the Rare Book and Manuscript Library, the Conservation Lab and other field trips.
Credit: 2 GR hours
Syllabus Excerpt

LIS 590BC Rare Book Cataloging

Introduction to the cataloging of books from the hand-press period using the standards outlined by Descriptive Cataloging of Rare Materials (Books). Exploration of concepts particular to rare books such as bibliographic format, edition, issue, and state. Application of controlled vocabularies/thesauri in a rare books context. Practical, hands-on experience cataloging rare books. Pre-requisites: LIS 50,  LIS 577 or experience recommended.
Credit: 2 GR hours

LIS 590BK The Picture Book: History, Art, and Visual Literacy

The origins, development, current status, and future potential of the children's picture book will be explored in depth in this intensive seminar. Concentrating primarily on the genre's 100-year-long American trajectory, participants will consider the picture book as: 1) a late nineteenth-century Industrial Era artifact and art form; 2) as an element of America's cultural legacy from Britain; 3) a lively proving ground for the contrasting philosophies of childhood of twentieth-century American librarian-critics and progressive educators; 4) the art form of choice of an extraordinary international roster of contemporary authors and illustrators; 5) as a barometer of mainstream America's changing attitudes toward its minority cultures; 6) as a bellwether of new design styles and printing technologies. Students will hone their critical skills as they also consider the larger question of the role of traditional print culture in our brave new media world. Field trips are planned to the Newberry Library and Art Institute.
Credit: 2 GR hours
Syllabus Excerpt

LIS 590BP Library Buildings and Society: From Past to Present

A seminar based on the premise that library buildings, like all technologies, are shaped by society, including its needs, aspirations and ideologies. Will focus on the public library in the United States and Britain since the middle of the nineteenth century; however, other library types, periods and places will also be considered. Students will give an oral presentation on a case study of an individual library building or group of library buildings, which they will then write up as an assessed research report.
Credit: 4 GR hours

LIS 590BT Special Topics in Book Arts

The traditional book is a combination of a physical form (the codex) and a text (literary/visual), but despite their intertwined histories, courses rarely focus on both book arts and book history. In this course students will explore these histories through both traditional (reading/viewing/listening) and nontraditional (book arts projects) means. Book arts projects will include (but are not limited to) the followin: the accordion and variations, flexagon and hexagon, the vovelle, letterpress chapbooks, and pop-up and other 3-dimensional constructions. Book history areas will include the rise of the codex, the history of illustration, 19th and 20th century children's literature, and other historical contexts relevant to that week's structure.
Credit: 4 GR hours
Syllabus Excerpt

LIS 590CA Community Archives – Heritage and Identity

Community Archives are a collection of material that documents one or many aspects of a community's heritage, collected and preserved by that community and its members. These materials tell the story of groups of people who have often been excluded from mainstream archives, which have tended to focus on official documents and the lives of elites. This course will investigate the role community archives play in supporting a sense of heritage and identity amongst members of a community and how they serve to raise awareness of these neglected stories in the wider public. We will be working with local organizations that have agreed to take part, and students will contribute to the work of their archives by assisting in identifying records of long term value, documenting the experience of its members, providing the organization with practical and affordable solutions within a framework of best practice of archives and records management, and working collaboratively with the organizations to secure the long-term viability of their documentary heritage.
Credit: 2 or 4 GR hours

LIS 590CP Rare Books, Crime and Punishment

Explores crimes against culture in the form of rare books, maps, manuscripts and archival documents: from theft for profit to counterfeiting and vandalism, this class will focus on the myriad ways that unique and irreplaceable cultural heritage items are taken from us. The professional librarian and archivist communities, the general public and law enforcement have all treated these crimes very differently. This class will look at the ways that each of these communities reacts to these crimes and the reasons for these varied reactions. The class will also trace the evolution of the way these crimes have been viewed by various communities and what recent, positive changes might mean for the future. Aside from the historical and theoretical, this class will also discuss the practical: how these crimes are committed and by whom as well as how they can be (and are being) prevented.
Credit: 2 GR hours

LIS 590DB Descriptive Bibliography

The main purpose of this course is to teach students to understand and to prepare detailed bibliographical descriptions of printed books. In order to prepare an accurate bibliographical description, it is necessary to have some knowledge of the physical components of the printed book (paper, ink, binding materials), as well as an understanding of the processes used to produce the book (typesetting, imposition, presswork, etc.). Will cover the methods of producing books (especially during the hand-press period), as well as the organization and preparation of bibliographical descriptions.
Credit: 2 GR hours

LIS 590EB Enumerative, Descriptive, Historical and Textual Bibliography

Scholars, librarians, archivists, students, and others interested in the book as an artifact (for any purpose: buying or selling, cataloging, acquiring, deaccessioning, collecting, publishing, editing, or other tasks) must have a firm grasp of the four main branches of bibliography: enumerative, descriptive, historical, and textual. The course will elucidate what these related fields focus on, showing their interrelationships, and preparing practitioners of all kinds to speak authoritatively about books as bearers of texts and as artifacts. The course looks at such things as how to compile and focus, design and present an enumerative bibliography; how to describe books (especially those from the hand-press period--up through about 1800) for cataloging, buying, selling, and doing scholarly research; the book as a historical artifact, with respect to its creation, dissemination, and the effect it had on the culture (along with the effect the culture had on the world of publishing); the development of authoritative, accurately and definitively edited texts; and many other things.
Credit: 2 GR hours
Syllabus Excerpt

LIS 590EP Electronic Publishing: Technologies and Practices

This course offers an introduction to electronic publishing with a focus on the practices, standards, and issues affecting digital librarians and information managers working in the academic sphere. After an introduction to basic concepts and issues, the course presents a set of essential technical concepts and approaches, including metadata standards, XML encoding languages and schema design, and publication tools. We will also examine the social and institutional issues that are shaping electronic publishing practices, including preservation and data curation, open access, and accessibility. Guest lectures and case studies in the final segment of the course provide an opportunity to look at real-world implementations and practical tradeoffs. Assignments are organized around a student-designed electronic publishing project in which students combine hands-on practice with analysis. No technical knowledge is assumed but students having no prior exposure to XML publishing should be prepared for a fairly swift initial immersion.
Credit: 4 GR hours
Syllabus Excerpt

LIS 590EX Planning, Production & Practice of Library and Museum Exhibitions

Exhibitions are essential for special collections, whether the collection is part of a traditional academic rare book library, an archive, a public library, an historical society, a museum, or any other institution with special collections. Producing high quality exhibitions ought to be a primary goal of such cultural institutions because it is through exhibits that we interpret our collections to a broader audience. This course will offer practical instruction on the organization, planning, and research that go into any exhibit. Conservation issues will also be discussed in the course, with topics ranging from getting items into exhibit-worthy condition to the potential damage that an exhibition environment can cause and how to minimize it. Each student will produce a small exhibit with a paper or online catalog.
Credit: 2 GR hours

LIS 590GE Genealogy and Library Service

Provides a basic knowledge of genealogical and family history research, and explores ways in which librarians can best serve researchers in this field. This course will familiarize you with how to gather the major sources used in family history research, as well as how to properly analyze, organize, and document them. A variety of sources, both print and digital, will be covered including vital, census, church, military and land records. In addition to readings and lectures, students will complete a series of assignments in order to acquire research skills. For students enrolled for 4 credit hours an additional research project is required, and some personal monetary expenses should be expected of students completing this project (e.g., expenses incurred for ordering records, etc.).
Credit: 2 or 4GR hours

LIS 590GN Conservation of General Collections

Focuses on the physical care of general book collections. Students will learn how to complete basic repairs for circulating (i.e. general collection) book materials, and how to manage and support these repairs in the context of a library collection and other library activities, such as digitization. Class work will consist of a combination of traditional lectures and reading as well as hands-on projects in book repair and protection.
Credit: 4 GR hours

LIS 590GP Great Printers and Their Books

The intellectual, economic, social, and cultural impact of printing was--and continues to be--enormous. In this course students will study the makers of books that have influenced Western culture since the invention of printing and will survey the monuments of printing history and the printers, authors, and texts behind them, as well as reception history. The scholar printer of the Renaissance, polemical printers, court printers, aesthetic printers, cheap printers, and pirate printers will be discussed, along with the political, religious, literary, scientific, and artistic influences of their books on society. Items from the UIUC Rare Book & Manuscript Library collection will be examined during each class meeting.
Credit: 2 GR hours

LIS 590HB History of the Book

This course will cover a wide variety of topics concerned with the history and development of the book, both as a physical object and as the bearer of intellectual content. Discussions will explore different aspects of written materials, including the physical properties of the objects that carry text and image (e.g., papyrus, paper, parchment, etc.) and their cultural and intellectual function. May be taken during the summer for 2 hours credit OR during the semester for 2 or 4 hours credit with the coursework requirements proportional to the number of credit hours for that semester.

LIS590HS Digital Public History: An Introduction

This course prepares students to develop critical thinking skills about, and innovative ways to implement and advocate for, collaborations among institutions and diverse publics around the construction of public histories. The National Council on Public History defines public history as collaborations "to make the past useful to the public." This course focuses on how such collaborations develop, and what role librarians, archivists, museum professionals, academics and others can, do and may play in this changing terrain. (First offered Fall 2012)
Credit: 2 or 4 GR hours

LIS 590LI Legal Issues in Library and Information Science

A detailed exploration of the legal issues arising in various library settings, including access rights, privacy and confidentiality, copyright, intellectual freedom and information liability and malpractice. There are three objectives: 1) to understand the nature and scope of legal problems arising in the operation of the library; 2) to identify the responsibilities that library and information professionals have in executing current law and the opportunities available to effect necessary change; and 3) to evaluate current legal responses to such problems and envision alternative responses, both legal and non-legal, in light of sound information concepts.
Credit: 2 or 4 GR hours

LIS 590LP History and Techniques of Letterpress Printing

This course explores the history and techniques of fine printing (letterpress), looks at classics of typography and printing in examples from the Rare Book and Manuscript Library and provides technical instruction in typesetting and press operation at the Soybean Press. Students will have exposure to the conceptual, intellectual, and aesthetic considerations of printing and printmaking.
Credit: 2 GR hours

LIS 590MH Special Collections in Museums and Historical Settings

This course will look at the particular challenges and opportunities presented by library collections housed within or related to museums and historic properties. We will cover a broad range of topics, including constituents, administration, development, exhibitions, donors, boards of directors, renovation projects, and outreach. There will be field trips to nearby institutions, and the final project will be based on individual case studies. Prerequisite: Introduction to Special Collections Librarianship, or its equivalent.
Credit: 2 GR hours

LIS 590MC Medieval Codicology: The Medieval Book from Sheep to Shelf

This course looks at the emergence of the codex as the primary form of book in the West. We shall consider the physical and intellectual developments of the codex, from the writing of the text to its final presentation on the page. Students will follow the text from the author to the book designers to the scribe to the illustrator to the binder to the reader, with stops along the way concentrating on tools, design, layout, ruling, illumination, and binding. We shall also look at modern approaches to codicology, including monastic versus commercial scriptoria, editing a medieval manuscript, paleography, dating, establishing provenance, and so forth. And we shall answer the question: What should a scholarly edition of a medieval text look like?
Credit: 2 GR hours

LIS 590MM Medieval and Early Modern Manuscripts

This course is an intensive introduction to medieval manuscripts, asking such questions as who made manuscripts, how they were written and assembled, who illuminated them and why, what ways they were used, and how they have survived. It will look at some of the most famous types of illuminated manuscripts, including Bibles, Books of Hours and literary texts. It will explain how to identify texts and fragments, how to read and date medieval scripts, and how to gain access to original manuscripts across the world. It will look at the market for medieval manuscripts, both in the Middle Ages and today, and it will discuss manuscript libraries and collectors. The course will include ample access to original medieval manuscripts, and practical work involving actual examples from at least the eleventh century to the renaissance.
Credit: 2 GR hours

LIS 590PA Personal Archiving

Examines issues related to personal archives. It is intended for students with a wide range of backgrounds. Students will gain a better understanding of relationships between traditional archival theories and practices and more personal forms of collecting. The class will begin with an introduction to basic archival concepts and theories, followed by perspectives on personal archives from archivists and other researchers. The class will also include discussions of several types of personal archival materials, including photo albums and photos, scrapbooks, and family history and genealogy materials.
Credit: 4 GR hours

LIS 590PB History and Practices of Book Collecting

This course is an introduction to the history and practices of book collecting, with particular emphasis on collecting and collectors in Britain and America from the eighteenth century to the present. Most special collections libraries are actually 'collections of collections,' and most of these collections were assembled by private book collectors who followed the tastes and collecting principles and standards of their own times. The course will cover these changing tastes and fashions in book collecting over the last several centuries, as well as the various ways that collectors have regarded rarity, condition, association, and provenance. The gradual broadening of collectors' ideas of the scope of subjects suitable for the formation of a collection will also be included. The course does not assume any prior experience with rare books - all necessary terminology will be covered in the course readings and lectures.
Credit: 2 GR hours

LIS 590PC Preservation and Conservation for Collections Care

This course, meant to build on previous coursework in Preservation, Special Collections and/or Rare Book Curation, will focus on the physical structure and chemical composition of book, paper, and photographic materials. Students will learn how historic and modern library and archives materials are produced, how they age and potentially deteriorate, and different approaches for their physical care. Class work will be split between traditional lectures and readings as well as hands-on projects in book construction and minimally invasive treatments and stabilization mechanisms. The goal will be to educate students to a level at which they can effectively communicate with conservation and preservation professionals, as well as set educated priorities and expectations for the care of their collections.
Credit: 4 GR hours
Syllabus Excerpt

LIS 590PM Manufacture, Description, Uses, & Preservation of Paper in the Scholarly World

This course is an introduction to the world of paper with respect to rare books--their manufacture, materials, properties, uses, decoration, collection, sale, distribution, description, editing, preservation, and conservation, along with the preferred vocabulary of the medium. In this course students will be presented with a large vocabulary, pertaining to the range of surfaces of human communication, from stone to clay to several kinds of proto-papers (papyrus, vellum, bark paper, tapa cloth, and so forth) to the real thing--paper, in its myriad manifestations. The knowledge imparted by this class should be useful for anyone who deals with the medium, who describes it, shelves it, buys or sells it, preserves it, repairs it, or even just admires it.
Credit: 2 GR hours
Syllabus Excerpt

LIS 590PO The Book as Physical Object

Examines all the PHYSICAL aspects of books and how these inform us of the books' manufacture and place in a scholarly world. Covers all aspects of book production, from the earliest books to computers, and concentrates on their physical aspects. The course will look at all kinds of manifestations and features of codices that will useful in cataloging and bibliographical description, in reading scholarly bibliographies, in deciphering booksellers' catalogs, and in describing copy-specific information for finding aids.
Credit: 2 GR hours

LIS 590RM Records and Information Management

Records and Information Management can generally be defined as the systematic control of information sources created in the course of daily business operations for the sake of compliance, preservation, and efficient use. The study of records management often focuses on the theory and practices of surveying record types, creating records series and systematically employing records schedules for transfer of records to an archives or for their proper disposal. This course will survey the history and practice of records and information management in corporate, non-profit, government and education environments and consider issues related to the records life-cycle, the records continuum, the concept of document authenticity and the role this concept has played in the development of digital preservation standards. Will introduce systems and standards used for managing electronic records and documents. Upon successful completion students will have a firm grasp on the tenets of organizing and appraising records and information sources within a number of professional settings.
Credit: 2 or 4 GR hours

LIS 590SL Special Library Administration

Provides a thorough introduction and orientation to the objectives, organization and operation of special libraries. An overall objective of this course is to prepare students to be able to achieve SLA competencies after graduation and working as information professionals. Emphasis will be on tools and skills that prepare students for the practical challenge of managing special libraries.
Credit: 2 or 4 GR hours

LIS 590SP Collection Development for Special Collections

Focuses on the issues and practices related to collection development for special collections libraries. The selection and acquisition of printed, manuscript, and digital materials for special collections libraries is a large subject, but it is a subject that is treated only sparsely in the professional literature. Students will gain an understanding of the nature and makeup of a collection in a rare books and manuscripts library, as well as an overview of the practices and procedures used by acquisitions librarians and development officers involved in the purchase or solicitation of materials for the collection. Attention will also be paid to the legal and ethical considerations that arise in making collection decisions in a special collections library.
Credit: 2 GR hours

LIS 590SPM From Script to Print: The Transformation of Medieval Culture, c.1350-c.1550

Between the Black Death and the Break with Rome the cultural life of Western Europe was transformed. Even before moveable metal type came out of the Rhineland, old orthodoxies had been unsettled by novel scholarship, fervent classicism and vigorous, vernacular polemic carried in manuscript to a widening constituency of consumers. Print cemented these novelties and created a responsive reading public. It was this engaged, social community of readers that ensured renewed calls for reform around 1517 were not to be stifled and which became the focus of princely and pontifical efforts to confessionalize the continent. These remarkable changes might be studied by means of particular authors, texts or indeed the more dominant ideas but this course will focus on arguably the most powerful agents, the books themselves. In each seminar, an original book from the period will act as a point-of-entry into the key developments, and their effects for the people of Europe. Class presentation and a 20-page seminar paper for submission at the close of the eight-week course. [Meets w/MDVL 501A. Medieval Studies is lead dept.]
Credit: 2 GR hours

LIS 590SR Reference Sources for Rare Books

Reference Sources for Rare Books is an introduction to the vast body of reference literature used in cataloguing and reference work in special collections libraries and the antiquarian book trade. Emphasis will be given to major bibliographies, catalogues, and other reference works in the fields of early printed books, British and American literature, historical Americana, voyages and travels, science and medicine, maps and atlases, the book arts, and the antiquarian book trade and auction market. The course is intended for those who have not yet had a systematic introduction to the reference literature of rare books, as well as others who would like to refresh or update their knowledge of the reference works in these fields. The course will cover approximately three to four hundred printed and electronic sources. The instructor will discuss the background of each source, as well as its strengths and weaknesses.
Credit: 2 GR hours
Syllabus Excerpt

LIS 590TL Theological Librarianship

Provides an overview of the contexts, materials, services, and issues characterizing theological librarianship. Course activities include readings, online discussions, writing assignments, and a weekly two-hour live session. Students interact with a number of librarians currently working in the field. Students enrolled for 4 hours complete an additional term project.
Credit: 2 or 4 GR hours

LIS 5902 Renaissance of the Bible

Explores the cultural, intellectual, and political circumstances of Bible production in Early Modern Europe. Major focus is on the impact of print technology on cultural changes. Course will meet frequently in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library and students will be encouraged to use holdings of the RBML. Some specific topics will be history of Renaissance humanism, the function of biblical studies in the reform movements (including the Catholic Reformation), translations of the Bible, the politics and artistry of the English-language Bible (Tyndale through the King James Version), and the artistic presentation of the Bible (especially printed art and the Bible). Issue of the physicality of the book, the book as cultural object, book design, and intentional design for reader reception will be discussed. We will also explore challenges to the Bible's authority in the seventeenth century (in particular Spinoza). [Elective for GSLIS Certificate in Special Collections] [First offered Fall 2013 with RLST 503A. RLST is lead dept.]
Credit: 4 GR hours

 

 



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