Applications will be assessed on a rolling basis, with applications closing on March 15, 2023, or when the course reaches capacity. We will then begin a wait list in the order accepted applications are received. 


Description:

CalRBS International is a one-of-a kind continuing education experience that immerses participants in book and library history through unique itineraries abroad. CalRBS International is part seminar, historical immersion, hands-on craft-making, and multi-city tour. By immersing participants in international spaces, the intention of CalRBS International is to enrich historical understandings of book and library history by learning the living, contemporary trends in book and artifact collecting, artisanship, publishing, and institutional programming.

We will visit cities of significant import to the history of books, publishing, and libraries, while also examining how these histories speak through the present by visiting bookbinders, papermakers, library collectors, printers, and the like. Participants can expect tours of sites in and around Rome, Florence, Bologna, and Venice, where we will explore book and library history, interspersed with seminar-style discussions, hands-on opportunities to participate in local craft-making, and visiting world-renown library and artifact collections. We will bring you, the participant, to living history as it exists outside the boundaries of the classroom. Along the way, we will meet craft-makers, experience lectures by subject specialists, and enjoy the local cuisines and antiquarian marketplaces of these vibrant cities. And above all, you will travel with participants that share an equal fascination and fondness for a uniquely immersive education in what CalRBS knows best: rare books, librarianship, archives, and manuscripts.

Pedagogy:

A detailed syllabus will be provided to enrolled participants. The program will focus on the history and contemporary state of librarianship, rare books, and publishing in Italy. A required reading list will also be provided. The course will be designed with clear learning objectives and outcomes and will involve an ongoing collaborative maker project that will serve as a memento or souvenir of the trip. Multiple lectures will be offered throughout the itinerary to contextualize our travels and discuss the historical implications of Italian manuscript and print culture.  

Learning Objectives:

By the end of this class, students will develop their abilities to: 

  • Describe the development of print and information culture in Central and Northern Italy from 14c to present 
  • Explore the role Italy has played to diasporic communities from the 15c onward
  • Examine Italian print history from a global perspective, with a special emphasis on its contribution to foreign cultural communities
  • Identify historical and current practitioners in Italian print and visual culture throughout the communications circuit 
  • Interview international working groups on values, practices, and struggles in administering library and archives spaces 
  • Compare and contrast styles of American and European approaches to librarianship and archival work
  • Link economies of creating, distributing, selling, collecting, curating, and conserving print objects 
  • Collaborate with type historians, type designers, typesetters, and printers to produce a variety of print culture objects using several print media and techniques

2023 ITINERARY

(sites and curricula subject to change)

June 21–24 Rome

  • Vatican Library
  • National Central Library of Rome
  • Archivio Apostolico Prefetto

June 24–27 Florence

  • Opera del Duomo Museum
  • Basilica of Santa Croce in Florence
  • National Central Library of Florence

June 27–30 Bologna

  • Archiginnasio di Bologna
  • Frati e Livi

June 30–July 3 Cornuda

  • Tipoteca Type and Printing Museum
  • 2-day fine press printing workshop at Tipoteca

July 3–6 Venice 

  • Fondazione Cini
  • Papermaking workshop
  • San Lazzaro (Armenian Archive and Museum)
  • The Biennale Library

Cost: $3750/participant, which includes a welcome dinner, lodging in Cornuda and Venice, breakfasts, and a final dinner. 

Participants are responsible for airfare, meals, incidentals, and lodging in Rome, Florence, and Bologna. Full and partial scholarships will be available. We have negotiated lower rates for some lodging in Rome, Florence, and Bologna on a first come first served basis. 

Capacity: There are 20 spots available in this course. Remaining spots: 16 of 20.


Faculty:

Robert D. Montoya, Director, International Core Faculty, CalRBS 

Sean E. Pessin (CalRBS International Core Faculty)

Paul Vangelisti


Course Information

Instructor: Kathleen Walkup
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Mode: In-person
Dates: July 24 – July 28, 2023
Tuition: $1200.00

Course Description

Although often written out of printing history, women have been active in the printing craft and trade since 1476. This seminar will examine the intersection of women and printing in Europe and America from the incunabula period through the fine press and incipient book art movements in the 1970s and 1980s, with a peek at current practice. We will examine the work of the nuns at the convent of Ripoli (Florence, 1476), Charlotte Guillard (Paris, 16th century), Mary Katherine Goddard and her cohort (American Colonial era), the mostly anonymous women in the industrial trades of the nineteenth century, Virginia Woolf, Nancy Cunard, Anaïs Nin and Caresse Crosby (20th century Modernism), and Jane Grabhorn and the women of the Distaff Side, along with many other women who have labored in the field. Topics for exploration will include the disappearance of women printers in America’s transition from a colony to a republic, an examination of early- to mid-twentieth-century women printers through the feminist lens they often eschewed themselves, the challenges of naming Black women printers and queering the printing press in the 1970s. Our material study will include a hands-on session in the letterpress studio, where we will set type and print on the handpress. The class is suitable for all levels of knowledge of book history. There will be a reading list and a working bibliography of the growing number of source materials in the history of women and printing.

Course Information

Instructor: Jesse R. Erickson, Ph.D., MLIS
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Mode: In-person
Dates: July 24 – July 28, 2023
Tuition: $1200.00

Course Description

Descriptive bibliography, analytical bibliography, and textual criticism have long been a part of the methods by which literary historians have traced the bibliographical genealogies of textual transmission for a given title or body of work. However, once retooled toward a more expansive and inclusive perspective, bibliography can be implemented in ways that can contribute to deeperunderstandings of Black print culture. For Black Americans in particular, bibliography has been a pathway to establishing selfhood and fostering a rich intellectual and literary tradition of resistance. Looking at the history of Black American writers, poets, scholars, publishers, and printers from a viewpoint of material culture, this course will apply bibliographical methods to the analysis of Black print culture. From Jupiter Hammon to the Street lit of today, from yesterday’s ephemera to today’s typefaces, we will begin to explore the various ways in which books and periodicals have been both racialized and racially gendered in their material facets.

Course Information

Instructor: Ann K.D. Myers
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Mode: In-person
Dates: July 24 – July 28, 2023
Tuition: $1200.00

Course Description

Aimed at catalogers who find that their present duties include (or shortly will include) the cataloging of books in their rare materials or special collections and want to be trained in applying Descriptive Cataloging of Rare Materials (Books). Emphasis will be placed primarily on books of the hand-press era, with some consideration of 19th and 20th century books in special collections. Topics include:

  • application of codes and standards, especially DCRM(B)
  • transcription, collation, and physical description
  • concepts of edition, impression, issue, state
  • genre/form terms, relationship designators, other special files
  • copy-specific information
  • cataloging policy in institutional contexts, including provisions for anti-racist descriptive practices

This course is intended for working catalogers experienced in AACR2 and/or RDA and MARC 21, and general cataloging principles and practices. No prior knowledge of early books is necessary. The goal of the course is to provide instruction and practice in each of the primary elements of the rare book catalog record, so that students will be equipped to catalog their institution’s rare books and special collections materials to national standards. Please note that this course covers printed monographs only.

Special note on RDA: instruction emphasis is for classic DCRM(B), that is, DCRM(B) as published, which has its basis in AACR2. However, RDA-compliant DCRM(B) will be addressed throughout the course and will be accommodated in classroom exercises. Please also note that although Descriptive Cataloging of Rare Books (RDA Edition), or DCRMR, has been released as a minimum viable product, for the time being, this course will continue to use DCRM(B) as the standard, with reference to differences coming in the future.

Course Requirements

In their personal statement, applicants should describe their experience with machine-readable AACR2 and/or RDA cataloging, provide a brief description of the types and date range of materials they expect to catalog with DCRM(B), and whether they are expected to produce RDA-compliant records at their home institution. In addition, applicants are required to submit 1–3 typical bibliographic records of materials they are currently cataloging, preferably original cataloging in MARC 21 of modern books.

Course Information

Instructor: Ian Fowler
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Mode: In-person
Dates: July 24 – July 28, 2023
Tuition: $1200.00

Course Description

This course is designed to provide a general overview of the history of mapping in the western world as well as the use of cartographic resources in modern day teaching and research. Topics will include an introduction to maps (projections, scale, visualization of information), the history of map printing; the evolution of European mapping; the role of maps as cultural and social objects; the wide variety and type of maps produced (nautical charts, city views and plans, topographic, land ownership, globes, celestial charts, etc.); conservation issues; reference materials and cartobibliographies, and the role of museums and libraries as stewards of the content. The class will also explore how antiquarian maps are used by present day researchers, teachers, and students. Course participants will interact with physical examples from archives and special collections, as well as examine maps in the larger historical context though an exhibition visit. This class will also explore and critically examine digital cartographic repositories from around the world and the role they can play in education and research.

Course Information

Instructor: Dori Griffin
Location: online
Dates: July 24–28, 2023
Tuition: $1200.00

Course Description

Almost since its introduction, typography has been one of the foundational aspects of studying “the book.” In our contemporary globalized and digitized context, it’s increasingly myopic to maintain an exclusive focus on the oeuvre of famous Western European and North American typographers—historically, white male users of the latin alphabet. Yet even within these limits, typography has a complex technical vocabulary, a disciplinary language of form, and an expansive set of “canonical” texts and visual exemplars. How might we as makers, users, scholars, and teachers of typographic objects cultivate a more inclusive perspective? This course takes an expansive approach to introducing the cultural and material languages of typography. It prioritizes opportunities for global engagement, cross- and transcultural approaches, and meaningful encounters with accessible digital surrogates. Together, participants in the course will make space for respectful curiosity, intentionally diverse encounters with new knowledge, and pluralistic definitions of “good” or “historically significant” typography.


Asynchronous content will include short readings and videos to introduce key practical and theoretical concepts. Synchronous meetings will include short lectures; discussions; interactive analytical exercises; and collaborative, hands-on, critically engaged making activities. Students will take away 1) basic knowledge of typographic vocabulary, technologies, and artifacts across multiple cultures and scripts; 2) relevant digital archives and useful research methodologies for investigating them; and 3) pedagogical strategies and tools for exploring such materials with diverse students. What new questions and opportunities arise when we study typographic printing through a global, digital, radically inclusive lense?

Course Information

Instructor: Jackie Stallcup
Location: UCLA / Los Angeles
Mode: In-person
Dates: July 31 – August 4, 2023
Tuition: $1200.00

Course Description

Children’s literature is a vast, rich field of study that intertwines in fascinating ways with the history of bookmaking.  The millions of diverse picture books that flourish today can trace their roots back to such texts as Caxton’s Aesop(1484), Comenius’ Orbis Sensualium Pictus  (1658),  Janeway’s A Token for Children (1671), Watts’ Divine Songs(1715), Newbery’s Little Pretty Pocketbook (1742), and many anonymous hornbooks, alphabet books, primers, and chapbooks.

Children are notoriously hard on their books, often loving them to irretrievable shreds.  So the very earliest editions of many of these books no longer exist.  However, the Children’s Book Collection of the Young Research Library at UCLA provides us with a treasure trove of rare children’s books that we will use to analyze the development of the modern picture book.  We may also (time and circumstances permitting) visit the collections at the Huntington Research Library and the Clark Memorial Library.

Among the questions we will explore:  What are some possible origins of different types of picture books?  What do such “origin stories” suggest about the ideological underpinnings of the field of children’s literature?  How have “school books” (such as primers and alphabet books) changed over time? (Or not?)  What roles have pop-up and movable books played in developing both literacy skills and a sense of pleasure in reading?

More broadly, we will also pursue questions such as:  By what means do we—children and adults—interpret works that closely juxtapose image and text?  How do we make meaning out of such texts?  In what ways do these works participate in the work of acculturating children?   How do these works reflect/interact with/comment upon/reject both artistic and ideological concerns?

Critical readings and discussion will draw not only from children’s literature criticism but also from the fields of visual arts, film, narrative, post-colonial, reader-response and feminist theories.

Mornings will generally be spent in Special Collections examining and discussing one foundational text along with a variety of associated texts.  In the afternoons, we will explore historical and contemporary picture books that developed from these roots.

Course Information

Instructor: Jonathan Senchyne
Location: UCLA / Los Angeles
Mode: In-person
Dates: July 31 – August 4, 2023
Tuition: $1200.00

Course Description

An inclusive survey, from manuscript to print to the end of the hand press era, supported by original materials wherever possible, aimed at those who have had no previous formal exposure to the history of the book and who want a broad, introductory overview of the subject. This course will be organized around format changes and technological transitions in book production, and their cultural impact. The course will introduce some theoretical issues in the current scholarship on the history of books, printing, authorship, and readership, including models and methodologies. However, understanding of and appreciation for the book as material object will be emphasized.

This course aims to provide an introductory vocabulary and a structure for students who wish to explore the history of books and printing through the hand press period. Topics include: the introduction of the manuscript codex, the impact of the invention of handmade paper, the growth of literate culture, the invention of movable type and the impact of printing on scholarship, science, and religion, the marketing and distribution of books, the rise of a reading public, and the transition to machine-powered printing at the beginning of the 19th century. Classroom instruction will emphasize giving students the opportunity to see and handle a broad range of manuscript and printed books, bindings, and printing equipment at research libraries in Southern California. While focusing primarily on Western Europe and North America, the development of papermaking and printing in Asia will be noted.

Course Information

Instructor: Michaela Ullmann
Location: UCLA / Los Angeles
Mode: In-person
Dates: July 31 – August 4, 2023
Tuition: $1200.00

Course Description

Colleges, universities, public schools, community archives, and special libraries all over the U.S. have successfully introduced immersive, integrative, collaborative, and active-learning elements into primary source literacy instruction over the past decade. In partnership with teaching faculty, librarians and archivists now play an active role in designing pedagogy featuring in-class activities that teach students archival literacy, information literacy skills, critical thinking skills, and paleography, among other skills for the 21st century student. This course will focus on developing, integrating, teaching, and advocating for robust primary source literacy instruction.

On top of this, Critical Pedagogy and Critical Librarianship (#critlib) has become an integral part of both rare materials theory and praxis. As such, this course will also provide a broad overview of the theories and methods of critical pedagogy and unpack how libraries are inextricably linked to political, economic, and social forces. The course will discuss the theories that underpin this movement, and the implementation of the practice of these theories within library environments, classrooms, and community spaces.

Throughout the course, we will also discuss pedagogy and tools for teaching primary source literacy online and hybrid to assist participants with developing and delivering meaningful and effective primary source literacy, synchronously and asynchronously, online and in-person. Online teaching skills are most likely here to stay in some capacity, and using remote teaching methods for large enrollment classes or for balancing preservation and access, for example, has been shown to be fruitful. Integrating digital projects and an introduction to digital teaching tools will be another element of the syllabus for this course.

Using case study projects, participants will gain a sense of how rare book and archives repositories have partnered with faculty in innovative ways. Guest faculty speakers will broaden our conversations, focusing on how librarians can best support their instructional efforts – in the physical space and online. Class participants will be asked to bring along instructional examples from their home institutions to workshop in a group setting, or if they are not yet in the profession, to imagine a project that would involve faculty collaboration in some substantive way.

This course is designed to be collaborative in nature and a venue for generating new ideas and to imagine solutions to often-encountered problems in public services and instructional outreach.

Components of the syllabus for the course include:

  • Infrastructure & General Management for building and sustaining a successful instruction program
  • Introduction to Special Collections and Critical Pedagogy
  • Discussion of critical theory and praxis models
  • Establishing meaningful collaboration with librarians, archivists, and teaching faculty
  • Introduction to Curriculum Mapping and syllabus planning
  • Overview of useful tools for instruction and their application
  • Best practices for online teaching (synchronous & asynchronous)
  • Overview & introduction of select digital scholarship tools
  • Best practices and standards (including RBMS and ALA)
  • Establishment & assessment of learning outcomes
  • Field trips
  • Guest Speakers from the field of Primary Source Literacy and Critical Librarianship
  • Panel of instructors who teach courses with embedded primary source literacy

In order to reduce “lecture” time and to create a more vibrant learning environment, the course will feature frequent breaks, flipped classroom, and workshopping during which participants will work on projects by themselves and/or in groups and return to the classroom for discussions and/or presentations.

Learning outcomes:

Participants will

  • Be able to define and implement the basics for a well-functioning instruction program for primary sources literacy;
  • Understand & apply key terms, concepts, models, and theories related to the critical pedagogy, including how critical approaches intersect with professional functions, including outreach and instruction;
  • Understand the key role libraries play in supporting diversity throughout society;
  • Return to their institutions with tools and pedagogy to take primary source literacy online in synchronous and asynchronous environments;
  • Have experienced hands on some of the techniques used to make teaching in an online environments effective and successful, and will be equipped to define changes that need to be made to their previous lesson plans in order to deliver content online;
  • Articulate the ethical implications of the work of librarianship and the means by which these activities can contribute to a more just society;
  • Leave the course with an understanding, the tools, and the confidence to transform their instructional approach while creating less work for themselves;
  • Gain a better understanding of the partnership between teaching faculty and Special Collections librarian or archivist and the roles each plays in it;
  • Gain a basic foundation in digital initiatives that use primary source materials and with selected basic tools they can use to teach primary sources literacy in the digital arena;
  • Workshop individual projects to implement at their home institutions.

Course Information

Instructor: Tamar Evangelestia-Dougherty
Location: UCLA / Los Angeles
Mode: In-person
Dates: July 31 – August 4, 2023
Tuition: $1200.00

Course Description

This course will examine the principles and underlying practices of developing and administering rare and distinctive ethnic and cultural heritage collections within the framework of mainstream American libraries and museums. Emphasis will be placed on how to protect and advocate for historic and contemporary cultural heritage collections against multiple threats such as systematic racism, institutional bias, decreased funding, and increasing marginalization within predominately white institutions.

Topics covered will include an assessment of the socio-cultural function of major ethnic heritage collecting institutions in America; a history of their development and collecting practices; and the principles and process of appraising, disseminating, and sustaining ethnic collections. The course will also consider social and ethical dimensions of racial agency (i.e. white privilege, historical trauma) that challenge ethnic diversity and inclusiveness within special collections curatorial practice, outreach, personnel, and budget planning. There will be a special class session on ethical and legal considerations faced by curatorial administrators when addressing cultural heritage restitution, collections of dubious provenance, and repatriation requests. While this course will have a strong focus on African American, Native American, Asian and Latinx collections, much of the course content is adaptable to any library professional responsible for the stewardship of collections representing alternative narratives of heritage (i.e. gendered and LGBTQ collections).

A significant portion of the student’s time will be engaged in lectures, class discussions, and fieldwork at local Los Angeles special collections repositories. Hands on activities include examining archival and rare book materials that illuminate opportunities and challenges administering ethnic heritage resources.

Please note this is a seminar course and therefore, a forum for discussion that seeks to inform and advise participants who are addressing challenges and opportunities around cultural heritage collections in their current professional institutions, the instructor may modify the course topics to suit current events and expressed student interests, needs, and expertise. For example, special attention may be given to challenges faced by ethnic heritage institutions during the national pandemic.

Course Information

Instructor: Sarah Werner
Location: Online
Dates: July 31 – August 4, 2023
Tuition: $1200.00

Course Description

This online course considers what might constitute a feminist approach to studying books, what the benefits of such approaches are, and how to incorporate them into our own work.

We will center the textual object in exploring these issues, letting artifacts drive our questions rather than the actions of book makers, sellers, or collectors. Another way of putting this is that the course won’t ask who women printing books were, but rather, who determined the terms on which we engage with books. This doesn’t mean ignoring the many agents involved in book work, including the people involved in the long history of book trades, the academic field of print culture and textual editing, and the intersection of these with library practices. But it means that our work this week will be focused on generating questions about methodology rather than recovering names and histories.

We will also wrestle with the theory and practice of feminism, which has a history of different meanings for different communities, and how to develop it as an inclusive practice for our book work. If living a feminist life is, as Sara Ahmed argues, something we must return to over and over, something that we put into practice daily rather than something that stays in the classroom, how do we bring that into our spaces of book work?

Through a combination of short advance readings about bibliography and feminism, course discussions, and your own work with textual artifacts, we will explore what questions are brought to the forefront when we approach our work through a feminist framework. Participants should anticipate two concurrent and two asynchronous sessions each course day, with those sessions being scheduled to accommodate the range of US time zones; asychronous sessions could involve exercises, readings, and off-camera discussions. Discussions and exercises will also try explore different models of pedagogy in order to give participants a feel for what methodologies might suit them best.

The course is intended to be of use to anyone researching, teaching, or acting as a custodian for rare books; although we will pay careful attention to the first centuries of western printing, since the study of those books have shaped the field of bibliography as a whole, the issues the course will consider cover all periods of book study. Participants should not expect to come out of the course having mastered a feminist history of books, but to leave with a set of tools to ask feminist questions of books.

Course Information

Instructor: Catherine DeRose
Location: Online
Dates: July 31 – August 4, 2023
Tuition: $1200.00

Course Description

This course will introduce you to digital humanities methods, workflows, and use cases. We will begin by examining the process by which written, printed, and visual materials become digital data, and will consider what is gained and lost along the way: what kinds of claims can we make about the “data” as a result of how it was transformed? What questions can we ask when we increase our scale of study to hundreds or thousands of texts?

Digital humanities is an expansive, rapidly developing area of research. This course is designed to give you a foundation, introducing you to approaches and resources you can continue to draw on after the week concludes. You will gain hands-on experience working with popular open-source tools used by digital humanities practitioners. You will also learn best practices for developing your own digital humanities projects, from curating a dataset and identifying a suitable method of analysis to creating effective and compelling data visualizations you can share.

The course is intended for students, faculty, and library staff who are interested in taking on or supporting digital humanities projects, or who are just looking for an introduction to the field. No prior programming experience or existing project is required.

Provided datasets will draw heavily on literary texts with written, visual, network, and spatial components. There will also be open “lab” sessions during which participants can begin creating their own datasets or can continue experimenting with the provided ones.

Topics with likely tools that will be covered include:

  • A brief history of the digital humanities
  • Data reconcilitation (OpenRefine)
  • Data visualization best practices (Tableau Public)
  • Natural Language Processing techniques (Unix Shell, Named Entity Recognition, Topic Modeling)
  • Network graphs (Gephi)
  • Georeferencing historical maps (Georeferencer)
  • Maps (ArcGIS Online)
  • Image computation (PixPlot)
  • Web publishing platforms for sharing textual, visual, audio, and spatial work (StoryMaps)
  • Project management (Trello)
  • Next steps for continuing with DH

Course Requirements

Participants must work from a computer (Windows or Mac) over which they have administrative control. Prior to the workshop, the instructor will send a list of software with installation instructions.

Course Information

Instructors:  Jen Johnson & Brad Johnson
Location: UCLA / Los Angeles
Mode: In-person
Dates: August 7 – August 11, 2023
Tuition: $1200.00

Course Description

Rare books, archives, vernacular photography, born digital collections, audio recordings, and ephemera are just some of the materials passing through the hands of antiquarian booksellers today. This week-long course will explore how professionals navigate various facets of the trade in the 21st century, and include specialist booksellers, special collections librarians, and archivists who will share their expertise and broaden our conversations.

We will visit local special collection libraries and spend an afternoon at our brick-and-mortar shop in Covina, where students will have real-world exposure to the inner workings of a used bookstore. Some of the topics will include new trends in collecting, finding and evaluating books and archives for purchase and resale, describing materials from a seller’s perspective, and an introduction to appraisals, as well as bookseller etiquette and best practices. The course is intended for booksellers, special collections librarians, collectors, scholars, graduate students, and anyone considering a career as a bookseller.

Course Information

Instructor: Emily Drabinski
Location: UCLA / Los Angeles
Mode: In-person
Dates: July 31–August 4, 2023
Tuition: $1200.00

Course Description

Critical librarianship interrogates library practices to understand how the field’s systems and structures emerge through ideologies of gender, race, class, and other axes of social difference. For example, critical librarians take the cataloging and classification systems that are often pitched as neutral and natural and ask why books related to minoritized sexualities are described incompletely and shelved as “social problems.” If we can understand how library work is constituted through complex relations of power, we can begin to build a different kind of librarianship that works toward a more just future. Participants will work together to build a shared analysis of power and the terrain of struggle along with concrete plans for taking action in their own libraries.

Course Information

Instructor: Joshua Teplitsky
Location: UCLA / Los Angeles
Mode: In-person
Dates: July 31–August 4, 2023
Tuition: $1200.00

Course Description

TBA

Course Information

Instructor: Ryan Cordell
Location: UCLA / Los Angeles
Mode: In-person
Dates: July 31–August 4, 2023
Tuition: $1200.00

Course Description

The term “book history” is not singular, but instead names a richly interdisciplinary constellation of subjects and methodologies drawing from cultural history, material culture studies, bibliography, critical theory, the history of technology, and many more traditions. Scholars also teach book history across a wide range of departments, institutions, instructional levels, and pedagogical settings: from dedicated graduate seminars, to units in undergraduate survey courses, to one-off instructional sessions in library archives, to cite only a few examples.

Given this diversity, a comprehensive introduction to book history pedagogy in just one week would be impossible. Instead, this course will take a practical and collaborative approach, helping students develop strategies for their specific teaching situations by developing a shared library of existing pedagogical resources, classroom activities, and assignments; workshopping students’ own teaching materials; and participating in example “book history labs” meant to prompt discussion and inspire new ideas.

The precise content of the class will be shaped by the specific backgrounds and interests of its students, but topics will likely include:

  • Choosing effective and compelling assigned media for distinct teaching situations (e.g. course level, course type, unit length)
  • Creating hands-on activities and assignments that compliment and enhance assigned media
  • Cultivating cross-campus—or even cross-institutional—relationships for collaborative pedagogy
  • Developing a personal teaching collection of book history materials
  • Building capacity for offering and sustaining hands-on book history teaching infrastructure (e.g. book labs, maker spaces)

While taking an expansive view of what might constitute “experiential” pedagogy, the course will emphasize “hands-on” teaching, from archives sessions to letterpress printing to zines to 3D fabrication. The class will include a number of hands-on activities, including work in UCLA’s new community print lab, as well as guest sessions run by experts teaching book history across different pedagogical situations.

Course Information

Instructor: Magalí Rabasa
Location: UCLA / Los Angeles
Mode: In-person
Dates: August 7 – August 11, 2023
Tuition: $1200.00

Course Description

This course explores the ways that the object of the print book has been transformed, politically and materially, in the context of radical social movements in the twenty-first century in Latin America. Through examination of interplay between the political concepts proposed by the movements and the materiality of the books they produce, this course will consider the ways that the print book acts as a networking agent, facilitating and expanding transnational dialogues in the Americas. This course will explore the ways that radical, independent, and underground publishing projects propose alternative practices and ethics that question and destabilize historical power structures endemic to publishing and knowledge production.

Working from the concept of the “book in movement” as a way of accounting for the dynamic material and political life of this cultural object, we will examine informal archives of books produced by radical publishers in Latin America, as well as locally-housed collections in Los Angeles. The course may also include field trips to radical community libraries and bookstores and presentations (via Zoom) by members of publishing collectives in Latin America. Over the course of the week, we will focus on the different stages in the life of the book, as a means of considering how the various aspects of the production and circulation of print books are taken up as sites of political, social, and economic experimentation and intervention. Particular areas of focus include: collective practices of authorship, experimental printing and bookbinding, alternative approaches to intellectual property, and non-capitalist/anti-capitalist marketing and distribution.

Course Information

Instructor: Devin Fitzgerald
Location: UCLA / Los Angeles
Mode: In-person
Dates: August 7 – August 11, 2023
Tuition: $1200.00

Course Description

In this course, students will be introduced to the history of the book in East Asia (with a focus on China) and Western Europe. By pursuing an integrated approach to the comparative history of the book, participants will not only be introduced important moments in the history of printing, but we will also discuss the historical and intellectual baggage associated with terms like "print," "paper," and "information." The course will culminate in discussions of how to integrate more capacious and inclusive methods in teaching and researching printed materials. By the end of the course, students will be able to globally contextualize Gutenberg's "inventions" and appreciate Chinese contributions to the emergence of modern forms of the codex.

Course Information

Instructor: Fiona Ross & Vaibhav Singh
Location: Online
Dates: August 7–11, 2023
Tuition: $1200.00

Course Description

This course will offer an overview of the history of printing and type design for South Asian scripts from the 18th to the 21st century. Focusing mainly on three scripts from the Indian subcontinent, namely Devanagari, Bengali, and Tamil, the course will introduce participants to the history of design and technology for printing in the languages of South Asia. It will also offer ‘virtual hands-on’ engagement with some of the processes involved in the making of printed artefacts, examining their history across changing cultural and technological backdrops. The course will focus on typographic printing and situate the design and production of type in the South Asian context through an in-depth engagement with letterforms and their graphic characteristics. We will look at different design processes, various manual and mechanical composing systems for syllabic scripts, and technological developments spanning foundry types, hot-metal, film-setting, and digital typefaces that have shaped the visual and material form of the printed word in South Asia. The course will help participants develop a broad understanding of the three different writing-systems covered, with their respective typographic histories, and also to explore the application of typographic knowledge towards various bibliographic purposes such as identification, authentication, comparative analysis etc.

This course is intended for anyone interested in the history of printing, technology, and typography in South Asia. Attendees knowledgeable in other book cultures or those interested in comparative contexts of print are also welcome. Course materials will be in English and prior knowledge of the languages and scripts of South Asia is not required.

Course Information

Instructor: Mali Collins
Location: Online
Dates: August 7–11, 2023
Tuition: $1200.00

Course Description

This course will offer participants researching and interested in researching Black and Black-maintained archives, with an emphasis on HBCU archives. We will interrogate Black collections on the level of fragmentation, or otherwise thought as opacity or general difficulty in understanding a history fraught with violence and poor record keeping. There will also be an emphasis on methodologies related to “scraps.” By deploying a black feminist methodology of *scrap theory*, which elevates archival material otherwise thought to be interstitial, fragmented, or unimportant, students will gain a facility around interacting with HBCU collections and those concerned with Black history.  Content will be an integral part of the course, interrogating fragments of original owner/steward/subject and processors, (hair, lint, hair ties), etc., and the (im)possibilities of processing such materials. Last, this course surveys contemporary critical librarianship occurring in HBCU collections today, and the professionals that maintain them.

Course Information

Instructor: James Sargan
Location: Online
Dates:
August 7–11, 2023
Tuition:
$1200.00

Course Description

In this course we explore the developing field(s) of queer bibliography. LGBTQIA2S+ identities have historically passed undocumented—today’s queer archives remain spaces more accessible to some than to others. Queer bibliography presents a way to think critically about how such histories were and are documented, and offers an alternative means of accessing the queer identities of the past via the materials they wrote, read, and used. We will focus on bibliography widely defined as the study of textual objects. Students might come to the course with particular collections or objects of interest in mind, or they may begin from a point of discovery and exploration. We will draw on the fields of critical theory, literature, biography, and library science and experiment with the tools that these areas provide for the pursuit of book history. Students should be prepared to read widely, think imaginatively, and work collaboratively. This course will take place online with synchronous and asynchronous components. It will include digital visits to archives and creative work, alongside groupreading and discussions. Students should expect to leave the course with many ideas, few answers, and the knowledge that they are part of a nascent field that they have the tools to shape.

Course Information

Instructor: Jennifer Cohlman Bracchi & Vanessa Haight Smith
Location: Smithsonian / Washington D.C.
Mode: In-person
Dates: August 14 – August 18
Tuition: $1200.00

Course Description

Using a curatorial lens, this course offers an introduction to organizing exhibitions of books and archive materials and will demonstrate their role as agents for primary source literacy instruction while behind glass. Guided by Smithsonian Libraries and Archives staff and supported by cooperative classroom learning, participants will design an exhibit prototype. Students will enhance their skills necessary for selecting material, developing concepts, and applying critical analysis of texts and written interpretation. Understanding relationships at the institutional level and beyond will be an integral part of learning as examined through case study projects and guest speakers.

Discussions will also include the nature of book and paper materials, appropriate handling, and environmental management as it applies to preservation issues in exhibition display.  Classes will comprise of lectures, assigned readings, and site visits including – current library exhibitions; a Smithsonian unit providing exhibit planning, development, design, and production services; and a book conservation lab where students will gain hands-on experience designing and creating book supports.

Course Information

Instructor: Charles Hatfield
Location: Smithsonian / Washington D.C.
Mode: In-person
Dates: August 14 – August 18
Tuition: $1200.00

Course Description

Popular yet personal, branded as trivial yet rich with meaning, comics are more than cultural scraps or leftovers. In fact, comics are everywhere: they are art objects, storying machines, readable games, tools for disseminating knowledge, and platforms for worldbuilding and political argument. Whether viewed as historical artifacts or distinctive literary and artistic works, comics carry culture with them. In this workshop, we will study how comics move through the world, socially and materially, how they can make a difference in the world, and how we, as teachers, researchers, and creators, can use them.

Comic art has a complex social life. Comic books, graphic novels, strips, and cartoons come in varied material (and now digital) forms and reach diverse readerships. Many are thought to be ephemeral, as disposable as yesterday’s newspapers or tweets; some are built to last. Many last despite their seeming ephemerality, archived by collectors, fans, and, increasingly, archiving professionals and research libraries. Conserving, organizing, and accessing these artifacts can be a challenge but also a profound pleasure; comics offer us opportunities for creative engagement as well as deep research. Our workshop will study how comics come to be, how they circulate, where and how they are archived, and how we may teach with them.

We will focus on comics’ physical materiality, on firsthand experience and “show and tell.” Our hands-on sessions will mix varied forms of nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first century comic art, from newspaper pages to comic magazines, from graphic novels to minicomix, zines, and webcomics. Drawing on the resources of the Smithsonian Libraries and Archives, we will explore the material and social histories of comics, the idiosyncrasies of comics production, including differences among American, European, and Japanese traditions, and how comics have been shored against time by collectors. We will consider comics as products of various industries, cultures, and social scenes—as historic artifacts, yes, but also urgent dispatches from the here and now. Participants will come out of this workshop knowing:

  • the distinctions among various genres of comics (including comic strips, comic books, graphic novels, webcomics, and minicomics) and how they look and feel
  • the various ways comics are produced and circulated, by whom, and under what conditions
  • how to find and access comics in archives
  • how we can deploy comics in teaching
  • how comics can elevate marginalized and minoritized identities and serve as vehicles for social protest and transformation
  • overall, how comics move through and “trouble” the world, in the best senses of that word.

Course Requirements

I will share a list of pre-readings with participants prior to the course. We will read further materials during our week together. In addition, everyone should prepare a brief (one or two-page) written or comics-style introduction to themselves, to be shared no later than our first meeting. Expect to participate in class discussions, take part in various site visits, and interact with, and prepare questions, for our guest speakers (comics and archiving experts from the greater Washington, D.C. area). Sketchnoting or keeping a comics diary will be encouraged.

Feel free to email me with questions at charles.hatfield@csun.edu.

Course Information

Instructor: Siobhan Hagan & Walter Forsberg
Location: Smithsonian / Washington D.C.
Mode: In-person
Dates: August 14 – August 18
Tuition: $1200.00

Course Description 

TBA

Course Information

Instructor: Martin K. Kalfatovic
Location: Smithsonian / Washington D.C.
Mode: In-person
Dates: August 14 – August 18
Tuition: $1200.00

Course Description

In biology, taxonomy is the scientific study of naming, defining (circumscribing) and classifying groups of biological organisms based on shared characteristics. Unlike many scientific disciplines, taxonomy is reliant on a linear chain from the earliest description of a species to current research. Access to species descriptions must be traced back to the earliest publication of the species, in many cases the work of Carl Linnaeus (in his Systema Naturae, 10th edition, 1758).

For us to know about life on our planet, we need to know where and when it occurs, and key characteristics about life: what does it eat? What eats it? How big is it? And many more. These data has been systematically collected by humans for 600+ years and is often recorded in rare materials held in sometimes difficult to access collections. Creating actionable data from print-based materials liberates these data aggregators and museum collections is challenging and evolving rapidly.

This course will examine key texts in the history of taxonomy, case studies of how these sources have informed current scientific information about species and the extinction crisis facing the world. The Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL) will be explored as the premier aggregator of taxonomic data. How the BHL has worked with special collections in the leading natural history collections around the world to make these materials freely available as well as ongoing efforts to transform these “data born in literature” to reusable data for global biodiversity research tools.

Guest lectures will include global experts in extracting taxonomic information from text materials, experts in the field of natural history publishing, and manuscript materials housed in Field Notes collections.There will be two tours/field trips of important natural history book collections in the Washington, DC area and a visit to a specimen collections area of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. Additionally, there will be a discussion of digital conversion targeted to issues around taxonomic publications.

Learning Outcomes

Participants will

  • Develop an understanding of how life is described and named through systematic taxonomy;
  • Discover the ongoing importance of 600 years of published literature to current scientific questions around the climate crisis and species extinction;
  • Learn how trace a species through historic taxonomic literature;
  • Learn about new tools and services that extract data from historic taxonomic literature;
  • Gain a basic foundation in digital initiatives around taxonomic literature

Course Requirements

Not sure if this is for you? Take a look at these readings and see if your interest is piqued:

  • Judith E. Winston (2018) Twenty-First Century Biological Nomenclature—The Enduring Power of Names, Integrative and Comparative Biology, Volume 58, Issue 6, December 2018, Pages 1122–1131, https://doi.org/10.1093/icb/icy060
  • David Hone (2013) “How a new species is named,” The Guardian.
  • Elinor Michel (2016) Anchoring Biodiversity Information: From Sherborn to the 21st century and beyond. In: Michel E (Ed.) Anchoring Biodiversity Information: From Sherborn to the 21st century and beyond. ZooKeys550: 1–11. https://doi.org/10.3897/zookeys.550.7460
  • Other papers from the above symposium help tell the full stories of Charles Davies Sherborn and his Index Animalium who’s story will remind you of the story of how the Oxford English Dictionary was created. https://zookeys.pensoft.net/issue/762/
  • And lastly, explore some of the 319,000+ images from the Biodiversity Heritage Library that are part of the visual data that will be discussed: Biodiversity Heritage Library: Flickr

Course Information

Instructor: Lilla Vekerdy & Leslie Overstreet
Location: Smithsonian / Washington D.C.
Mode: In-person
Dates: August 14 – August 18
Tuition: $1200.00

Course Description

This course will focus on varied representations of scientific knowledge in primary sources, especially in rare books and manuscripts.  The students will not only view classics of physical and natural sciences from the 13th to the 21st centuries but will gain hands-on experience with all the materials displayed.  Comprehending content (text and image) with the aid of targeted questions and discussion will lead to analysis, and—by the end of the course—an overview of the changing theoretical approaches and practical methods of documenting science.  Aspects of paleography, typography, illustration techniques, the structure and materials of the book, and binding-related issues will be emphasized.  The course will primarily build on the holdings of SLA’s Dibner and Cullman Libraries, will also encompass in-depth viewing of the Nature of the Book exhibition, exploring digitization projects, and visits to the rare and special collections of the Library of Congress and the Dumbarton Oaks Library and Archives.

Course Information

Instructor: Ilya Dines
Location: Smithsonian / Washington D.C.
Mode: In-person
Dates: August 14 – August 18
Tuition: $1200.00

Course Description

TBA

Course Information

Instructor: Brad Freeman
Location: Smithsonian / Washington D.C.
Mode: In-person
Dates: August 14 – August 18
Tuition: $1200.00

Course Description

The term “book history” is not singular, but instead names a richly interdisciplinary constellation of subjects and methodologies drawing from cultural history, material culture studies, bibliography, critical theory, the history of technology, and many more traditions. Scholars also teach book history across a wide range of departments, institutions, instructional levels, and pedagogical settings: from dedicated graduate seminars, to units in undergraduate survey courses, to one-off instructional sessions in library archives, to cite only a few examples.

Given this diversity, a comprehensive introduction to book history pedagogy in just one week would be impossible. Instead, this course will take a practical and collaborative approach, helping students develop strategies for their specific teaching situations by developing a shared library of existing pedagogical resources, classroom activities, and assignments; workshopping students’ own teaching materials; and participating in example “book history labs” meant to prompt discussion and inspire new ideas.

The precise content of the class will be shaped by the specific backgrounds and interests of its students, but topics will likely include:

  • Choosing effective and compelling assigned media for distinct teaching situations (e.g. course level, course type, unit length)
  • Creating hands-on activities and assignments that compliment and enhance assigned media
  • Cultivating cross-campus—or even cross-institutional—relationships for collaborative pedagogy
  • Developing a personal teaching collection of book history materials
  • Building capacity for offering and sustaining hands-on book history teaching infrastructure (e.g. book labs, maker spaces)

While taking an expansive view of what might constitute “experiential” pedagogy, the course will emphasize “hands-on” teaching, from archives sessions to letterpress printing to zines to 3D fabrication. The class will include a number of hands-on activities, including work in UCLA’s new community print lab, as well as guest sessions run by experts teaching book history across different pedagogical situations.

Course Requirements

Suggested readings (some of the essays will be provided during the class):

  • “The New Art of Making Books,” Ulises Carrión, Artists’ Books: A Critical Anthology and Sourcebook
  • “Some Contemporary Artists and Their Books,” Clive Phillpot, Artists’ Books: A Critical Anthology and Sourcebook
  • “The Artist’s Book as Idea and Form,” Johanna Drucker, The Century of Artists’ Books
  • “A Mass-Produced Product of High Order,” Anne Moeglin-Delcroix, JAB4 – Journal of Artists’ Books #4
  • “Ars Combinatoria and the Book,” Janet Zweig, JAB8 – Journal of Artists’ Books #8
  • “The Knowing of Artists’ Books,” Monica Carroll and Adam Dickerson, JAB43 – Journal of Artists’ Books #43
  • “Feminism and the Book Arts at the Woman’s Building, Los Angeles,” Alisa Scudamore, JAB4 – Journal of Artists’ Books #4
  • “Signs and Their Transmission: The Question of the Book in the New World,” Walter D. Mignolo, A Book of the Book: Some Works & Projections About the Book & Writing
  • Russian Futurism: A History, Vladimir Markov
  • The World Backwards: Russian Futurist Books 1912-1916, Susan P. Compton
  • Russian Avant-Garde Books 1917-34, Susan P. Compton
  • Structure of the Visual Book, Keith Smith
California Rare Book School