This course is aimed at librarians, booksellers, collectors, scholars, and others who seek an introductory understanding of how to recognize, evaluate and describe the physical aspects of printed materials. Focusing on the post-1800 period, the course provides practical tools for the identification and analysis of books and other printed artifacts. Topics include: how to read a bibliographical description of a book; how to read and interpret dealer and auction descriptions; how to distinguish between edition, issue, and state; how to assess the aesthetic, market, and research potential of materials; and how to navigate the trade and institutional environments in which printed materials circulate.
Rare Book School (RBS) is an independent, non-profit institute supporting the study of the history of books and printing and related subjects. Founded in 1983, it moved to its present home at the University of Virginia in 1992. At various times during the year, Rare Book School offers about 30 five-day courses on topics concerning old and rare books, manuscripts, and special collections. The majority of courses take place in Charlottesville, but courses are also offered in New York City, Baltimore, and Washington, DC. Most courses are limited to twelve or fewer students, who make a full-time commitment to any course they attend, from 8:30 or 9 am through 5 pm, Monday - Friday.