An introduction to the physical examination and description of printed books, especially of the period 1550-1875. Designed both for those with little previous formal exposure to this subject and for those with some general knowledge of the field who wish to be presented with a systematic discussion of the elements of physical description. A major part of the course will consist of small, closely supervised laboratory sessions in which students will practice the determination of format and collation and the writing of standard descriptions of signings and pagination.
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.