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Rare Books Collection at Washington University

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A visit to the Rare Books Collection at Washington University in St. Louis

A visit to the Rare Books Collection at Washington University in St. Louis

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Rare Books Collection at Washington University Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Rare BooksCollectionOlin Library,Washington UniversityEliot BodenISLT 9445 © 2011 shelf-awareness.com
  • 2. Where is the Library? © 2011 dermadyarchitects.com
  • 3. What is a Rare Book?• Not necessarily a book • Collection includes:• Material is significant: – Avant-garde magazines – Age – Civil War prints – Craftsmanship – Illuminated manuscripts – Rarity – Children’s pop-up books – Pertinence – Maps © 2011 digital.wustl.edu
  • 4. Where Do Items Come From?• Suggested by faculty, scholars, or hobbyists• Purchased from private collectors, book dealers, and auctions• Sometimes found within © 2011 visitannarbor.com the library stacks• Majority private donations – Must be germane to library collecting policy © 2011 heartsandmindsbooks.com
  • 5. Where Do Items Go?• Closed-shelves library • Atrium exhibit space• Climate-controlled • Ginkgo reading room basement vault and display cases• Uses motorized • Special Collections compact shelving reading room © 2012 southwestsolutions.com © 2010 wustl.edu
  • 6. Who Uses The Items? • Faculty, students, historians, artists, designers, librarians – Sam Fox School of Art largest single patron group • Open to general public © 2012 magazine.wustl.edu during business hours M-F • No appointment necessary • Class visits often arranged – Around 50 per year © 2011 wustl.edu
  • 7. Who Provides The Access?• 1 Rare Books Curator (MLS) – Rare Book School in Virginia• 1 Assistant Curator – (new, will require MLS)• 1 Rare Books Assistant – (has MLS, not required) © 2012 libraries.wustl.edu• 1 part-time cataloger• 1-2 student workers• 1 practicum MLS student• An “unnecessary luxury”? © 2006 libraries.wustl.edu
  • 8. Rare Book Librarianship Issues• Conservation of items • Providing equal access – Expensive – Out-of-the-way location – Difficult – Sumptuous/lavish décor – Invasive – Obscure function• Formal or informal – Unfamiliar policies and procedures• Adopt-a-Book • Access vs. distinction• Preservation vs. Use © Erin Davis
  • 9. Digital Galleries • Fewer galleries than other Special Collections – Have collaborated, esp. with manuscript library • Digitization on demand – Will scan materials for distance requests • Exhibitions project-based – Focus on book arts • Help preserve materials – Cannot replace value of physical materials
  • 10. Exhibits: Thomas Jefferson• Hiding in the book stacks – Untouched in 130 years• TJ’s “retirement library” – 74 volumes, 1 in English – Jefferson a polyglot, Greek notes in Plutarch’s Lives – Architecture books to design University of Virginia• Third-largest trove of Jefferson materials – Attracts national scholars © 2012 libraries.wustl.edu
  • 11. The End
  • 12. Further ReadingBishop, William W. “Rare Book Rooms in Libraries.” The Library Quarterly 12.3 (1942): 375-85. JSTOR. Web. 11 July 2012.Davis, Erin. Rare Books. St. Louis: Washington University Libraries Department of Special Collections, 2007. Print.Hausman, Sandy. “Students Get Up Close And Personal With Rare Books.” Weekend Edition Sunday. NPR. WVTF, Roanoke, VA, 17 July 2011. Radio.Potter, Susan, and Robert P. Holley. “Rare Material in Academic Libraries.” Collection Building 29.4 (2010): 148. ProQuest. Web. 21 June 2012.Rogers, Betsy. “A Rare & Notable Find.” Washington Magazine. Washington University in St. Louis, 2012. Web. 12 July 2012.Torre, Meredith. “Why Should They Not Benefit from Rare Books? Special Collections and Shaping the Learning Experience in Higher Education.” Library Review 57.1 (2008): 36-41. ProQuest. Web. 12 July 2012.Traister, Daniel. “Public Services and Outreach in Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Libraries.” Library Trends 52.1 (2003): 87. ProQuest. Web. 11 July 2012.Visser, Michelle. “Considerations in the Preparation of Library Exhibits Featuring Rare Books and Manuscripts.” College & Undergraduate Libraries 11.2 (2004): 51-62. Library, Information Science, & Technology Abstracts with Full Text. Web. 12 July 2012.