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Book History
On a Budget:
27 Tips & Tricks
Robert Cagna, Charleston Library Director
West Virginia University
www.slidesha...
1
Main thing: form partnerships; be collaborative
with:
-- Librarians (esp. rare book)
-- Booksellers
-- Printers
-- Artis...
2
Local academic librarians may be able to bring
their most interesting books to you and your
students; or, students could...
3
…The same for rare book sellers; or, if librarians
and booksellers can’t visit you on site they might
be able to set up ...
4
Librarians can help with “…the classic questions
of information literacy (reliability, validity,
accuracy, authority, ti...
5
Don’t forget your college’s archivist, who will
hopefully have a treasure trove of books,
documents, pictures, and ephem...
6
Access YouTube videos on various print /
binding / papermaking / typography techniques
and on various books:
www.youtube...
7
Rare Book School sessions for teachers and
students (VA, CA, London, and New Zealand); try
to get a scholarship as they ...
8
DVDs and bibliographical facsimile paper from
the Rare Book School
http://www.rarebookschool.org/publications
9
Feel free to use 3rd, 4th, or even 5th editions for
comparative purposes, especially editions
printed after the author p...
10
Throwaway editions: ask booksellers to search
for them, and buy them on your behalf when
they purchase an estate.
Try t...
11
Free online version of ABC for Book Collectors
(8th ed., 2004, latest edition)
PDF available at:
https://www.ilab.org/e...
12
Twitter! www.twitter.com
• #bookhistory
• #historyofthebook
• @SHARPorg
• @sharp2015_ca
• @RBMSinfo
• @bookhistory
• @b...
13
Reproduction (facsimile) editions
(controversial; but, it can be helpful to have
“copies” of certain books always prese...
14
Use at least one assigned book with lots of
images like the Smithsonian Book of Books
(DK’s Book is good, too, but for ...
15
Use local zines (pronounced zeens) and
broadsides and pamphlets and tracts.
16
Check if your local artisans group, history
museum, or printing company has a letterpress
printer machine, a person who...
17
Use movies (DVDs) about books like 84 Charing
Cross Road to fire up a passion for old books via
a human interest story.
18
Follow listservs like SHARP and EXLIBRIS for
free.
19
Take apart an inexpensive old book with
students to show how they were made.
20
National Library of Medicine
Turning the Pages Online
http://archive.nlm.nih.gov/proj/tt
p/flash/vesalius/vesalius.html
21
Washington University online exhibit
http://beckerexhibits.wustl.edu/vesalius/index.html
22
Publisher’s site: www.vesaliusfabrica.com
23
Encourage students to enter the National
Collegiate Book Collecting Contest:
http://www.abaa.org/ncbcc/the-national-
co...
24
Textbook A History of Reading and Writing: In
the Western World (2009) by Martyn Lyons.
Students have told special coll...
25
Focus on old books that have a great story, great
provenance, marginalia, wondrous binding, a
tobacco/whiskey smell, or...
26
Have the students spend time with an old book,
slow down, and take notes using all their senses
to describe it.
27
Twenty Questions to Ask an Object
http://www.artbabble.org/video/chipstone/twe
nty-years-twenty-questions-ask-object
Questions?
Rob Cagna, Library Director
West Virginia University
Charleston Health Sciences Library
304-347-1287
rcagna@hsc...
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Book history on a budget

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Book History on a Budget: 27 Tips and Tricks

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Book history on a budget

  1. 1. Book History On a Budget: 27 Tips & Tricks Robert Cagna, Charleston Library Director West Virginia University www.slideshare.net/cagna www.twitter.com/rcagna
  2. 2. 1 Main thing: form partnerships; be collaborative with: -- Librarians (esp. rare book) -- Booksellers -- Printers -- Artists (typographers, papermakers, designers) -- Archivists -- Historians
  3. 3. 2 Local academic librarians may be able to bring their most interesting books to you and your students; or, students could visit them.
  4. 4. 3 …The same for rare book sellers; or, if librarians and booksellers can’t visit you on site they might be able to set up a Webinar for you.
  5. 5. 4 Librarians can help with “…the classic questions of information literacy (reliability, validity, accuracy, authority, timeliness, bias, context of creation, etc.)” (DePaul Library News for Faculty, March 3, 2015)
  6. 6. 5 Don’t forget your college’s archivist, who will hopefully have a treasure trove of books, documents, pictures, and ephemera related to the history of the college. Younger students may not be familiar with handwritten script, scrapbooks, black paper photo books, non-standard books, and so on. (DePaul Library News for Faculty, March 3, 2015)
  7. 7. 6 Access YouTube videos on various print / binding / papermaking / typography techniques and on various books: www.youtube.com Possible search terms within YouTube: history of the book; book history; history of printing; printing history; history of publishing; history of papermaking
  8. 8. 7 Rare Book School sessions for teachers and students (VA, CA, London, and New Zealand); try to get a scholarship as they offer a number of them (different types). The Rare Book School at the University of Virginia has offered one week courses in Virginia, Washington DC, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Bloomington, IN. http://www.rarebookschool.org Virginia school
  9. 9. 8 DVDs and bibliographical facsimile paper from the Rare Book School http://www.rarebookschool.org/publications
  10. 10. 9 Feel free to use 3rd, 4th, or even 5th editions for comparative purposes, especially editions printed after the author passes away; also, special and illustrated editions. Ask your library for a title it has collected over the years, possessing various editions; have students examine them individually or in small groups and compare them to modern paperback editions and e-versions.
  11. 11. 10 Throwaway editions: ask booksellers to search for them, and buy them on your behalf when they purchase an estate. Try to get them cheaply or for free. You could keep them or you could ask your library to keep them.
  12. 12. 11 Free online version of ABC for Book Collectors (8th ed., 2004, latest edition) PDF available at: https://www.ilab.org/eng/documentation/30- john_carters_abc_for_book_collectors.html
  13. 13. 12 Twitter! www.twitter.com • #bookhistory • #historyofthebook • @SHARPorg • @sharp2015_ca • @RBMSinfo • @bookhistory • @bookhistorynetw • @rarebookschool
  14. 14. 13 Reproduction (facsimile) editions (controversial; but, it can be helpful to have “copies” of certain books always present) Some vendors’ sites: www.facsimile-editions.com www.addisonpublications.com http://www.faksimile.de/
  15. 15. 14 Use at least one assigned book with lots of images like the Smithsonian Book of Books (DK’s Book is good, too, but for younger readers)
  16. 16. 15 Use local zines (pronounced zeens) and broadsides and pamphlets and tracts.
  17. 17. 16 Check if your local artisans group, history museum, or printing company has a letterpress printer machine, a person who does binding, a typographer, a papermaker, i.e., someone who could give a talk and demonstrate equipment, technique, and usage .
  18. 18. 17 Use movies (DVDs) about books like 84 Charing Cross Road to fire up a passion for old books via a human interest story.
  19. 19. 18 Follow listservs like SHARP and EXLIBRIS for free.
  20. 20. 19 Take apart an inexpensive old book with students to show how they were made.
  21. 21. 20 National Library of Medicine Turning the Pages Online http://archive.nlm.nih.gov/proj/tt p/flash/vesalius/vesalius.html
  22. 22. 21 Washington University online exhibit http://beckerexhibits.wustl.edu/vesalius/index.html
  23. 23. 22 Publisher’s site: www.vesaliusfabrica.com
  24. 24. 23 Encourage students to enter the National Collegiate Book Collecting Contest: http://www.abaa.org/ncbcc/the-national- collegiate-book-collecting-contest Enter by the end of May!
  25. 25. 24 Textbook A History of Reading and Writing: In the Western World (2009) by Martyn Lyons. Students have told special collections curator Ruth Rogers of Wellesley they have found it “…informative and thorough, with the perfect narrative format that makes it enjoyable to read.” Also, Books: A Living History (same author)
  26. 26. 25 Focus on old books that have a great story, great provenance, marginalia, wondrous binding, a tobacco/whiskey smell, or fantastic type – rather than high monetary value.
  27. 27. 26 Have the students spend time with an old book, slow down, and take notes using all their senses to describe it.
  28. 28. 27 Twenty Questions to Ask an Object http://www.artbabble.org/video/chipstone/twe nty-years-twenty-questions-ask-object
  29. 29. Questions? Rob Cagna, Library Director West Virginia University Charleston Health Sciences Library 304-347-1287 rcagna@hsc.wvu.edu Slideshare, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter www.slideshare.net/cagna

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