Rare Books and Special Collections

April 3, 2007

Last week a attended an RRLC workshop on rare books and special collections lead by Pablo Alvarez, curator of rare books at the Rush Rhees Library of the University of Rochester.  I was fascinated as he took us through the history of books with examples from the collection.  I had a fair background before the workshop and was stunned at how much I hadn’t known.

I walked away with some new ideas.  Pablo contacts professors when he has an item he believes would be helpful to a course and offers to do a session on the topic.  I have jumped at opportunities to interact with class when they have come to me, but I’ll try to be more proactive.

Pablo does a online exhibit he calls “Book of the Month” where he has digital images and gives background on special items in his collection.

He recommended at online brochure from ALA Rare Books Section on “Your Old Books.”

As he was talking about special collections I had the thought that some day we could pull the books given to Hobart College by Rev. Benjamin Hale from the S.C.C. to make a special collection.

It was great to network with others “in the business”, as always.

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One Response to “Rare Books and Special Collections”

  1. Laura Says:

    The “book of the month” idea is great! I don’t know that I could write as much text as Mr. Alvarez, but it would be easy enough to scan the title page and some art, endpapers, or marginalia, then link it to the catalog record as a way of telling people what we have. Thanks for sharing!


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