ATG Article of the Week: Peering Into the Exquisite Life of Rare Books

by | Jul 25, 2012 | 0 comments

Peering Into the Exquisite Life of Rare Books is a fascinating article from the NY Times that highlights the “five weeks each summer” when “Rare Book School brings some 300 librarians, conservators, scholars, dealers, collectors and random book-mad civilians together for weeklong intensive courses” on the ins and out of the antiquarian book world.  Founded at Columbia University in 1983 by the scholar Terry Belanger, Rare Book School has since moved to the University of Virginia in Charlottesville but remains a serious pursuit where students tackle Advanced Descriptive Bibliography, the History of Bookbinding and other topics related to rare books including “a number of classes about digitization.”

Although students are exposed to the University of Virginia’s rare book collection during their stay “what makes the experience unique, … is the chance to see — and touch — a huge variety of objects from the school’s own 80,000-item teaching collection, including many that have been folded, stained, waterlogged, written in, worm-eaten …”  For the confirmed bibliophile, it sounds like dying and going to heaven.

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