Understanding and Managing Rare Books at Dundee University


Originally posted on The Victorian Librarian:

Image source: CAIS “My Modules” link image

Since I first heard about this course – I think via the Rare Books and Special Collections JISC mailing list – I really wanted to sign up. I managed to be sensible, in terms of time management, and finally registered for the September 2013-January 2014 intake.

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About bibliodeviant

This is the journal of Adrian Harrington Rare Books and all who sail in her. Information, updates, rantings, musings and pretty pictures related (loosely I would imagine) to the world of rare and antiquarian books will be brought to you by a number of different personalities, some of whom cohabit in the same person's head. We welcome queries, comments and contributions of virtually any description, and in return we will attempt to rein in our multitudinous personality disorders and deliver wonders and joys beyond compare. At least that's the plan. View all posts by bibliodeviant

2 responses to “Understanding and Managing Rare Books at Dundee University

  • The Victorian Librarian

    Thank you for reblogging! I’m curious, as a rare books seller as opposed to a rare books library, what would you look for to be on the course that isn’t already there? In terms of the skills you’d want in your staff.

    • bibliodeviant

      That’s a good question actually. The skills are largely the same, attention to detail, ability to compress large amounts of specialised information into cramped spaces and due attention to prior sources of information, bibliographies, catalogue archives and the like. The problem is often that our relationship with the item is often far more brief than that of a librarian and archivist and a lot of the effort is directed towards making the object sound appealing (although often the book can handle that job itself), there’s a financial imperative involved. I would imagine a lot of the differences would depend on the size of the form and the role of the individual within it. In a firm the size of Baumans in New York, or Maggs Brothers in London I would imagine there is far less “culture shock” between the academic and commercial bookworlds, in a smaller firm where you are compelled to be a jack of all trades then some academic rigour and depth will be sacrificed in favour of marketing. I’m going going to continue to think about this, I think it’s something I might end up having to discuss here: http://www.yabseminar.com/
      Jonathan

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