The tabbed panels below include descriptions of the preconference program sessions with links to information about the various speakers and presenters.
Complete schedule (PDF, rev. 5/26/09)
- Main Program
- Short Papers
- Discussion Sessions
The main preconference program will feature plenary sessions addressing nine cultural and institutional contexts of special collections librarianship. We have invited distinguished speakers who represent these contexts to discuss major trends and issues faced by their communities – past, present, and future – and to help us consider their relevance to our work as library and archives professionals:
The History of the Section and the Preconference
David H. Stam, University Librarian Emeritus, Syracuse University
Plenary Session I
Keynote address Academic Research Universities
John T. Casteen, III, President of the University of Virginia
Plenary Session II
Working with our Research Communities
Professor Francis X. Blouin, Director, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan
Professional Organizations and Library Education
Beverly P. Lynch, Professor, Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, University of California, Los Angeles
The Boston 1980 RBMS Pre-Conference and the Global History of the Book:
a Note, for the Record
Ian Willison, Senior Research Fellow, Institute of English Studies, University of London
Plenary Session III
Collecting, Auctions, and the Book Trade
Katharine Kyes Leab, Editor, American Book Prices Current
Publishing and the Popular Consumption of Print Materials
A panel featuring: Ted Genoways, Editor, Virginia Quarterly Review; Eli Horowitz, Publisher, McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern; Tod Lippy, Editor, Esopus
Plenary Session IV
The Law and Policy of the Global Information Ecosystem
Siva Vaidhyanathan, Associate Professor of Media Studies, University of Virginia Law School
Preservation and Large-Scale Digitization
Oya Y. Rieger, Associate University Librarian for Information Technologies, Cornell University
Plenary Session V
Independent Research Libraries
Ellen S. Dunlap, President, American Antiquarian Society
Academic Library Systems, Domestic and International
Sarah E. Thomas, The Bodley’s Librarian and Director, Oxford University
Plenary sessions will be scheduled on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday mornings.
In addition to the main program, the preconference will feature a lively series of seminars, short papers and discussion groups.
The short paper theme, New and Emerging Voices, is designed to gather perspectives of new special collections professionals on the nature of our collections, institutions and the future of our work. Recent graduates of library and information studies programs, experienced librarians making a career change, and representatives of groups traditionally underrepresented in the archival, rare book and manuscript library professions will share their points of view in half-hour prepared presentations. They will talk about why they have been drawn to the field at this point in time, what they hope to achieve, and where they see cultural and institutional tides taking us in the future.
A Call for Papers was posted on September 2. Selections were made and notifications were sent by December 1. Presentations will be given in three concurrent sessions on Friday afternoon.
Moderated by Mattie Taormina, Stanford University
Special Collections at Risk
Cristine Noriko Paschild
Head of Special Collections and University Archivist
Branford P. Millar Library
Portland State University
Beyond Reformatting: Special Collections and Digital Humanities at the Crossroads
Gregory J. Prickman
Assistant Head, Special Collections & University Archives Creator & Designer, The Atlas of Early Printing
The University of Iowa Libraries
Special Collections Cataloging in the 21st Century Academic Library
Special Collections Cataloger
University of Akron
Moderated by Shannon Supple, University of California, Berkeley
Building Community While Building a Library: Community Partnerships and the Creation of the Mayme A. Clayton Library and Museum
Graduate Student, UCLA, MLIS, Archival Studies (June 2009)
Intern, Mayme A. Clayton Library and Museum
Putting the Pieces Together: Curating the Slocum Puzzle Collection at Indiana University's Lilly Library
Curator of Puzzles
Lilly Library, Indiana University
Dada v. Dada: Changes in the Use of Library Materials in Museum Exhibitions (and what that changes for museum libraries)
Assistant Librarian, Reference
The Museum of Modern Art
Moderated by James Ascher, University of Colorado at Boulder
Digitization, Inspiration, and the Next Generation of Collecting -- Or, What We Talk About When We Talk About Research
Assistant Curator of Collections
Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library
Seamless Marketing: The Impact of the Web on Special Collections Patronage, a Case Study from the Carmelitana Collection
Allison Jai O'Dell
Librarian / Cataloger
The Carmelitana Collection
Special Collections' Golden Age
Michael Paulus, Jr.
Archivist and Special Collections Librarian
Whitman College and Northwest Archives
The program schedule will include five open discussion sessions. The sessions will be held concurrently on Thursday afternoon. Following is a list of the topics and facilitators:
A. Working with Our Parent Organizations, with Examples Drawn from the History of RBMS
Peter Hanff, Deputy Director, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley
Suzy Taraba, Head of Special Collections and University Archivist, Wesleyan University
From the mid-1970s, the Rare Books and Manuscripts Section of the Association of College and Research Libraries began to recreate itself as an organization focused on the grooming and development of professionals in the field. Preconference programming grew stronger, attracting larger attendance each year and generating generous revenues that supported not only the Association of College and Research Libraries, but ultimately RBMS itself. The establishment of strong working task forces, committees, and a regular series of seminar programs enhanced the value of the Section to its members and to others as well. Suzy Taraba and Peter Hanff, reflecting recent and earlier efforts to strengthen RBMS will comment on their experience and encourage general discussion of how important the Rare Books and Manuscripts Section has become to librarians in its field, and how strong participation from many members of the section have helped sustain the Section's momentum into the twenty-first century.
B. Making Preconferences Ready for the Next 50 Years
Elizabeth Johnson, Head Technical Services, Indiana University-Bloomington Lilly Library
Nora Quinlan, Head of Reference, Allvin Sherman Library, Nova Southeastern University
As RBMS celebrates its first 50 years as an organization and its 50th preconference, this is an excellent time to review what factors have made our previous preconferences so successful and at the same time what has made them so challenging for both organizers and attendees.
What can the section do to make sure that future preconferences continue to be important and relevant for many more years to come? Can RBMS continue to do preconferences in the style that we have all come to expect and enjoy? What part of the preconferences should we keep? What part can we do without? Should the preconferences be offered in alternative modalities? What do we need to do to attract a larger and perhaps different audience?
Join a discussion led by two long term members of RBMS who between them have organized five preconferences and have chaired or served on preconference program committees, local arrangements committees, the Seminars Committee, and the Conference Development Committee. Attendees will have the opportunity to discuss ideas for planning future preconferences that offer alternatives to attendees to enrich their participation in our changing times.
C. Many Voices at the Table: Diversity in Special Collections
Julie Grob, Digital Projects and Instruction Librarian, Special Collections, University of Houston
Athena Nicole Jackson, Co-chair, RBMS Diversity Committee
Initially started in 2002 as a task force charged with creating an action plan for jump-starting the sections diversity efforts, the Diversity Committee has evolved into a vibrant and active standing committee. From the beginning, the committee sought to encourage people from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups to join RBMS, and to attract more members of these groups to the field of special collections librarianship. Have we brought these voices to the table? Whose voices are still unheard? Discuss the past, present, and future of diversity in special collections with RBMS Diversity Committee founding chair Julie Grob and current co-chair Athena Jackson.
D. Web 2.0 and Special Collections
John H. Overholt, Assistant Curator, Hyde Collection and Early Modern Books and Manuscripts, Houghton Library, Harvard University
Beth M. Whittaker, Head, Special Collections Cataloging, Ohio State University Libraries
Increasingly, librarians are adopting the tools of Web 2.0 (blogs, wikis, social networks, etc.). This group will discuss how these technologies can be used in the special collections environment to promote collections, create new users, and better serve existing ones.
E. Issues Faced by Small Libraries
Lynne M. Thomas, Head Rare Books/Special Collections, Northern Illinois University
Anne Bahde, Special Collections and University Archives Librarian, San Diego State University
A moderated round-table discussion of issues pertinent to special collections work in departments with small staff or small budgets, including tips, coping mechanisms, and ways to balance meeting user needs with staff resources.
The preconference program will feature nine seminars on a variety of topics pertaining to special collections librarianship. Seminars will be presented in three sessions of three concurrent seminars.
A. Taking the Shifting Gears Challenge
Merrilee Proffitt, OCLC Research (moderator)
Karen B. Weiss, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution
Laura Clark Brown, Southern Historical Collection, U of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Helena Zinkham, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress
The ideas put forward in the paper Shifting Gears (September 2007) seemed radical at the time, but they are beginning to look more mainstream. This seminar will include presentations from institutions who have tried to insert "more product" into their digital workflow, while keeping in mind the need for doing so with "less process." Presenters will focus on sharing practical information for those hoping to ramp up digitization of collections.
B. Can an Effective Transfer Policy be Achieved? Guidelines on the Selection and Transfer of Materials from General Collections to Special Collections (Third Edition, July 2008)
Charlotte B. Brown, UCLA University Archives (moderator)
Emily Epstein, University of Colorado Denver
Phyllis Payne, Boston University
Daryl Morrison, University of California Davis
Members of the ACRL/RBMS Selection/Transfer Guidelines task force and seminar attendees will discuss the revised guidelines from the perspectives of cataloging, collection development, preservation, and public services. Attendees will conduct a sorting exercise using materials culled from circulating library collections. The Selection/Transfer guidelines can be viewed at: http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/acrl/standards/selectransfer.cfm.
C. Partners in Processing: Students, Volunteers, and Paraprofessionals in the Library
Kelley Wolfe Bachli, Charles E. Young Research Library, University of California, Los Angeles
Sarah S. Fisher, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University (moderator and presenter)
Jack Robertson, Jefferson Library, Thomas Jefferson Foundation
With a looming backlog, budget cuts, and staffing shortages, it has become essential to be imaginative with staffing resources and delegate what was once considered the professional’s domain to paraprofessionals. This seminar’s three speakers will offer specific observations and general considerations on using student assistants, volunteers, and support staff for cataloging and processing activities that reveal a collection’s hidden treasures.
D. Mold Outbreak! Dealing with Disaster
Alvan Bregman, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Chris Gage, BMS Catastrophe
Jennifer Hain Teper, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
In February 2008, the Rare Book & Manuscript Library at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign closed for ten weeks because of a mold outbreak. This seminar traces the course of the outbreak from discovery to clean-up. Presentations by the conservation librarian, curator and disaster-company manager will shed light on the technical, organizational and emotional aspects of coping with a disaster.
E. Islands in the Bitstream: Special Collections at the Confluence of Information, Authentication, and Technology
Virginia Bartow, New York Public Library (moderator)
Bethany Nowviskie, University of Virginia Library, Scholars Lab
Matthew Knutzen, New York Public Library, Map Division
Henry Raine, New-York Historical Society, member of the RLG Partners Social Metadata Working Group
If Web 1.0 was about information. And Web 2.0 was about communication. Then what will Web 3.0 be about? What should we plan for as we prepare special collections material for digitization? How will collaborations with scholars and researchers, technicians, and other institutions, allow us to build new resources that will be useful outside the confines of our buildings and into the future? The panel presenters will be focusing on geospatial data and digital library collections.
F. Finding Common Ground: CLIR Postdoctoral Fellows on Scholarly Engagement with Hidden Special Collections and Archives
Kelly Miller, Harrison Institute/University of Virginia Library (moderator)
Gabrielle Dean, The Johns Hopkins University
Patricia Hswe, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Graduate School of Library and Information Science
Christa Williford, Council on Library and Information Resources
What is the role of the scholar in the 21st-century library and archival environment? How do today’s librarians, archivists, and scholars interact with one another to realize their distinct professional goals? Each presenter is a current or former Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) Postdoctoral Fellow. Based on their varied experience, the Fellows will offer fresh perspectives on scholarly engagement – a critical topic for the success of special collections libraries and archives in the digital age.
G. Public Services and 'Un-Hidden' Collections: What We Know and What We Need to Know
Alice Schreyer, University of Chicago (moderator)
Jennifer Schaffner, OCLC Research
Shannon E. Bowen, University of Wyoming
Victoria Steele, New York Public Library
Greene-Meissner’s 2005 article, “More Product, Less Process,” proposed nothing short of a transformation in thinking about archival processing. Archivists have debated the underlying principles and discussed how to adapt the approach to the unique contexts of individual institutions. Despite generating considerable controversy, MPLP has had an extraordinary influence on archival processing that is now beginning to be seen and felt in our reading rooms. Panelists will discuss successful strategies to provide access to collections and to assess the impact of these initiatives on researchers and public services staff.
H. Citing Bibliographies in Rare Book Cataloging
Randal S. Brandt, University of California Berkeley (moderator)
Deborah J. Leslie, Folger Shakespeare Library
Eva Guggemos, Yale University
The Bibliographic Standards committee is revising the rules for recording bibliographic citations in catalog records. The revisions aim to make the citations easier to understand. The seminar speakers will discuss the goals of the revision process and how these citations can be used as a research tool by public service librarians, curators and scholars.
I. The Library and Its Friends: Negotiating Change for the 21st Century
Marguerite Ragnow, University of Minnesota
Ed Vermue, Oberlin College
One of the most challenging and important aspects of managing a special collection is working with its “Friends”. This seminar will review some strategies for working with friends groups—some successful, some not so successful—followed by a directed discussion with seminar attendees. The goal is to send participants away with new ideas for working with their own friends groups as they negotiate the changes necessary to meet the challenges of the 21st century.