So, you’re a somewhat new[ish] antiquarian bookseller, who just got in a fairly uncommon 18th C. book on conjuring… and you ask yourself, is there a reference one could consult regarding same, that would give the pagination scheme, and number of required plates? YES! In this case, Raymond Stott’s BIBLIOGRAPHY OF ENGLISH CONJURING, 1581 – 1876.
Of course, that question of where to go, what reference to use, can come into play for a number of authors, subjects, time-periods, whathaveyou. The solution: RBS course L-25.
Joel Silver, the Director of the renowned Lilly Library, University of Indiana, has been teaching this course for around a decade now. From the RBS Course description, here’s what he covers during the week:
This course presents a systematic introduction to approximately 350 printed and electronic reference sources for researching rare books. Emphasis will be placed on sources in the fields of early printed books; British and American literature; historical Americana; voyages and travels; maps and atlases; science and medicine; and the book arts. In class sessions, the instructor will cover details related to the compilation of each of the sources and will provide information about their strengths and weaknesses, as well as strategies on how they can be used effectively. Students will receive listings containing bibliographical information on the sources discussed, along with reproductions of selected pages or entries from some of the sources.
The course is intended for special collections librarians, antiquarian booksellers, and collectors, at all levels, who are interested in finding out more about the books in their care. Although there are no prerequisites, a basic understanding of the principles of descriptive bibliography would be helpful.
I’ve personally taken this course. The course is wonderful, Joel is nothing short of amazing, and even better for you, since I so believe in both the course & its instructor, I’ll pay the course tuition for an up-n-coming bookseller. Yep, the Tavistock Books Educational Scholarship is for Joel’s course. From the last paragraph of the RBS course description:
The Tavistock Books Educational Scholarship is a full-tuition scholarship opportunity that is available to all antiquarian booksellers interested in taking this course. For more information, please visit the Tavistock Scholarship page.
So, this blog, in essence, a scholarship announcement. If you’re a bookseller, they say success depends on two factors: what you know, and who you know. Both can be obtained at RBS, in this case, tuition-paid. Applications now being accepted.