The aim of the course is to explore in a broad way the huge contemporary market in rare and collectable books – in particular (but not exclusively) the market in literary first editions and manuscripts of relatively ‘modern’ vintage – the English-language literature of the last 200 years. There will be discussion of the basic tenets and intellectual purposes of collecting, the interplay between academic research interests and market forces, the gauging of rarity and the calculation of value, the ‘rules’ of the game, and an overview of the current workings, structure, weaknesses and strengths of the rare book trade in the twenty-first century. Taught entirely by experienced practitioners, the course is intended to provide a thorough grounding and background for librarians, academics, collectors, booksellers and others, who (either professionally or privately) need to engage with this market, and require a more detailed insight into the nuances and subtleties of the field.
London - with its long history of book production, its role as one of the world’s major publishing centres, its famous libraries, museums, archives, and antiquarian bookshops - is the ideal place in which to study the history of the book. And the London Rare Books School (LRBS) is one of the world’s leading institutions in this field. In June and July 2016 London Rare Books Schools once again offers a series of five-day, intensive courses on a variety of book-related subjects to be taught in and around Senate House which is the centre of the University of London's federal system.
The courses are taught by internationally renowned scholars, including the ILAB affiliates and ABA members Angus O’Neill and Laurence Worms, using the unrivalled library and museum resources of London, including the British Library, the Victoria and Albert Museum, Senate House Libraries, and many more. Each course consists of thirteen seminars amounting in all to twenty hours of teaching time spread between Monday lunchtime and Friday afternoon. In small groups of no more than 12 participants, the students have plenty of opportunity to talk to the teachers and to get very close to the books. All courses stress the materiality of the book, so students will have close encounters with remarkable books and manuscripts and other artefacts from some of the world's greatest collections. There will also be timetabled 'library time' that will allow students to explore the rich resources of the University's Senate House Library, one of the UK's major research libraries.