Gwybodaeth Modiwlau

Module Identifier
Module Title
Introduction to Rare Book Librarianship
Academic Year
Distance Learning
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion

Learning Outcomes

After completing this module you should be able to:

  • define the nature and purpose of rare-book libraries;
  • discuss the history of the printed book in Western Europe, especially in Britain;
  • identify the principal physical characteristics of a printed book of the hand-press period;
  • explain the general principles of the printing process in the hand-press period;
  • explain the roles of the various tradesmen and craftsmen within the book trade, such as printer, bookseller, binder, papermaker, compositor;
  • demonstrate how to identify a book of the hand-press period using the standard bibliographical reference tools for English printed materials;
  • analyse the main curatorial and management problems facing a rare-books librarian, including security, conservation, information technology, and reader services;
  • devise a promotional strategy for a rare-books collection

Brief description

This is the first of two modules on rare-books librarianship and it provides a general introduction to this specialist field. It gives a brief overview of the development of the printed book in the hand-press period (to approximately 1850) and examines the problems of identifying and making available valuable and early printed materials in libraries.
The aim of this module is to enable students to identify materials in a rare-books collection and give them the appropriate curatorial care, give help and advice to the general public about materials in a rare-books collection, and to deal appropriately with bibliographical queries and promotion.


This module is at CQFW Level 6