Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Rare Books Librarianship ii
Academic Year
Distance Learning
Reading List
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Bibliographical exercise  40%
Semester Assessment Essay ( circa 2,000 words)  60%
Supplementary Assessment Submission of supplementary coursework for failed course elements of coursework in line with the with the learing outcomes of the original assignment.  100%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

* Discuss the development of the printed book and some of its major participants in continental Europe.

* Analyse the principal physical characteristics of page layout in a printed book of the hand-press period.

* Identify the principal method of book binding and problems of their conservation.

* Explain the different methods of book illustration.

* Outline the purposes and techniques of descriptive bibliography.

* Write a bibliographical description of a printed book.

* Transcribe a simple handwritten text of the early modern period.

* Outline the use of provenance evidence in book history.

* Describe the different types of catalogues and bibliographies used in rare books collections.

  • Create appropriate MARC catalogue records for a collection of early printed books by re-using existing machine-readable records or creating new ones.

* Examine the place of the rare book in the contemporary academic and commercial context.

Brief description

This is the second of two modules on rare books librarianship. It provides a more detailed examination of aspects of this specialist field, looking in particular at the development of the printed book in continental Europe in the hand-press period ( to approximately 1850) and examining the problems involved in creating descriptive bibliographies and catalogues of early printed material.

This module will enable students to consider the book as a physical object (typography, bindings, illustration, evidence of ownership) and to understand its place in the modern scholarly context.


Unit One: History of the book; the Continental Book
Unit Two: The Look of the book: binding and illustration
Unit Three: Descriptive bibliography
Unit Four: Traces of Ownership
Unit Five: Catalogues and cataloguing
Unit Six: Beyond the book

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number
Communication Writing and presenting skills.
Improving own Learning and Performance Implicitly, by building on materials from the introductory modules and development of skills within this module.
Information Technology Use of web-based catalogues and databases; use of web based conference facilities.
Personal Development and Career planning Use of library working environment in activites and assignments in a specialist area of library and information studies.
Problem solving Analysis and description of the physical make-up and appearance of early printed books.
Research skills Several activies involve a researched follow-up taught examples.
Subject Specific Skills Bibliographical analysis and description, rare books cataloguing, identification of engraving techniques, provenance research.
Team work


This module is at CQFW Level 7