Module Identifier DS36310  
Academic Year 2003/2004  
Co-ordinator Dr Christopher M Baggs  
Semester Available all semesters  
Pre-Requisite DS36210 , Access to a working rare books collection.  
Course delivery Other    
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Assessment A quasi-facsimile transcription inc. catalogue entry and commentary (1500 word equivalent) - weighted 40% 
Semester Assessment Essay 2,500 words - weighted 60%   

Learning outcomes

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

Brief description

This is the second of two modules on rare-books librarianship. It provides a more detailed examination of aspects of the 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 involved in creating descriptive bibliographies and catalogues of early printed materials.
This module will enable students to consider the book as a physical object (typography, bindings, illustration, evidence of ownership) and to understandits place in the modern scholarly context.


The geography of early printing; Elements of page layout in early printed books; Scholar printers of the Renaissance; Christopher Plantin, prince of printers, 1520(?)-1589; The rise of the publisher

Book binding; Management of a bindings collection; Book illustration; Some aids to identification of technique

What do we mean by "bibliography"? Bibliographies and catalogues; Edition, issue and state; Transcription; The collation formula; Ideal copy; Typographical analysis; Page measurements; Analysis of contents; Census of copies; Copy-specific information; Annotation and notes; Setting out a description

The study of handwriting; Provenance information

Types of rare-books catalogue; MARC cataloguing; Copy-specific details; Retro-conversion; Book-in-hand cataloguing; form-based cataloguing; on-line cataloguing; Derived cataloguing; Indexing issues

Policy issues; Describing non-book collections; Museum objects; Photographic materials; Scrapbooks and albums; Printed ephemera; Newspapers; Maps; Sound recordings


The module aims to allow student who have successfully completed module DS36210 Introduction to Rare Books Librarianship to:

Reading Lists

** Recommended Background
Bowers, Fredson (1987) Principles of bibliographical description Winchester: St.Paul's Bibliographies
Brown, M.P (1990) A guide to western historical scripts from antiquity to 1600 London: The British Library
Davison, Peter ed (1992) The book encompassed: studies in twentieth-century bibliography Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
Gascoigne, Bamber (1998) How to Identify Prints London: Thames and Hudson
Gaskell, Philip (1995) A new introduction to bibliography Winchester: St.Paul's Bibliographies
Marks, P.J.M (1998) The British Library Guide to Bookbinding; history and techniques London: The British Library
McKerrow, R.B (1995) An introduction to bibliography for literary students Winchester: St.Paul's bibliographies
McLean, Ruari (1992) The Thames & Hudson Manual of typography London: Thames & Hudson
Preston, J.E.F. and L. Yeandle (1992) English handwriting 1400-1650: an introductory manual New York
Steinberg, S. H (1996) Five hundered years of printing London: The British Library and Oak Knoll Press
Twyman, Michael (1998) The British Library Guide to Printing: history and techniques London: The British Library


This module is at CQFW Level 6