2010 ALA Conference Program

To Catch a Thief: Cataloging and the Security of Special Collections [audio]

Sunday, June 27, 2010
1:30 - 3:30 p.m.
Washington Convention Center, Room 146C

Presented by the Rare Books and Manuscripts Section (RBMS)
Co-sponsored by ALCTS: Collection Management & Development Section (CMDS) and ALA: Map & Geography Round Table (MAGERT)

RBMS Conference Program Postcard

Mark Dimunation, Chief, Rare Book & Special Collections Division, Library of Congress
Bonnie Magness-Gardiner, Manager, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Art Theft Program
Travis McDade, Curator of Law Rare Books, University of Illinois College of Law
Jennifer Schaffner, Program Officer, OCLC

Nina Schneider, Head Cataloger, William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, University of California, Los Angeles

Program Summary:

How can libraries fulfill the need to provide access to their collections while simultaneously protecting them? Can full catalog records deter theft? How have they been instrumental in identifying and reclaiming stolen materials? Recognizing ongoing pressures on technical service staff and library administrators due to budget cutbacks and competing priorities, this program will explore how balancing faster and cheaper cataloging with sufficiently robust descriptions benefits the security of special collections in libraries.

Speaker Biographies:

Mark Dimunation Mark Dimunation was appointed Chief of the Rare Book and Special Collections Division at the Library of Congress in 1998. As Chief, Mr. Dimunation is responsible for the development and management of the Rare Book Collection, the largest collection of rare books in North America. He came to the Library of Congress from Cornell University, where he had served since 1991 as Curator of Rare Books and Associate Director for Collections in the Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, and taught in the English Department. He specializes in 18th and 19th century English and American printing and has considerable experience working with antiquarian materials as well as fine press and contemporary artists’ books. He is currently completing an extensive project to reconstruct Thomas Jefferson's Library at the Library of Congress. He has lectured extensively about book collections and has authored a number of articles and exhibition catalogs, including a recent study of Andrew Dickson White as a nineteenth-century book collector. Recently Mr. Dimunation was elected as a Member of the American Antiquarian Society.
Bonnie Magness-Gardiner Bonnie Magness-Gardiner is Manager of the Art Theft Program at the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the Art Theft Program was established after the looting of the Baghdad Museum in 2004. Dr. Magness-Gardiner coordinates the work of 13 special agents assigned to various geographic regions, and manages the National Stolen Art File. She received her Ph.D. in Near Eastern Archaeology from the University of Arizona. After teaching archaeology for five years, she entered government service as program manager for the Archaeology Program at the National Endowment for the Humanities then became a program manager for the American Memory Project at the Library of Congress. For eight years she was the Senior Cultural Property Analyst for the Department of State, implementing the 1970 UNESCO Convention against illicit traffic in cultural property. She also served as the program manager for cultural heritage restoration projects in Iraq. She has been with the FBI since 2005.
Travis McDade Travis McDade is Curator of Law Rare Books at the University of Illinois College of Law. He researches and writes on the subject of rare book, map and document theft and teaches a class at Illinois called Rare Books, Crime & Punishment. In 2006, Praeger published McDade’s fascinating account of Columbia University’s loss and partial recovery of several million dollars worth of rare books from Butler Library in The Book Thief: The True Crimes of Daniel Spiegelman.
Jennifer Schaffner Jennifer Schaffner is a Program Officer with OCLC Research and the RLG Partnership. She designs projects and leads work with the RLG Partnership concerning archives, rare books, manuscripts, scholarly expectations, data curation, and collaboration among libraries, archives and museums. Jennifer has an MLIS from the University of Alberta and an MA in history from UC Irvine. Jennifer specializes in public services, special collections, and support for scholarly research. She is active professionally in RBMS, SAA, APHA and SHARP. Prior to joining OCLC Research, Jennifer worked in rare book libraries and archives at UCLA and the California Historical Society. Earlier her career focused on general reference, public services and bibliography at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New York Public Library, and Stanford.