Selected Presentations and Documents from the 2009 RBMS Preconference

Below is a list of programs from the 2009 RBMS Preconference for which electronic files are available. Not all presentations are represented. For a complete list of programs from the 2009 Preconference please see the complete online schedule or refer to the PDF version of the print program. Files available range from PDFs to digital audio files. Please refer to each title to see what files are available.

Audio File Test

This year RBMS undertook a test to determine what providing digital audio recordings of preconference programming would entail, from required equipment to on-site and editing expertise and delivery systems. Below you will find audio files for most of the plenary speakers, special welcoming remarks and historical introductions, all of the speakers from one of the seminars, and all nine of the short paper presentations. We hope that what we have learned in this experiment will benefit future preconference organizers in providing even more content. RBMS would like to extend special thanks to OCLC Research which loaned the digital audio recording devices and offered technical expertise during and after the preconference. Audio recording remains in the testing phases and so represents a work in progress. Please send all concerns or comments about these files to the 2009 Preconference Program Chair R. Arvid Nelsen. For ideas regarding future improvements and innovations, please contact the 2009-2010 RBMS Chair, Deborah J. Leslie, at

The audio is recorded digitally and compressed in monaural MP3. The files must either be downloaded and played in a stand-alone media player, or can be played with a browser plug-in. Windows Media Player and Quicktime are both media players are free to download and have been tested on these files.

As part of ACRL/RBMS’s professional development efforts, ACRL/RBMS audio-recorded several presentations at the RBMS 50th Annual Preconference for distribution after the preconference. Some speakers also provided ACRL/RBMS with presentation files for distribution after the preconference. This in no way relinquishes the authors'/presenters' ownership of this material nor waives their right to continue to present it and/or portions thereof as they choose.

Plenary Sessions:

Plenary sessions featured both plenary speakers and special welcoming and historical remarks.

Plenary Session I

Academic Research Universities
John T. Casteen III, President of the University of Virginia, [PDF]

Plenary Session II

Special Welcoming Remarks to the RBMS Preconference
Erika Linke, President of ACRL, Associate Dean of University Libraries, Carnegie Mellon, [audio]

Working with our Research Communities
Professor Francis X. Blouin, Director, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan, [audio]

Plenary Session III

Special Historical Remarks: The Boston 1980 RBMS Pre-Conference and the Global History of the Book: a Note, for the Record
Ian Willison, Senior Research Fellow, Institute of English Studies, University of London, [audio]

Collecting, Auctions, and the Book Trade
Katharine Kyes Leab, Editor, American Book Prices Current, [audio]

Publishing and the Popular Consumption of Print Materials
A panel featuring: Eli Horowitz, Publisher, McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern; Tod Lippy, Editor, Esopus, [audio] [Horowitz PDF] [Lippy PDF]

Plenary Session IV

The Law and Policy of the Global Information Ecosystem
Siva Vaidhyanathan, Associate Professor of Media Studies, University of Virginia Law School, [audio]

Preservation and Large-Scale Digitization
Oya Y. Rieger, Associate University Librarian for Information Technologies, Cornell University, [audio], [PDF]

Plenary Session V

Independent Research Libraries
Ellen S. Dunlap, President, American Antiquarian Society, [audio]

Academic Library Systems, Domestic and International
Sarah E. Thomas, The Bodley’s Librarian and Director, Oxford University, [audio] [PDF]


Short Papers: New and Emerging Voices

The short paper sessions were designed to gather perspectives of new special collections professionals on the nature of our collections, institutions and the future of our work. Recent graduates of library and information studies programs, experienced librarians making a career change, and representatives of groups traditionally underrepresented in the archival, rare book and manuscript library professions shared their points of view.

Session 1

Moderated by Mattie Taormina, Stanford University

Special Collections at Risk
Cristine Noriko Paschild, Head of Special Collections and University Archivist, Branford P. Millar Library, Portland State University, [audio]

Beyond Reformatting: Special Collections and Digital Humanities at the Crossroads
Gregory J. Prickman, Assistant Head, Special Collections & University Archives Creator & Designer, The Atlas of Early Printing, The University of Iowa Libraries, [audio]

Special Collections Cataloging in the 21st Century Academic Library
Michelle Mascaro, Special Collections Cataloger, University of Akron, Bierce Library, [audio] [PDF]

Session 2

Moderated by Shannon Supple, University of California, Berkeley

Building Community While Building a Library: Community Partnerships and the Creation of the Mayme A. Clayton Library and Museum
Krystal Appiah, Graduate Student, UCLA, MLIS, Archival Studies (June 2009), Intern, Mayme A. Clayton Library and Museum, [audio] [PDF]

Putting the Pieces Together: Curating the Slocum Puzzle Collection at Indiana University's Lilly Library
Jillian Hinchliffe, Curator of Puzzles, Lilly Library, Indiana University, [audio]

Dada v. Dada: Changes in the Use of Library Materials in Museum Exhibitions (and what that changes for museum libraries)
Sheelagh Bevan, Assistant Librarian, Reference, The Museum of Modern Art, [PDF] [audio]

Session 3

Moderated by James P. Ascher, University of Colorado at Boulder

Digitization, Inspiration, and the Next Generation of Collecting -- Or, What We Talk About When We Talk About Research
William Hansen, Assistant Curator of Collections, Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library
Duke University, [audio] [PDF]

Seamless Marketing: The Impact of the Web on Special Collections Patronage, a Case Study from the Carmelitana Collection
Allison Jai O'Dell, Librarian / Cataloger, The Carmelitana Collection, Whitefriars Hall, [audio] [PDF]

Special Collections' Golden Age
Michael Paulus, Jr., Archivist and Special Collections Librarian, Whitman College and Northwest Archives
Penrose Library, [audio] [PDF]



A. Taking the Shifting Gears Challenge

Merrilee Proffitt, OCLC Research (moderator) [audio]
Karen B. Weiss, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution [audio]
Laura Clark Brown, Southern Historical Collection, U of North Carolina, Chapel Hill [audio]
Helena Zinkham, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress [audio]

The ideas put forward in the paper Shifting Gears (September 2007) seemed radical at the time, but they are beginning to look more mainstream. This seminar will include presentations from institutions who have tried to insert "more product" into their digital workflow, while keeping in mind the need for doing so with "less process." Presenters will focus on sharing practical information for those hoping to ramp up digitization of collections.

F. Finding Common Ground: CLIR Postdoctoral Fellows on Scholarly Engagement with Hidden Special Collections and Archives

Kelly Miller, Harrison Institute/University of Virginia Library (moderator)
Gabrielle Dean, The Johns Hopkins University
Patricia Hswe, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Graduate School of Library and Information Science
Christa Williford, Council on Library and Information Resources

What is the role of the scholar in the 21st-century library and archival environment? How do today’s librarians, archivists, and scholars interact with one another to realize their distinct professional goals? Each presenter is a current or former Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) Postdoctoral Fellow. Based on their varied experience, the Fellows will offer fresh perspectives on scholarly engagement – a critical topic for the success of special collections libraries and archives in the digital age.


G. Public Services and 'Un-Hidden' Collections: What We Know and What We Need to Know

Alice Schreyer, University of Chicago (moderator)
Jennifer Schaffner, OCLC Research
Shannon E. Bowen, University of Wyoming
Victoria Steele, New York Public Library

Greene-Meissner’s 2005 article, “More Product, Less Process,” proposed nothing short of a transformation in thinking about archival processing. Archivists have debated the underlying principles and discussed how to adapt the approach to the unique contexts of individual institutions. Despite generating considerable controversy, MPLP has had an extraordinary influence on archival processing that is now beginning to be seen and felt in our reading rooms. Panelists will discuss successful strategies to provide access to collections and to assess the impact of these initiatives on researchers and public services staff.

Introductory Remarks Alice Schreyer [PDF]

Assessing the Impact of Exposing Hidden Collections Jennifer Schaffner [Comments PDF] [Presentation PDF]

Unhidden Collections and the People Who Love Them: What We Know about Use and Users on both Sides of the Reference Desk Shannon Bowen Maier [Comments PDF] [Presentation PDF]

H. Citing Bibliographies in Rare Book Cataloging

Randal S. Brandt, University of California Berkeley (moderator)
Deborah J. Leslie, Folger Shakespeare Library
Eva Guggemos, Yale University

The Bibliographic Standards committee is revising the rules for recording bibliographic citations in catalog records. The revisions aim to make the citations easier to understand. The seminar speakers will discuss the goals of the revision process and how these citations can be used as a research tool by public service librarians, curators and scholars.

Citations in the Bibliographic Record Deborah J. Leslie [PDF]
(Recommended Viewing Instructions: This presentation is designed to be read comfortably with facing pages. Please set your Reader –> View –> Page Display –> Two-Up // Show Cover Page During Two-Up checked.)

Cryptic Reference?: Bibliographic Citations and Users Eva Guggemos [Google Docs]
(To view speaker notes, go to: Actions –> Show Speaker Notes)

Cryptic References: Bibliographic Citations in Rare Book Cataloging Randal S. Brandt [PDF]



Web 2.0 Basics for Special Collections Librarians

Kate Theimer, ArchivesNext

Lynne M. Thomas, Northern Illinois University

The digital landscape has shifted once again, and the web as we knew it has changed significantly. Users now expect dynamic content, and the ability to contribute to its creation. It may seem like every day brings a new buzzword or tool that you need to know about to stay current. This workshop examines the advent of the read-write web, often called "web 2.0," in the context of special collections work. What are the essential Web 2.0 tools, what do they do, and which ones are worth your time? How can we make plans to manage these new streams of dynamic conversation that may affect our future collections? This beginner-level workshop will examine and discuss tools such as blogs, wikis, YouTube, social networking, tagging, and Second Life, with specific examples of how they are being used and managed by special collections and archives across the country.

[slides] [wiki]



The preconference this year saw both the publication of an official program and a special keepsake book in honor of the 50th Anniversary

Official Program: Seas of Change, Navigating the Cultural and Institutional Contexts of Special Collections [PDF]

A Commemorative Keepsake Volume Celebrating the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Section of the Association of College and Research Libraries [PDF]