Selected Presentations and Documents from the 2010 RBMS Preconference

Below is a list of programs from the 2010 RBMS Preconference for which electronic files are available. Not all presentations are represented. For a complete list of programs from the 2010 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 and Video Files

Please send all concerns or comments about these files to the 2010 Preconference Program Chair John H. Overholt. For ideas regarding future improvements and innovations, please contact the 2010-2011 RBMS Chair, Henry F. Raine.

The audio is recorded digitally and compressed in stereo 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 -recorded several presentations at the RBMS 51st 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:


Photograph of John Overholt posted with permission.

I. Welcome and Opening Plenary: The Philadelphia Area Consortium of Special Collections Libraries [audio]

Derick Dreher, Rosenbach Museum & Library
Eric Pumroy, Bryn Mawr College
Holly Mengel, PACSCL [slides]

II. The Ocean of Notions: Building a Cultural Commons [audio]

Michael Edson, Smithsonian Institution [slides]
Will Noel, Walters Art Museum [slides]

III. Closing Plenary: Writing, Printing, and Filing 1500-2010 [audio]

Peter Stallybrass,University of Pennsylvania
Heather Wolfe, Folger Shakespeare Library









Plenary 3

Photograph of Merrilee Proffitt posted with permission.

A. Cutting to the Core: Letting Go of Functions and Services [audio]

Merrilee Proffitt, OCLC RLG Programs (moderator)
Michael Fox, Minnesota Historical Society 
Mark Greene, University of Wyoming
Eleanor Brown, Cornell University

In an era of limited and decreasing resources and seemingly limitless new expectations, special collections must go beyond merely streamlining workflows. This seminar will focus on the question, “what can we stop doing?” Panelists will discuss approaches to rationalizing functions and services in order to do what’s most important, rather than continuing to add to a long list of “must dos.”

C. Quick Innovations for Teaching with Special Collections [audio]

Anne Bahde, San Diego State University
Jeffrey Makala, University of South Carolina
Mattie Taormina, Stanford University

As pedagogical methods for using special collections materials continue to evolve, exciting innovations are beginning to emerge from our classrooms. In this seminar, three librarians present tools, projects, class models, and exercises that can successfully engage students (and teachers) with historical materials. Intended as a free exchange of best practices, please come ready to share and discuss your own primary source teaching experiences.

D. Inspired by the Library: Artists in Collaboration with Special Collections [video]

Richenda Brim, Getty Research Institute (moderator)
Farrar Fitzgerald, Rosenbach Museum & Library
Jessica Pigza, New York Public Library
Susan Shifrin, Berman Museum of Art at Ursinus College

As special collections pursue novel ways to promote and support the use of their materials, they often turn to artists whose work can highlight and interpret a collection in fresh and unexpected ways. This seminar will explore the varied ways artists and libraries collaborate in programming, projects, exhibitions, and more.

E. Collections Processing: Innovations in Student Involvement [audio]

Tara Olivero, Goucher College (moderator)
Cassie Brand, Goucher College
Kenneth Giese, Goucher College
Christopher Harter, Amistad Research Center, Tulane University
Allison Jai O’Dell, Goucher College
Laura J. Thomson, Amistad Research Center, Tulane University

To address backlogs of unprocessed materials, more special collections libraries are involving students in their workflows. This practice not only expedites the processing of collections by talented young scholars, it also provides a fresh perspective on the research potential of the materials, and encourages partnerships with faculty to incorporate special collections into their curricula and teaching methods. Presenters will discuss the training process, documentation, the development of policies and instructional materials, and lessons learned.

F. Collaborating and Digressing in the Margins: Digital Tools for Collaboration II [audio]

Ben Vershbow, New York Public Library
Eddie A. Tejeda, Independent Technologist is a tool for collaborative editing which evolved out of experiments at the Institute for the Future of the Book in New York. It allows long documents to be openly discussed paragraph-by-paragraph through chains of digressions. A demonstration by’s developers will be followed by  a discussion of how the tool can be used for Section business, as well as for scholarly publication and peer review.

Plenary 2

Photograph of Erika Dowell and Ellen Ellickson posted with permission.

G. Bridging the gap: Communication between catalogers and archivists [audio]

Megan Lewis, Duke University (moderator)
Kathy Wisser, Simmons Graduate School of Library & Information Science
Margaret Nichols, Cornell University [slides]

How can catalogers and archivists better work together for the benefit of their users, public services staff, conservators, and the collection in general? More and more people self-identify as "special collections catalogers" rather than either book or manuscript catalogers. How are current trends blurring the lines between the roles of rare book catalogers and technical services archivists? This promises to be a lively discussion of the interaction between the archival and rare book communities' practices, standards and cultures.

H. Recruiting Members -- of Underrepresented Racial and Ethnic Groups-- to the Special Collections Library Profession [audio] [slides]

Sara S. Fisher, Yale University
Athena Jackson, Louisiana State University 
Fernando Peña, Grolier Club

In support of RBMS’ efforts to encourage greater diversity in the Special Collection Library profession, members of the Diversity Committee have conducted recruitment events targeting local students and paraprofessionals  just prior to ALA’s Midwinter meeting. A Toolkit, developed by the committee, is now available to help any member of RBMS conduct similar sessions at his or her own institution. This seminar will demonstrate use of the Toolkit, give examples of past presentations, and give advice on undertaking your own recruitment efforts.

I. Born-Digital Manuscripts: A Primer [video | transcript]

Jennifer Schaffner, OCLC RLG Programs (moderator)
Laura Carroll, Emory University [slides]
Erika Farr, Emory University
Michael Olson, Stanford University [slides]
Ben Goldman, University of Wyoming [slides]

Don’t be frightened! “Hybrid collections” are a relatively new thing. What are the four or five simple things that everyone – librarian, archivist, administrator - needs to know? The authorities in this seminar will demystify collecting, preserving, describing and providing access to born-digital materials. It’s early on, but tools and best practices for holistic management of born-digital manuscripts are emerging. Speakers will share tips, hints and lessons learned from both mainstream and high-profile digital collections.

J. Collaborative Exhibitions [audio]

Richard Noble, Brown University (moderator)
Lynne Farrington, University of Pennsylvania
Molly Schwartzburg, The University of Texas at Austin

Two curators show how collaboration can help exhibitions programs to meet rising expectations from administrators and visitors alike. Discussion of successes, failures, and wisdom gained from projects with collaborative foundations; producing exhibitions with partner institutions; fostering students and faculty as co-curators and consultants; and working with PR, marketing, and digital staff to extend exhibitions into multimedia and the web.

K. Taking our pulse: the OCLC Research survey of special collections and archives [audio]

Jackie Dooley, OCLC RLG Programs (moderator)
William L. Joyce, The Pennsylvania State University
Stephen Enniss, Folger Shakespeare Library
Suzy Taraba, Wesleyan University
Tom Hickerson, University of Calgary

OCLC Research has just completed a survey of special collections and archives in academic and research libraries in the U.S. and Canada. Five library consortia participated: RLG, ARL, IRLA, Oberlin, and CARL (Canada). The panelists will discuss key outcomes relative to their consortia, followed by Q&A with the audience.

More information about the OCLC Research survey, including related documents, is available on the OCLC website.


Case Studies Panels

Four Case Studies in Collaboration panels were offered, two of which were recorded.


Photograph of Doug Denne, Barbara Heritage, Jennifer Lee, Gerald Cloud, and John Buchtel posted with permission.

II. Teaching [audio]

Julie Grob, University of Houston Libraries
“1771: The Benefits of a Semester Long Collaboration with a Faculty Member”

Marianne Hansen, Bryn Mawr College Library
“‘That Title Makes Me Think of Underwear’: One Academic, One Librarian, and 15 College Kids Create an Exhibition”

Marilyn Francus, West Virginia University, and Stewart Plein, Independent Scholar Librarian
“Lessons Learned and New Opportunities: Collaborating on the Rare Book Pedagogy Module” [slides]

III. Digitization [audio]

Robin M. Katz, The University of Vermont Libraries
“Laying the Building Blocks for Our Collaborative Digital Future: Outreach at the University of Vermont Libraries’ Center for Digital Initiatives” [slides]

John Anderies, Haverford College, and Chris Densmore, Swarthmore College
“Among Friends: Haverford and Swarthmore Colleges’ Collaborative Quaker Digitizing Projects”

David Bindle, University of Saskatchewan
“The Saskatchewan Digital Alliance”