The three plenary sessions will include an overview of the history and structure of PACSCL and a look at the digital commons and its application to the recent work on the Archimedes Palimpsest. The remainder of the programming will focus on shorter, more interactive sessions in a variety of formats. We will present several panels of case studies, reports on real-world collaborative projects within the special collections profession, describing how collaboration occurred, mistakes made, lessons learned, and successes achieved. In addition, we will offer a series of discussion sessions, providing an opportunity for attendees to hear from their colleagues, and share their own experiences, on topics of mutual interest. Finally, thanks to the hard work of the Seminars Committee, we will present an expanded slate of seminars, with encore presentations of several of those with the greatest interest.

The tabbed panels below include descriptions of the preconference program sessions with links to information about the various speakers and presenters.

Conference Schedule (PDF)

Selected digital content, including audio and video recordings, slides, and handouts, is available here.

  • Main Program
  • Case Studies
  • Discussion Sessions
  • Seminars
  • Workshops


Tuesday, June 22nd
8:00am-5:00pm Registration (Doubletree, Ormandy)
9:30am-7:30pm Booksellers’ Showcase (Doubletree, Ormandy)
9:00am-4:00pm Workshop: Latin for Rare Materials Catalogers
  • Jennifer MacDonald, University of Delaware
  • Jennifer Nelson, University of California
(Doubletree, Maestro)
9:00am-4:00pm Workshop: Building Collections: Acquiring Materials and Working with the Antiquarian Book Trade
  • E. C. Schroeder, Yale University
  • Daniel J. Slive, Southern Methodist University
(Doubletree, Concerto)
9:00am-4:00pm Workshop: Reference Sources for Rare Books

Joel Silver, Indiana University

(Doubletree, Aria)
Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, Academy of Natural Sciences & Free Library of Philadelphia
1:30pm-3:30pm Rosenbach Museum & Library
2:00pm-3:00pm College of Physicians Library & Mütter Museum
2:00pm-3:00pm Philadelphia Museum of Art Library
2:00pm-3:30pm Conservation Center for Art & Historic Artifacts
2:00pm-3:30pm Library Company of Philadelphia & Historical Society of Pennsylvania
2:00pm-4:00pm Masonic Temple and Library
5:00pm-6:00pm Preconference orientation and introduction to RBMS (Doubletree, Orchestra)
6:00pm-7:30pm Opening Reception    (Doubletree, Ormandy)
7:30pm-10:00pm New Members Social


Time Restaurant

1315 Sansom Street Philadelphia, PA 19107 US

Wednesday, June 23rd
7:30am-8:30am Scholarship Breakfast, by invitation (Doubletree, Aria)
8:00am-12:30pm Registration   (Doubletree, Ormandy)
8:00am-12:30pm Leab Awards Display (Doubletree, Ormandy)

Welcome and Opening Plenary: The Philadelphia Area Consortium of Special Collections Libraries

  • Derick Dreher, Rosenbach Museum & Library
  • Eric Pumroy, Bryn Mawr College
  • Holly Mengel, PACSCL
(Doubletree, Ormandy)
10:30am-11:00am Coffee Break (Doubletree, Ormandy)
11:00am–12:30pm Seminars



Seminar A: Cutting to the Core:  Letting Go of Functions and Services

(Doubletree, Ormandy E)

Seminar B: Running (Meetings) With Laptops:  Digital Tools for Collaboration I

(Doubletree, Aria)

Seminar C: Quick Innovations for Teaching with Special Collections

(Doubletree, Ormandy W)
12:30pm-2:00pm Lunch  (On your own)

Case Studies 

  • Panel 1: Outreach
  • Panel 2: Teaching [audio]
  • Panel 3: Digitization [audio]
  • Panel 4: The Profession


  • (Concerto)
  • (Ormandy E)
  • (Ormandy W)
  • (Aria)


3:30pm-4:00pm Beverage Break (Doubletree, Ormandy)

Discussion Sessions   

  • Small and Medium Sized Libraries
  • Understanding and Serving the Userbase
  • Marketing, Branding, and Outreach
  • Working With Donors
  • Progressive Bibliography: Catalogers, Curators, and Crowdsourcing


  • (Concerto)
  • (Ormandy E)
  • (Ormandy W)
  • (Aria)
  • (Maestro)


5:00pm-8:00pm Book Arts Fair, Reception, and Demonstrations

  • University of the Arts
(Dorrance Hamilton Hall, Solmssen Court)
Evening Restaurant Night (Various locations)
Thursday, June 24th
7:30am-8:30am Registration (Doubletree, Lobby)
7:30am-8:30am Shuttles to American Philosophical Society and Chemical Heritage Foundation (Doubletree, Lobby)
9:00am-10:30am Seminars  

Seminar D: Inspired by the Library: Artists in Collaboration with Special Collections

(APS, Franklin Hall)

Seminar E: Collections Processing: Innovations in Student Involvement

(APS, Franklin Room)

Seminar F: Collaborating and Digressing in the Margins: Digital Tools for Collaboration II

(APS, Ullyot Hall)
10:30am-11:00am Coffee Break (APS/CHF)
11:00pm-12:30pm Seminars  

Seminar G: Bridging the Gap: Communication Between Catalogers and Archivists

(APS, Ullyot Hall)

Seminar H: Recruiting Members of Underrepresented Groups to the Profession

(APS, Franklin Room)

Seminar I: Born-Digital Manuscripts: A Primer

(APS, Franklin Hall)

Lunch and Free Time/Tours

1:00pm-2:00pm Chemical Heritage Foundation
1:00pm-3:00pm Independence Seaport Museum
1:30pm-3:00pm American Philosophical Society
2:00pm-3:00pm The Athenaeum of Philadelphia
3:30pm-4:00pm Union League of Philadelphia
12:30pm-2:30pm Shuttles to Doubletree          SW Corner of 4th and Chestnut
4:30pm-6:00pm Plenary Session: The Ocean of Notions: Building a Cultural Commons [audio]
  • Michael Edson, Smithsonian Institution
  • Will Noel, Walters Art Museum
(Union League)
6:00pm-7:30pm Reception (Union League)
Friday, June 25th
8:30am-6:00pm Extended Tours
  • Germantown
  • Delaware
9:00am-10:30am        Seminars



Seminar J: Collaborative Exhibitions

(Doubletree, Ormandy W)

Seminar K: Taking Our Pulse: The OCLC Research Survey of Special Collections and Archives

(Doubletree, Ormandy E)
  Seminar L: Autographs and Manuscripts:  History, Current Trends, and Replevin (Doubletree, Aria)
10:30am-11:00am Coffee Break (Doubletree, Ormandy)

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

  • Peter Stallybrass,University of Pennsylvania
  • Heather Wolfe, Folger Shakespeare Library
(Doubletree, Ormandy)


1:00pm-5:00pm Barnes Foundation
1:00pm-5:00pm Temple University Special Collections
1:00pm-5:00pm University City Archives Walking Tour



There will be four concurrent panels of Case Studies in Collaboration at the Doubletree Hotel on Wednesday, June 23 from 2:00-3:30pm.

Panel 1: Outreach

Richard J. Ring, Providence Public Library
“Reaching Out Is Easier If You Unlock the Gate”

John Vincler, The University of Akron
“What Information Becomes Whose Knowledge? A Case Study in Collaboration to Counter Special Collections and Archives as a Place of Exclusion”

Bridget Burke, University of Alaska, Fairbanks
“Crossing Borders: Creating the documentary bridge between local communities, collections, and the Alaskan landscape”

Panel 2: Teaching

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”

Panel 3: Digitization

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”

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”

Panel 4: The Profession

Deirdre C. Stam and Alice Flynn, Palmer School of Library and Information Science, Long Island University
“IMLS Project ‘Open Sesame’: Digitally oriented Palmer School internships in CUNY’s special collections”

David Sutton, Reading University Library
“International Collaboration in Literary Manuscripts”

Martha O’Hara Conway, University of Michigan
“The Source and the Crowd: Cataloging Islamic Manuscripts at Michigan”



Discussion Sessions

There will be five concurrent Discussion Sessions at the Doubletree Hotel on Wednesday, June 23 from 4:00-5:30pm.

Session 1: Working With Donors
Samuel Streit, Brown University
Merrily Taylor, Washington and Lee University

Session 2: Small and Medium-Sized Libraries
Lynne Thomas, Northern Illinois University
Anne Bahde, San Diego State University

Session 3: Progressive Bibliography: Catalogers, Curators, and Crowdsourcing
James Ascher, University of Colorado at Boulder
Jennifer Schaffner, OCLC Research

Session 4: Understanding and Serving the Userbase
Christian Dupont, Atlas Systems
Shannon Maier, University of Wyoming

Session 5: Marketing, Branding, and Outreach
Jessica Pigza, New York Public Library
Shannon Supple, University of California at Berkeley



June 23, Wednesday, 11:00-12:30              Doubletree Hotel

Seminar A:
Cutting to the Core: Letting Go of Functions and Services

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.”


Seminar B:
Running (Meetings) with Laptops:  Digital Tools for Collaboration I

Deborah J. Leslie, Folger Shakespeare Library
Katie Coombes, Association for College & Research Libraries
Mary Ellen K. Davis, Association for College & Research Libraries

This seminar presents two tools to help Section members work and share information online: one asynchronous, one real-time. ALA Connect is a security-controlled, asynchronous, tool that is already available for accomplishing Section business. DimDim is a free browser-based meeting service endorsed by ACRL.


Seminar C:
Quick Innovations for Teaching with Special Collections

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.


June 24, Thursday, 9:00-10:30                     American Philosophical Society

Seminar D:
Inspired by the Library: Artists in Collaboration with Special Collections

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.


Seminar E:
Collections Processing: Innovations in Student Involvement

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.


Seminar F:
Collaborating and Digressing in the Margins: Digital Tools for Collaboration II

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.


June 24, Thursday, 11:00-12:30                  American Philosophical Society

Seminar G:
Bridging the gap: Communication between catalogers and archivists

Megan Lewis, Duke University (moderator)
Kathy Wisser, Simmons Graduate School of Library & Information Science
Margaret Nichols, Cornell University
David De Lorenzo, University of California, Berkeley

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.


Seminar H:
Recruiting Members -- of Underrepresented Racial and Ethnic Groups-- to the Special Collections Library Profession

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.


Seminar I:
Born-Digital Manuscripts: A Primer

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

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.


June 25, Friday, 9:00-10:30                          Doubletree Hotel

Seminar J:
Collaborative Exhibitions

Richard Noble, Brown University (moderator)
Lynne Farrington, University of Pennsylvania
Molly Schwartzburg, The University of Texas at Austin
Declan Kiely, The Morgan Library & Museum

Three 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.


Seminar K:
Taking our pulse: the OCLC Research survey of special collections and archives

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.


Seminar L:
Autographs and Manuscripts: History, Current Trends, and Replevin

Edward Bomsey, Edward N. Bomsey Autographs, Inc.
Stuart Lutz, Historic Documents, Inc.
Barton L. Smith, MD, President, The Manuscript Society
William LaMoy, Syracuse University Library  (moderator)

A panel of manuscript collectors and dealers will discuss trends in the marketplace (what’s hot, what’s cold, what remains bedrock) and the latest news on replevin (when is what you think is your property not really yours?).



Three workshops will open the preconference on Tuesday, June 22, 2010. All workshops will be held 9:00am-4:00pm at the Doubletree Hotel, for an additional fee of $85.


Latin for Rare Materials Catalogers

Jennifer Nelson, School of Law, University of California at Berkeley.
Jennifer MacDonald, University of Delaware Library

This workshop is intended for rare materials catalogers with little or no familiarity with Latin. The workshop will provide tools for navigating the title page, identifying the key verbs and inflected forms of nouns for persons, places, and things, in order to accurately record title and remainder of title information, author(s) and other names, editions, publication information, and privilege statements (i.e. DCRM(B)/AACR2 descriptive areas 1, 2, and 4), and any related notes. Among the issues addressed will be identifying and expanding contracted forms, Latin terminology used for illustrations and publishing, and other issues unique to Latin materials It will be taught by Jennifer MacDonald (University of Delaware) and Jennifer Nelson (The Robbins Collection, University of California Berkeley School of Law).


Building Collections: Acquiring Materials and Working with the Antiquarian Book Trade

Organizers: E.C. Schroeder (Head of Technical Services, Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Yale University) and Daniel J. Slive (Head of Special Collections, Bridwell Library, Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University).

Time: Tuesday, June 22, 2010. 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

The workshop is intended for librarians working at all types of institutions and with all levels of budgets who are responsible for acquisition and collection development of special collections materials. The purpose is to provide attendees with practical information for building collections and developing beneficial relationships with members of the antiquarian book trade.  The emphasis will be on printed materials, but manuscripts and archives will also be discussed. The workshop will include the context and history of special collections, collection development, and institutional interaction with the trade, particularly in the United States.  Practical matters will include materials on the market, auctions, online sources, comparing prices, purchasing collections, deaccessioning, and provenance issues. One point of view from the trade will be provided by David Szewczyk of the Philadelphia Rare Books & Manuscripts Company. A full reading list will be provided in advance, and time will be included for workshop attendees and instructors to attend the Booksellers Showcase.


Reference Sources for Rare Books

Joel Silver, The Lilly Library, Indiana University

Banner graphic image derived from “Join, or Die,” cartoon in The Pennsylvania Gazette (May 9, 1754), Benjamin Franklin, courtesy of The Library Company of Philadelphia .
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