I am so excited! I was just notified this morning that I have been awarded a scholarship to attend Rare Book School at the University of Virginia. I can use the scholarship in either 2008 or 2009. Their website best sums up the program: “At various times during the year, RBS offers about 30 five-day, non-credit courses for adults on topics concerning old and rare books, manuscripts, and special collections. The majority of courses take place in Charlottesville, but courses are also offered in New York City, Baltimore, and Washington DC.”
Rare Book School was founded by Terry Belanger, University Professor and Honorary Curator of Special Collections at the University of Virginia. Among many other honors, Professor Belanger is also a 2005 recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship (also known as a “genius” grant). Professor Belanger, whose deadpan delivery is a source of delight, taught a fascinating session on reference works, bibliography, and collation at the Colorado Antiquarian Book Market Seminar, which I attended in August. He told us seminarians all about Rare Book School and the scholarships that can help a bookseller to pay for it, encouraging us to apply. I decided on the spot that I would apply for a scholarship. Once I returned from the Colorado Seminar, I had about two weeks to apply for a scholarship prior to the deadline.
I am so excited to make what feels like the next step in my education as a bookseller. The week-long courses offered at Rare Book School include The History of the Book in America, Introduction to Descriptive Bibliography, and Book Illustration Processes to 1900, to name just a few. I know, I know. Those of you non-booksellers reading this blog are already falling asleep. I, on the other hand, am incredibly energized knowing that myself and other people care enough about books to spend serious time together studying these subjects. The University of Virginia Rare Book School is one of the only places in the country to offer such courses to train future librarians, collectors, and antiquarian booksellers. It is a great honor indeed to have earned a scholarship.
In other news — the type that pulls my head out of the clouds and reminds me I am not only a person obsessed with books — I drove Huck and four other first grade boys on their field trip to the pumpkin farm Friday. It was a lovely (if exhausting) day, and I’ll include a couple of photos so you can get in the autumnal spirit! Of course, Saturday is filled with soccer games galore. I’ll be back Monday with a new post. Enjoy your weekend!
Coming Monday: A Bookseller’s Education