Friday, April 13, 2007

Illinois Launches Midwest Book & Manuscript Studies

The Graduate School of Library and Information Science (GSLIS) and Illinois’s Rare Book & Manuscript Library announce the creation of the Midwest Book & Manuscript Studies (MBMS) program. The program draws on leaders from the field to offer high quality, intensive courses on the history of manuscripts and books and the unique skills and approaches to librarianship that such collections require. Courses include the history of the book, special collections librarianship, archival studies, and printing history.

Unique to the MBMS program is a certificate in special collections librarianship granted from GSLIS, the nation’s number-one library and information science school. The certificate is earned after completion of 12 credit hours of course work. Also housed under the MBMS program is the Soybean Press, a fine press imprint dedicated to the promotion and teaching of letterpress printing; a series of Book Arts Workshops; and the Books in Culture/Culture in Books lecture series.

“I’m quite certain that the certificate in special collections librarianship from GSLIS will become a coveted credential in our field,” said Valerie Hotchkiss, director of the MBMS and head of the Rare Book & Manuscript Library. “Geographically, the MBMS sits between the venerable Rare Book School of the University of Virginia and the new school for special collections at UCLA. We hope to learn from our colleagues on the two coasts, while also exploring new and different ways to make our school unique.”

Among the faculty for the 2007 program are Christopher de Hamel, Librarian of Corpus Christi, Cambridge who will teach a course on medieval and early modern manuscripts; Sid Berger of The Phillips Library who will teach courses on the design and manufacture of paper and rare book and special collections librarianship; and Bea Nettles and Steve Kostell of Illinois’s School of Art & Design, who have special expertise in letterpress printing and the book arts. A complete list of courses is available on our Web site.

Summer classes begin May 21, 2007. For more information on registering for classes, contact Marianne Steadley at or by phone at 217-244-2751.

For further information on the MBMS program, visit website.