Tuesday, June 20
Wednesday, June 21
Thursday, June 22
Friday, June 23

Workshop: Applying Descriptive Cataloging of Rare Materials (Manuscripts)

Sponsored by Voyager Press Rare Books and Manuscripts THIS SESSION IS SOLD OUT.

This workshop will provide an introduction to DCRM(MSS), the new RBMS standard for cataloging individual manuscripts. The workshop will include a brief introduction to the manual's guiding principles, discussion of...

Workshop: Every Stamp Tells a Story: How Postage Stamps, Postal Stationery, Postcards, and Other Postal Ephemera from the 18th Century to Today are Historically Important to Special Collections

Sponsored by Read'Em Again BooksTHIS SESSION IS SOLD OUT.

Often dismissed because of their ubiquity, ephemera such as postage stamps instead need to be treasured as important historical documents. We’ll examine their development, and...

Image of Rob Cagna in front of a bakground of books on shelves.
Robert Alexander Cagna

Service Project: Habitat Restoration & Maintenance with Bur Oak Land Trust

Sponsored by Leslie Hindman Auctioneers

Join other RBMS members in giving back to the Iowa City community by assisting the Bur Oak Land Trust – a land trust organization that “provides places where everyone has the opportunity to learn about and enjoy native habitats and where diverse flora...

Workshop: Research and Production Papermaking at the UI Center for the Book

Sponsored by Archival ProductsTHIS SESSION IS SOLD OUT.

Join Tim Barrett for a tour and demonstration of key assets at the UICB Research and Production Paper Facility where Western and Japanese-style papers are made for rare book and art conservation and book arts applications.

Image of Tim Barrett in paper studio, with several sheets of paper in the foreground.
Timothy Barrett

Conference Orientation and Introduction to RBMS

Sponsored by Martayan Lan

This session is highly recommended for first-time attendees and is also a nice refresher for past participants. You will learn about the history and structure of RBMS, hear pointers about how to navigate the conference, and find out how to get involved in the organization.

New Members’ Mixer (Ticketed Event)

Sponsored by Atlas Systems
A New Members’ Mixer will be held celebrating new attendees. All are welcome to get to know new members and enjoy each other's company. Make sure to include this event in your registration! The ticket price includes appetizers and wine/beer.

Choose Your Own Adventure: Restaurant Night

Restaurant Night is an RBMS tradition. Small groups of conference participants can get to know one another while visiting some of the best restaurants in the area.

Choose Your Own Adventure: Famous Moving Pictures

See some of the earliest films in existence with Michael Zahs, collector and focus of the new documentary Saving Brinton. Stop in for a unique experience with historic films, and learn...
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Choose Your Own Adventure: University of Iowa Special Collections Science Fiction Openhouse

Visit the University of Iowa Special Collections Reading Room to view a pop-up display featuring a selection of highlights from our science fiction and media fandom collections. Early Star Trek...
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Choose Your Own Adventure: Diversity Stories: A StoryCorps Project

At this Choose Your Own Adventure session, RBMS Diversity Committee members will promote a diversity-oriented oral history project, for which individuals (or pairs of individuals) can record their stories at...
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Choose Your Own Adventure: RBMS Bar Crawl

THIS SESSION IS SOLD OUT. Want a taste of the Iowa City night life before starting your full conference experience? Join us for an RBMS-style Bar Crawl. We’ll depart on...
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Choose Your Own Adventure: Book Studies at Iowa [Exhibition]

Participants of the Rare Book and Manuscripts Conference are invited to an exhibition at Merker Galley in North Hall – home of the University of Iowa Center for the Book....
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Choose Your Own Adventure: Codex Conquest [Card Game]

Play Codex Conquest to learn the contemporary value of historical printed books and how these books changed history by contributing to technological advancements, scientific breakthroughs, artistic triumphs, and political shifts...
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Welcome Coffee

Sponsored by: David Lang & Julia Gelfand

Plenary I: Narrative

Sponsored by Sotheby’s
Narrative allows us to structure our experience of the world, developing connections between often disparate pieces of information to create coherent and meaningful stories. Narrative also shapes our relationships with the past, with each other, and with our environment. In this opening plenary, we explore the value and power of narrative in a variety of contexts and consider ways in which stories have the potential to both construct and preserve cultural behavior and identity. Moderator: Petrina Jackson, Head of Special Collections and University Archives, Iowa State University
Valerie Hotchkiss
Speaker Portrait
Micaela Blei

Seminar A: Leadership & Management in Special Collections: Becoming the Boss, the First Three Years and Beyond*

Sponsored by Liber Antiquus, Early Printed Books & Manuscripts

This seminar will provide a learning opportunity for professionals in special collections and archives who are interested in moving into administrative roles or those who have recently moved into these roles and are looking for...

Seminar B: Future of bibliographic data*

Sponsored by Bruce McKittrick Rare Books
This seminar will examine the use of data in the study of incunabula, a field where ground-breaking work is being conducted utilizing centuries of bibliographic information. Seminar participants will learn about some of the newest incunabula projects, as well as some of the oldest, in a presentation led...

Panel: Capturing Voices in the Heat of the Moment: Election Reflections 2016*

Sponsored by Brian Cassidy, Bookseller

How will we tell the story of the 2016 presidential election to future generations? How will our children’s children understand the popular political uprising we witnessed last fall? On the morning of November 9th, curators and librarians...

Participatory Session: Secrets of the Library: Spooky Books, Urban Legends, and Unquiet Ghosts

Sponsored by Zoe Abrams Rare Books

Ghost stories are the medium of the marginalized, a place where characters, authors, and readers explore the forbidden and the unspoken. This session will discuss the ways in which all libraries, bookshops, and books are haunted—by their collectors and caretakers of the past...

New Member Lunch

New to the Section? Been away from the conference for a while? Get to know fellow RBMS members over a lunch. Join members from our Executive Board, committees, and other...
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Seminar C: Put a Hashtag On It: #LibrariesofInstagram*

Sponsored by B and L Rootenberg Rare Books

Instagram has over 440 million users, and was named "one of the most influential social networks in the world." Libraries and special collections have transformed the app from a "fun way to share your life" into a hub for collaborative exhibitions and conversations...

Seminar D: Every Space is Special: The Art and Science of Pop-Up Special Collections Exhibits*

Sponsored by the University of Michigan Library

Most libraries collect or have acquired material referred to as special collections, and many institutions have permanent, secure and collection-friendly exhibition space to display those treasures. Whether your institution already has exhibition space, is working towards the establishment of permanent secure display areas, or is looking to expand outreach efforts...

UICB Experience Session: Printing on the Vandercook Proof Press

Sponsored by Vamp & Tramp, Booksellers, LLC. THIS SESSION IS SOLD OUT.

Join Center for the Book 2014 MFA graduate Kim Maher and learn the basics of letterpress printing with movable type. Working together, participants will hand set their own names and add them to text and image celebrating the RBMS conference. After proofing and checking for errors...
Image of a textblock ready for printing on the Vandercook Press
Kimberly Maher

UICB Experience Session: How Were These Letters Made? [Calligraphy]

Sponsored by Vamp & Tramp, Booksellers, LLC. THIS SESSION IS SOLD OUT.

What can the manuscript you are holding tell you about the methods of the scribe that created it? Cheryl Jacobsen will guide you through a basic system of analyzing historic letterforms from a scribe’s point of view. We will look at various writing tools...
Photo of Cheryl Jacobson seated at a table doing caligraphy
Cheryl Jacobsen

Participatory Session: Let’s Be Honest: Speaking Openly about the Reality of Special Collections Security

Sponsored by Daniel J. Slive

While we know that one of our most important responsibilities is to ensure that our collections are secure, we live the reality of limited resources that do not include dedicated security staff; moreover, we have little time or institutional support to implement all of the recommendations...

Panel: Defining the Archive*

Sponsored by Jarndyce Antiquarian Booksellers

This session considers the inconstancy of the term “archive” and how ever-changing notions of what archives are, or should be, present both challenges and opportunities in the work that we do. From the French Revolutionary ideas of transparency and authority to contemporary ones informed by the technological utopianism of Silicon Valley...

UICB Experience Session: Papermaking

Sponsored by Vamp & Tramp, Booksellers, LLC. THIS SESSION IS SOLD OUT.

Many who care for rare books and manuscripts have a knowledge of papermaking but some have never had the opportunity to actually make a sheet. The experience can be informative and is sometimes revelatory. Join Tim Barrett in making your own sheet of Western and Japanese-style paper...
Image of Tim Barrett in paper studio, with several sheets of paper in the foreground.
Timothy Barrett

Seminar E: Data-driven practice*

Sponsored by Tavistock Books

Assessment work and other associated activities have emerged as increasingly important areas of action, framed particularly by the joint SAA/RBMS taskforces and locally by the growing trend of administrative interest in data-driven decision-making practices. In the course of this seminar, we will work...

Seminar F: 3D Printing Book History: Extending Bibliographical Pedagogy through Additive Manufacturing*

Sponsored by The Bibliographical Society of America

Part case study, part tech-talk, and part invitation to collaborate, this seminar focuses on work extending bibliographical pedagogy through additive manufacturing. 3Dhotbed is a groundbreaking project that seeks to make historical recreations of tools and implements...

UICB Experience Session: The Magic of Flexagons [Binding]

Sponsored by Vamp & Tramp, Booksellers, LLC. THIS SESSION IS SOLD OUT.

This will be a non-traditional binding session. Not all books are standard codices. Flexagons are mathematical models made of folded paper. Math phobics fear not, all will be revealed! Hidden inside each flexagon are concealed faces, which appear, disappear and reappear...
Black and white portrait of Emily Martin
Emily Martin

Participatory Session: Instruction Junction

Sponsored by IGLibraries

Do your instruction sessions need a boost? Do you have an instruction activity that is really successful? Come share your ideas with your colleagues, and pick up some new ones to add to your instruction tool belt! Participants will engage in a speed-dating session, pairing off for 6-minute periods...

Panel: Materialia lumina: The Contemporary Book in its Historical Context: Philosophical Musing of three Master Printers*

Sponsored by Lux Mentis, Booksellers

Moderator: Danelle Moon, University of California, Santa Barbara. This session will explore the book as a work of art, from the perspective of three master printers, Peter Rutledge Koch, Russell Maret, and Gaylord Schanilec. This program idea originated from the California Rare Book School course...

Booksellers’ Showcase Reception

The Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America (ABAA) is presenting a Booksellers’ Showcase on Wednesday evening and all day Thursday. The showcase will feature approximately 40 ABAA member exhibitors. It will...
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Seminar G: Today’s Rare Materials: A 90-minute Bootcamp on Description and Access*

Sponsored by Arthur Fournier Fine & Rare
The Bibliographic Standards Committee produces rules for descriptive cataloging of rare materials (DCRM). Many instructions and accompanying examples focus on early print and manuscript materials, but what do we do

Seminar H: Getting What You Want: Advocacy for Financial Resources*

Sponsored by Triolet Rare Books

What stories do we tell to get the financial resources we want or need? Storytelling is a key component of advocacy, especially when articulating fundraising and resource goals both within and outside an organization. In this seminar, heads of special collections...

Participatory Session: Teaching the Teachers: Bringing Archival Materials and Methods to the K-12 Classroom

Sponsored by Bromer Booksellers

Increasingly, trends in K-12 reflect the growing interest in incorporating primary source literacy into the classroom. Some Special Collections and Archives respond to this instructional need by offering instructional sessions in primary source literacy...

Panel: The Narrative of Exhibits and Exhibition Practices: Approaches to design and execution*

Sponsored by Franklin Gilliam :: Rare Books.

A Survey of Exhibition Practices in North American Rare Book Libraries, Special Collections and Archives, Francesca Marini; Telling the Story of Our Collections through Space and Permanent Exhibits, Beth M. Whittaker; Through Their Eyes: How Visitors View Exhibitions, Kris M. Markman

RBMS 2017 InstaMeetUI

Join us for the second annual RBMS InstaMeet! Generously hosted by @UISpecColl, attendees will take a behind-the-scenes tour of University of Iowa Special Collections, and get the opportunity to talk...
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Booksellers’ Showcase

The Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America (ABAA) is presenting a Booksellers’ Showcase on Wednesday evening and all day Thursday. The showcase will feature approximately 40 ABAA member exhibitors. It will...
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Topical Lunch: Sharing Perspectives about Diversity Recruitment and Representation in Special Collections

Sponsored by Northeast Document Conservation Center

Recent calls to diversify the field have been answered with scholarships and recruitment initiatives. But are these effective tools for attracting—and retaining—new perspectives that will strengthen and evolve the profession? What unexpected challenges and successes...

Seminar I: Radical Collaboration: Outreach, In-Reach, and Moving Past the notion of ‘The Crown Jewel’*

Sponsored by Bartleby's Books

What’s so special about special collections? In a 2009 report, the Association of Research Libraries wrote that special collections “define the uniqueness and character of individual research libraries.” Positioning special collections as the “crown jewel” ..

Seminar J: Collecting in the Heartland: Regional Book Arts*

Sponsored by Boreas Fine Art
From Salt Lake City to Kansas City, the book arts are flourishing across America’s heartland – providing ample opportunity for libraries in the region to build unique collections. This seminar will gather curators from institutions from the Southwest, Mountain West, and Midwest to talk about the opportunities and challenges of working with local artists and printers in their areas. The group will discuss such topics as collection development trends, outreach to local or regional book arts communities, and strategies for incorporating the work of local artists into the classroom and in other library programming.

Participatory Session: The Work of Finding Work: Strategies for Success, Self-Care, and Professional Sustainability

Sponsored by

Finding and maintaining a career in the world of archives and special collections can be notoriously difficult, often demanding a significant amount of time and energy, while creating a great deal of stress, uncertainty, and risk for employment seekers. This participatory session will address...

Panel: Documents Abroad: Latin American Materials and Special Collections in the United States

Sponsored by California Rare Book School
Cross-Pollinating the Collections: Building Latin American Studies Collections with the Combined Strengths of Special and Circulating Collections While the University of Iowa has never been a powerhouse of Latin American studies, it presents unique opportunities, particularly in literature, for building distinctive collections, and especially when considered holistically, across general circulating collections...

Tour of the ABAA Booksellers’ Showcase

This informal introduction to the showcase will allow attendees to meet with various dealers, examine items, and consider how materials on the market can be utilized for instruction and research...
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Plenary II: Representation*

Sponsored by Bonham's

Archives and special collections preserve cultural artifacts that illuminate the lives and societies of those who created them. However, our ability to understand and interpret these materials is inherently limited by our own knowledge and experience, as well as the fragmented and biased documentary record, often de-contextualized by the removal of cultural heritage from its place of origin. In this plenary, we examine evidence and absence in the historical record, and interrogate the limits of representation. We will also explore strategies to better represent historical and cultural perspectives that have been lost, silenced, or misrepresented. Moderator: Agnieszka Czeblakow, PhD, Rare Books Librarian, University of Texas at San Antonio Libraries
Speaker Portrait
Janet Weaver
Speaker portrait
Angela J. Aguayo

The University of Iowa Libraries and Iowa State University Library Reception

Sponsored by The University of Iowa Libraries and Iowa State University Library Join your colleagues for drinks and appetizers at Hancher Auditorium, one of the most beautiful performing arts venues in...
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Q&A with RBMS Leaders

Join RBMS Members-at-Large, as well as current and future Section Chairs for a casual conversation about leadership in RBMS. Each panelist will share his or her RBMS story, leaving plenty...
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Participatory Session: Making Your Case: Advocacy through Instruction & Outreach at Your Institution and Beyond

Sponsored by Arthur Fournier Fine & Rare
Teaching practitioners on the front lines see that instructional collaborations and encounters with our materials have a lasting, positive impact on students -- but how do we effectively tell the stories of this engagement? How can these stories help

Panel: The Stories Institutions Tell*

Sponsored by White Fox Rare Books and Antiques

"Take due notice of us for the future": Archives and cultural representation at Williams College

In the Fall of 2015, the Log, a Williams College campus gathering space, reopened after renovations. With the opening came renewed attention to a mural prominently featured on its walls. The mural depicts founder of the college Colonel Ephraim Williams and Mohawk leader Theyanoguin on the day they...

Panel: Stories We Tell With Students: Pedagogy and Process*

Sponsored by Pazzo Books

Extending the Narrative of Primary Source Research as a Process: Subject Specialists As Beneficial Interlopers in Special Collections Research Instruction There are several narratives we tell in our research instruction, depending on what kind of librarian does the teaching. Subject specialist librarians teach the story of searching strategies, the library’s online discovery tools, paid databases, evaluation of sources...

Poster Viewing

During this time slot, posters will be available for viewing. From 10:00 – 10:45, poster presenters will be available to discuss their work with attendees. Posters to be exhibited: Diversity Stories:...
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Plenary III: Memory*

Sponsored by Houghton Library

The act of remembering at both the individual and collective level can have far-reaching implications. Remembering -- and forgetting -- comes to signify the relative importance of any particular combination of information and experience. In this closing plenary, we build on programming from throughout the conference to further explore the ways that memories and narratives interact, shaping what we as individuals and communities choose to remember. We will also examine the role of cultural heritage institutions in providing and interpreting primary sources for exploring our collective past. Moderator: Daniel J. Slive, Head of Special Collections, Bridwell Library, Perkins School of Theology
Speaker Portrait
Frank Salomon
Safiya Umoja Noble

Ticketed Bus to Chicago

BUS TICKETS ARE SOLD OUT. This bus offers transportation from Iowa City to Chicago for the ALA Annual Meeting. It will leave from the hotel area at 1:30pm on Friday,...
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