Rare Book School

Rare Book School

Non-profit Less

Rare Book School

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Rare Book School (RBS) is an independent non-profit organization (501) based at the University of Virginia supporting the study of the history of books, manuscripts, and related objects. Each year, RBS offers about 30 five-day courses on these subjects. Most of the courses are offered at its headquarters in Charlottesville, Virginia but others are held in New York City, Washington DC, and Baltimore, Maryland. Its courses are intended for teaching academics, archivists, antiquarian booksellers, book collectors, conservators and bookbinders, rare book and special collections librarians, and others with an interest in book history.

Originally founded in 1983 at Columbia University by Terry Belanger, the Rare Book School moved to the University of Virginia in 1992. In 2005, Belanger received a $500,000 MacArthur Genius Grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation for his work in supporting the study of the history of books and printing by offering training opportunities to rare book and special collections librarians and curators, antiquarian booksellers, academics, bookbinders and conservators, and book collectors. Belanger retired as director of RBS at the end of August 2009; his successor is Michael F. Suarez, S.J.

History and mission

Terry Belanger founded the Book Arts Press at the Columbia University School of Library Service in 1972 as a laboratory for various programs concerned with the history of...
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