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I've had a lot of inquiries about the Book Arts Press and Rare
Book School along the lines of what-is-the-BAP-and-why-does
it-have-an-address-book? and what-is-RBS-and-why-does-it-have
a-yearbook? Here follows a description of same:

                          THE BOOK ARTS PRESS

Terry Belanger founded the Book Arts Press (BAP) at Columbia Uni-
versity in 1972 as a laboratory for various programs concerned with
the history of books and printing, descriptive bibliography, the
antiquarian book trade, and rare book and special collections li-
brarianship. When Belanger became University Professor and Honorary
Curator of Special Collections at the University of Virginia (UVa)
in 1992, the BAP and its collections moved with him to Charlottes-
     At UVa, the BAP supports undergraduate and graduate courses
concerning the history of the book and related subjects. It carries
on publication and exhibition programs; it runs an annual summer
institute, Rare Book School; and it sponsors lectures--notably the
annual Sol. M. Malkin Lecture in Bibliography.
     The BAP's Pressroom, on the first floor of Alderman Library,
houses a collection of printing presses and equipment that includes
a full-scale reproduction of a wooden common press (of the sort
Benjamin Franklin might have used), a 19th-century Washington iron
hand-press (such presses could be broken down and loaded into a
Conestoga wagon), and a 20th-century flatbed cylinder proof press
(a Vandercook SP-15, favorite of modern private-press letterpress
printers). The BAP's printing-house comprises 200 cases of printing
type (including the 48-case Annenberg collection of wood type), a
small Brand etching press, and various pieces of hand bookbinding
     The BAP owns about 15,000 books and 5,000 prints, dating from
the 15th century to the present. Many of the books--including a
large collection assembled to illustrate the history of cloth book-
bindings--are on display in glass-fronted bookcases in the Dome Room
of the Rotunda (the original library of the University), located a
short distance from Alderman Library on the Central Grounds of the
University. Other collections are kept in the BAP's classroom and
studio--rooms which, together with the Pressroom, make up the BAP's
suite in Alderman Library. 

Rare Book School (RBS) classes make heavy use of the BAP's collec-
tions. This summer institute annually attracts about 300 students,
who come for one or more five-day non-credit courses taught by an
international roster of specialists in the history of the manu-
script book, typography, book illustration, bookbinding, descrip-
tive bibliography, rare book librarianship, and related subjects.
While they are at UVa, many RBS students and faculty members live
on the Lawn in rooms designed by Thomas Jefferson, the founder of
the University.
     RBS students include rare book librarians and curators,
bookbinders and conservators, academics, used and rare book dealers,
book collectors, and others with an interest in the history of the
book. Each year, attendees are listed in the annual RARE BOOK SCHOOL
YEARBOOK, copies of which are sent to all attendees. The YEARBOOK
includes detailed student evaluations of the courses offered,
photographs of participants, the annual Sol. M. Malkin Lecture, TB's
State of the Bibliographical Nation address, and other relevant
material; it is a fairly substantial publication (the 1994 YEARBOOK is
344 pages).
     RBS faculty members include Sue Allen, Nicolas Barker, John
Bidwell, Christopher Clarkson, Albert Derolez, Mirjam Foot, Peter
Howard, James Mosley, Paul Needham, John Parker, Nicholas Pickwoad,
Alice Schreyer, Samuel A Streit, Daniel Traister, Michael Turner,
Michael Twyman, and Michael Winship.

The physical arrangement of the BAP's book and print collection
supports both classroom and independent study. The books are
generally shelved by date (rather than by author or subject), to
show the chronological development of vellum, leather, cloth, and
paper bindings. Many of the prints are filed by technique (rather
than by artist or engraver), to facilitate the identification of
illustration processes. Other BAP collection arrangements assist
the study of various formats, genres, materials, and physical
features such as sewing structures, endpapers, and dust-jackets. An
unusual feature of some of these collections is the presence of
multiple copies (sometimes as many as a dozen or more) of the same
(or almost the same) book--a duplication valuable not only for
facilitating group viewing in the classroom but also for demon-
strating the bibliographical principle that almost exactly the same
can be another way of saying quite different.
     The BAP also maintains a library of about a thousand recently-
published books on various aspects of the history of the book: pa-
permaking, typefounding, typography, printing, illustration, bind-
ing, publishing, bookselling, collecting, the antiquarian book
trade, and related areas. This non-circulating reference collection
ensures that the most useful books for the BAP's purposes are al-
ways close at hand. Supplementing this library are much larger
holdings on the same subjects in the Alderman Library stacks and in
various UVa special collections.

The Book Arts Press is supported by a 500-member friends group, the
Friends of the Book Arts Press. Since 1976, individual Friends have
contributed nearly $100,000 to the BAP, as well as many gifts in
kind. In addition, more than two hundred North American and Europe-
an libraries have donated unwanted, damaged, and defective books
(or parts of books) both old and new to the BAP's collections. The
BAP's relationship toward these gifts tends to resemble that of the
Bedouins toward their camels: very little goes to waste.
     There are three classes of Friends. The regular membership is
$30/year. Close Friends of the Book Arts Press contribute $85/year,
and Best Friends pay $250/year. As part of their membership, Friends of
the Book Arts Press receive an occasional newsletter, and copies of the
annually-published BOOK ARTS PRESS ADDRESS BOOK (containing the names,
addresses, and other pertinent information for about 2500 persons,
including Friends of the Book Arts Press, RBS attendees, members of the
ABAA, and others who have come into contact with the BAP) as well as

For more information about the BAP and its various activities,
write to: 

   The Book Arts Press
   114 Alderman Library
   University of Virginia
   Charlottesville, VA 22903

   Telephone: 804/924-8851
   Fax: 804/924-8824
   E-mail: books@virginia.edu

Terry Belanger  :  University Professor  :   University of Virginia
Book Arts Press : 114 Alderman Library : Charlottesville, VA  22903
Tel: 804/924-8851  FAX: 804/924-8824  e-mail: belanger@virginia.edu

Terry Belanger  :  University Professor  :   University of Virginia
Book Arts Press : 114 Alderman Library : Charlottesville, VA  22903
Tel: 804/924-8851  FAX: 804/924-8824  e-mail: belanger@virginia.edu

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