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The Next Chapter: Rare Books in Modern Times | Q&A with Stephenie Bailey

    • Rare Books Stephenie Interview
On October 27 and 28, CCAHA is presenting The Next Chapter: Rare Books in Modern Times at New York City's Center for Jewish History. We sat down with CCAHA Education Program Manager Stephenie Bailey to discuss. 


Is this the first time you’ve done the Rare Books conference?

The Next Chapter: Rare Books in Modern Times debuted in Philadelphia in 2012. We are thrilled to be presenting it in New York!


What’s different this time around?

We’ve introduced a panel discussion into the agenda on Day One during which select speakers will discuss recent preservation challenges in rare book collections at their institutions. To lend additional perspective to the definition of “rare,” we are discussing complex modern artists’ volumes and related preservation concerns. And we’ll share the most innovative thoughts on public engagement with rare books in a time of rapid digital innovation.


What type of audience will the conference appeal to?

The conference is intended for conservators, curators, librarians, archivists, and other collections staff responsible for the care, preservation, and promotion of rare books.


What type of speakers will be presenting?

Speakers joining us are experts in the unique structures of rare books, preservation priorities and conservation concerns for rare books, education in book conservation, and interpretation in the digital age. Speakers represent institutions from NYC such as The Morgan Library and Museum, Columbia University, the Museum of Modern Art, the Center for Jewish History and the American Jewish Historical Society. Also joining the roster are conservators from CCAHA and the Winterthur Museum, Garden, and Library. Each speaker is sensitive to emerging issues and best practices, with an eye to scaling material to be applicable and practical to a variety of institutions.


What’s the venue like?

Inspiring! The Center for Jewish History is not only hosting the two-day conference, but is additionally offering the unique opportunity to tour the David Berg Rare Book Room and the Collection Management and Conservation Wing, including a preservation lab and digitization studio. I am looking forward to the networking breaks in the Great Hall, a vibrant space where an astonishingly intricate and multi-story mosaic installation, “Luminous Manuscript,” interprets 112,640 alphabet characters collected from handwriting samples from the Center’s community.


What are you most excited about?

I am pleased to bring the conference to New York! We've fielded ongoing requests from previous educational program attendees to address care, storage, and exhibition of rare books. The subject of rare book preservation is so compelling in these days of electronic book devices! I anticipate dynamic discussion about the changing nature of the book and the long-term need to preserve historically-significant objects.


For more information and to register, please click here