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The Next Chapter: Rare Books in Modern Times (Philadelphia, PA)

  • November 13 – 14, 2012

Millions of books are contained in 21st-century libraries, museums, archives, and special collections. Those defined as rare may be historically significant, scarce, unusual or innovative in format, or otherwise unique. The evolution from handwritten text to printed volume and digital page is indicative of cultural and intellectual growth and parallels improvements in the use and care of books. The book in modern times is a source of knowledge and a work of art. This two-day program will explore the definition of the rare book within the context of its physical history and current preservation concerns. Presenters will also address ways to engage the public with rare book collections in conservation work and exhibition planning.

Topics will include:

  • Identification and description of historical bindings
  • Preservation priorities and conservation issues for rare books in the digital age
  • Digitization selection
  • Objectives in targeting volumes for conservation treatment
  • Rare book exhibition planning and interpretation


  •  Maria Fredericks, Drue Heinz Book Conservator, The Morgan Library & Museum
  • Janet Gertz , Director of Preservation and Digital Conversion Division, Columbia University Libraries
  • Jim Hinz, Director of Book Conservation, Conservation Center for Art & Historic Artifacts
  • Consuela (Chela) Metzger, Conservator of Library Collections, Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
  • Steve Miller, Professor & Coordinator, MFA in the Book Arts Program, School of Library & Information Studies, The University of Alabama
  • Christine Nelson, Drue Heinz Curator of Literary and Historical Manuscripts and Head of Interpretive Strategy, The Morgan Library & Museum
  • Will Noel, Director, Special Collections Center, University of Pennsylvania
  • Eric Pumroy, Director of Library Collections and Seymour Adelman Head of Special Collections, Bryn Mawr College
  • Renée Wolcott, Mellon Fellow, Conservation Center for Art & Historic Artifacts

Location: American Philosophical Society (Philadelphia, PA)

The American Philosophical Society will offer optional tours of its rare book room November 13 & November 14 from 4:30 to 5:30 PM. Pre-registration for the tours is required.

Time: 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM (registration and refreshments 8:30 AM - 9:00 AM)

Fees: $225 CCAHA members / $250 non-members

Registration Deadline: October 30, 2012

For more information and to register, please click here.
View or download a PDF of the program brochure.

Major funding for this program was generously provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), with additional support from The Pew Charitable Trusts, the Independence Foundation, and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.