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Thinking about going back to school? How do course titles like these sound?

“Introduction to the History of Bookbinding”

“Medieval & Early Renaissance Bookbinding Structures”

“Advanced Seminar in the History of Bookbinding”

“American Publishers’ Bookbindings, 1800-1900”

You might not find these at your local college campus, but you will find them at the Rare Book School, a school devoted entirely to teaching book lovers about the lesser-known history of books and other printed materials. Learn more about this unique school in this week’s blog!


Learn all about rare books at the Rare Book School.

Rare Book School

The Rare Book School is located in Charlottesville at the University of Virginia, and offers a total of 30 five-day non-credit courses throughout the year on topics that will thrill lovers of books and printed material. Students can learn about everything from the history of book binding to “The Handwriting & Culture of Early Modern English Manuscripts.” And while much of the school’s topics are rooted in the past, it takes a forward-looking approach as well, with courses such as “Digital Approaches to Bibliography & Book History” and “Preservation Imaging: Science, Scholarship, and the Artifact.”

The school targets a wide range of print professionals and aficionados with its course offerings. According to its website, “Some courses are broadly directed toward antiquarian booksellers, book collectors, bookbinders, conservators, teachers, and professional and avocational students of the history of books and printing. Others are primarily intended for archivists and for research and rare book librarians and curators.”

Faculty includes scholars and professionals from around the world. Most of the courses take a maximum of 12 students, and there is plenty of competition for spots! “In 2015, there were over 800 applicants for about 425 spots in the spring and summer sessions,” according to Atlas Obscura.

If you’re interested in learning more about the Rare Book School and maybe even submitting an application for a course, check out their website! The applications period for fall session courses just ended, unfortunately, but it’s certainly worth keeping in mind for when applications for the spring session open up in January of next year. Also, check out the video below for a nice overview of the school.


Advantage Book Binding can help you take your book binding project to a new level, taking into consideration budget requirements to provide you with the most cost-effective and project-specific solution for you. Please contact us today for more information, and keep up with us on FacebookGoogle +Twitter, and LinkedIn.