Rare Books and Manuscripts Section Midterm Meeting, 1-2 April 2014, Washington DC and Baltimore, USA

The Rare Books and Manuscript Section of IFLA is holding a 2-day midterm meeting 1-2 April 2014 in the United States.  The first day will be at the Library of Congress in Washington DC and the second day at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore (which is an easy one-hour train trip from Washington). 

This is a very important meeting because we will set goals for the next 2-3 years, work on new and current projects, and make detailed plans for two important major programs: an all-day workshop in Lyon and a 2-day pre-conference in Cape Town. This meeting will provide much more time for these kinds of substantive discussions than we have available at the annual meeting. 

Please remember, this meeting is OPEN TO EVERYONE.  Even if you are not a formal member of IFLA or a member the section Standing Committee, you are welcome to attend and participate in the meetings.  A gentle reminder to all Standing Committee members: IFLA policy requires Standing Committee members to make every possible effort to attend all section meetings.  If you need a personalized letter of invitation, please write to David Farneth (dfarneth@getty.edu)

Everyone is encouraged to volunteer to lead the discussion for one of the agenda topics.  (See the draft agenda below.) Please email David Farneth (dfarneth@getty.edu) about which discussion topic you would like to lead.  Or, please share any other agenda topics that you would like to have discussed at the meeting.

Meeting Schedule and Agenda

Tuesday, April 1:  Library of Congress, Washington, DC

9:00 – 9:30 Coffee: Library of Congress, Jefferson Building, Rosenwald Room
9:30- 12:30 Business meeting: Rosenwald Room: Program Planning for the all-day session Lyon and the satellite meeting in Cape Town
12:30 Lunch
1:30 Tour of the Library of Congress
3:30 Tour of the Folger Shakespeare Library https://www.folger.edu/
Evening Group dinner at a local restaurant

Wednesday, April 2: Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland

8:20 – 9:15 MARC commuter train from Washington Union Station to Baltimore Penn Station.  Meet the bus. 
9:30 – 11:00 Tour of the George Peabody Library http://peabodyevents.library.jhu.edu/
11:15 Arrive: Brody Learning Commons http://krieger.jhu.edu/magazine/v10n1/brody-learning-commons/
11:30 - 3:15 Business meeting, with a 30-minute lunch break at 12:45: Program Planning (continued), Goals, and Projects
3:15 Board the bus to the Evergreen Museum and Library
3:30 – 5:00 Tour of the Evergreen Museum and Library  http://www.museums.jhu.edu/evergreen.php
5:15 Arrive Penn Station

Trains to Washington:

  • MARC trains depart at 5:25 (arr. 6:20) and 5:50 (arr. 6:35)
  • Amtrak train departs at 5:42 (arr. 6:25)

Trains to New York:

  • Amtrak Acela train departs 5:30 (arr. 7:47)
  • Amtrak Northeast Regional train departs at 5:48 (arr. 8:41)


There is no registration fee and no costs for attending the meeting.  Several meals will be provided.  If you plan to attend, please send an email to David Farneth so that we can make suitable arrangements for meeting rooms and meals.  (dfarneth@getty.edu)

Travel Information

Attendees are responsible for transportation and hotel costs. 


Capitol Hill Hotel
200 C Street SE Washington D.C., 20003-1909
Fax: 202.547.2608

Capitol Hill Hotel is offering our IFLA committee a rate of $224.00 / night for the nights of March 31, April 1, April 2, and April 3.   NOTE! The first week in April is an extremely busy week in Washington, and hotel rooms are limited.  As a result, the hotel can only guarantee these rates if the room is booked by January 31st.  After that date, the discount rate will be subject to hotel availability.

The Capitol Hill Hotel is located a block away from the Library of Congress.

Please find below the link to be used to make your reservations at the hotel.  The special rate code for Library of Congress is 05LOCP. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact Emilia Kozikowska at 202.543.6000.


If you do not wish to take advantage of this offer, the closest alternative hotels are located near Union Station on New Jersey Ave. NW. Walking distance to the Library of Congress is about 20 minutes.

There are also many hotels in the popular Dupont Circle area, which is about 30 minutes by metro subway to the Library of Congress.


The Baltimore/Washington area is serviced by three airports: 


Washington has an excellent and easy-to-use metro system: http://www.wmata.com/. The metro stop closest to the Library of Congress is Capitol South, serviced by the Blue and Orange lines (http://www.wmata.com/rail/station_detail.cfm?station_id=59).

Commuter Train between Washington and Baltimore

On Wednesday morning we will meet at Washington DC Union Station and travel as a group by commuter train to Baltimore Penn Station.  The fare is $7 one-way and $14 round-trip. http://mta.maryland.gov/marc-train


In addition to the meetings, our hosts Mark Dimunation and Winston Tabb will lead tours of the Library of Congress and the libraries at Johns Hopkins University.  More details will be available soon.

* * *

Agenda (subject to change and additions)

The exact schedule for this 2-day meeting is still being determined. Watch for updates:

  1. Goals:  Discuss and decide upon new goals for the Section.  Two proposed goals that came out of the Singapore meetings are:
    1. Foster and improve worldwide educational opportunities for professionals who are the stewards of rare book, manuscript, and special collections. 
    2. Provide librarians with best practices for identifying, acquiring, and preserving documentation of current-day, history-changing events.
  2. Program Planning
    1. Planning an all-day session for Lyon on the topic “Teaching and Learning Rare Book and Cultural Heritage Librarianship.” Most of the speakers for this program will come from the section membership. Please come ready to share your ideas for topics and speakers (including yourself!).
    2. Planning a pre-conference meeting and conference sessions for Cape Town.  One idea is to align this programming with the proposed goal: “To provide librarians with best practices for identifying, acquiring, and preserving documentation of current-day, history-changing events,” such as, for example, the 2001 bombing of the World Trade Center in New York, the 2011 Egyptian Revolution, or civil war in Sudan.
  3. New and Current Projects
    1. A proposal to change the name of the section to reflect our broader expertise in special collections and cultural heritage collections.
    2. National bibliographies: next steps?
    3. A renewed focus on security of special collections, thefts, how can we help with advice for preventing and dealing with theft; what is our responsibility/best practices for provenance research; a report on the Italian situation
    4. A new comprehensive communications plan that will take advantage of electronic communications and social media. We will also discuss starting a blog and the relation of the newsletter to the blog.
    5. Building a network of translators for section publications and papers
    6. Revising and transforming the Section brochures into web pages


  • Reserve a hotel room before January 31, 2014
  • Notify David Farneth if you plan to attend
  • Volunteer to lead the discussion about one of the agenda items

Last update: 10 March 2020