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RBS 1999 Winter Session

Because of various growing pains, Rare Book School (RBS) must skip its
planned Winter Session, originally scheduled at the University of Virginia
(UVa) for January and March 1999. Like Citibank, we need to overhaul our
database arrangements, and for much the same reason: we're currently using
dBASE on a DOS platform and then formatting in WordPerfect for Windows, and
we need to shift to Access on a Windows platform (neither dBASE nor
Microsoft supports dBASE over DOS, and our present system, while it works
very well, is dangerously fragile). We have nearly 1500 programs to rewrite
and test (after learning Access); these programs generate everything from
RBS nametags to the Exit List.

To add to the list of alternate good times we're planning to have here
instead of the Winter Session, we're yet once again redoing the Book Arts
Press (BAP) floor: since 1992, we have lurched messily from asbestos tile
(removed when the BAP came to UVa because it was old and chipped) to new
vinyl tiles (removed in 1993 because the adhesive used to fasten them down
never dried and continued to squirt up when you walked over them, attacking
your shoes) to epoxy paint (which began to bubble and scale off almost
immediately), several times reapplied (and all continuing to bubble and

The underlying Pressroom floor is a concrete pad poured directly over dirt
(we're on the bottom level of Alderman Library). We've been authoritatively
advised that our concrete pad never really dries out, and that the best
floor covering over it is NOTHING AT ALL WHATSOEVER, not even floor wax. As
I write this, between five and seven coats of epoxy and at least two levels
of tile adhesive (one water-based, one-petroleum based) are being
Citristripped and 409'd and otherwise slowly and painfully wire-brushed and
scrubbed and rinsed off the Pressroom floor.

When the job is done (we're about a third of the way through), we move on
to carpet replacement and additional built-in bookcases in the BAP's
classroom, so that we can be beautiful for RBS summer session 1999,
scheduled to run 12 July - 6 August 1999.

My apologies to those who planned on attending the Winter Session. We
expect to re-institute the Winter Session in the year 2000.

Terry Belanger  :  University Professor  :   University of Virginia
Book Arts Press : 114 Alderman Library : Charlottesville, VA  22903
Tel: 804/924-8851   FAX: 804/924-8824  email: belanger@xxxxxxxxxxxx
              URL: http://www.virginia.edu/oldbooks/

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