RBM: A Journal of Rare Books, Manuscripts & Cultural Heritage (formerly Rare Books and Manuscripts Librarianship, RBML) is the Association of College & Research Libraries' journal covering issues pertaining to the world inhabited by special collections libraries & cultural heritage institutions.

Current Issue: Spring 2020

RBM: A Journal of Rare Books, Manuscripts, and Cultural Heritage, Volume Twenty-One, Number 1, Spring 2020

Research Article

Fall 2019

The Positive Side of Eliciting Negative Emotions: Survey Results of Visitor Responses to a Library Exhibit

Frost, Towne-Anderson, and Ferguson

The length of each line represents the proportion of respondents that rated the corresponding emotion with a 1 or greater

Eliciting emotions, particularly uncomfortable emotions, through exhibition design can have a positive impact on the patrons’ reception of the exhibition. In this study, patrons visiting an exhibition designed to create a dark ...

Recently Published

Toward Inclusive Outreach: What Special Collections Can Learn from Disability Studies

O’Sullivan and Alexander

Recent statistics suggest that nearly 1 in 5 undergraduate students in the United States report having a disability. Educators and special collections practitioners are thus confronted with a difficult question: What can be done to ensure that these students receive the accessible educational experience they deserve—and that is legally mandated—within our institutions? ...

More >>


Early Book Collections and Modern Audiences: Harnessing the Identity/ies of Book Collections as Collective Resources

Tether and Campbell

This article summarizes and contextualizes the discussions of a workshop held at Durham University in November 2018. In this workshop, participants (including academics, students, independent scholars, special and rare books librarians, and archivists) discussed the notion of the collection ...

More >>


Teaching Creative Writing in Special Collections

Alison Fraser

While enrollments are in a downward trend in humanities departments across the board and in English departments in particular, creative writing has emerged as an area of explosive growth: creative writing enrollments and majors are up, and undergraduate and graduate student demand is high. ...

More >>


An Independent Study Course by an Academic Library Department: Teaching with the Gems of Special Collections

Silva and McIntosh

Special collections in academic libraries provide rich learning environments for student engagement. This article describes the introduction of an independent study course by an academic library department as a high-impact educational practice supporting undergraduate research. ...

More >>