Join us at WLIC 2019 in Athens!

IFLA Rare Books and Special Collections Section events at WLIC 2019

The Rare Books and Special Collections Section invites you to join our programme of events during the Congress in Athens, 24-30 August 2019.

Full details of each session are posted on the Congress website but this post gives a short summary.

Get involved!

If you are interested in the Rare Books and Special Collections section, and in the issues involved in working with rare books and special collections of any kind, please come and speak to us at the Congress. You are invited to attend our programme sessions and the sessions we have been involved with, to attend either or both of our Section Business Meetings, and to talk to members of the RBSC Standing Committee during the Congress.

The RBSC co-organises and sponsors conferences and seminars outside the WLIC. Please do take the opportunity during the Congress to discuss any such events, or the hosting of future satellite or mid-term Section meetings, with us. If you can’t join us in Athens and are interested in any of these topics, please get in touch – we will be posting the names of our new Section Officers after the conference, but in the meantime you can contact our current Chair Helen Vincent; Secretary Danielle Culpepper; Information Officer Remi Mathis or any other committee member.

The RBSC Standing Committee and guests at WLIC 2018, Malaysia Photo: Daryl Green
The RBSC Standing Committee and guests at WLIC 2018, Malaysia Photo: Daryl Green

Keep track of the section’s activities and social events:

Facebook: IFLA Rare Books & Special Collections Section group

Twitter: @IFLA_Special

85th IFLA World Library and Information Congress

85th IFLA World Library and Information Congress

Rare Books and Special Collections Section programme


Business meetings

Saturday 24 August – offsite!

15:45 – 17:45. Session 034 SC I – Rare Books and Special Collections

Business Meetings, Athens College 101
Shuttle buses leave from and return to the Megaron Athens Conference Centre through the day. At latest take the 14:55 bus for our meeting; there will be a return bus at 6pm. The venue is Athens College – Hellenic Athens Educational Foundation (HAEF), Stefanou Delta 15, Psichiko 154 52.


Monday 26 August

13:30 – 16:00. Session 122 SC II – Rare Books and Special Collections

Business Meeting Room 4


An agenda will be posted on our web pages or available from


RBSC Congress sessions

See the Congress website for full details of speakers and links to papers in the IFLA Library.


Tuesday 27 August

8:30 – 10:30. Session 152. “Forward thinking to lessen effects of disasters” – Preservation & Conservation Section, PAC Centers, and Rare Books and Special Collections Section (SI).


The Sendai Framework focuses on managing the risk of disasters, before they happen, rather than dealing with their consequences.  This builds on extensive research showing that preparation, prevention and mitigation can make a meaningful difference.  This two hour program focuses on preventive measures that libraries have taken to ensure more resiliency for their collections and buildings as well as having a safe haven for patrons after a disaster in the region.

Built around this Sendai concept to encourage all libraries to take pre-emptive steps to avoid damage to collections and buildings this program provides examples of what Libraries are doing to make building more earthquake resilient, to protect collections in the event of water incursion or to avoid fire, reduce smoke damage. The most demanding problem is how to support proactive behaviour through renovations, and strengthening the building envelope to withstand disastrous events. This session looks at case studies and good practices on sustainable building improvements or new built structures that can resist damage and sustain operability after a disaster.


11:45 – 12:45. Session 169. “Knowledge Café – So you run a Special Collections Reading Room?” – Rare Books and local History and Genealogy.

Banqueting Hall.

Are you in charge of running a Special Collections Reading Room or other space for consulting rare materials? Are you planning to build, create or re-arrange such a reading room? Then what do you need to know, need to have, need to avoid? What security is necessary to protect the collections? And in any case, is a special room for special collections still necessary today?How do you balance access to the materials with security and preservation? With which equipment? With what personnel?

This session intends to discuss these questions and many more with the IFLA participants in a Knowledge Café format. After a short introduction followed by brief presentations of different experiences, the audience will gather around round tables where members of the RBSC and GenLoc Sections will act as facilitators for lively and fruitful discussions. In the end, thoughts will be gathered to share good ideas and practices collectively that you will be able to bring back home.

16:00 – 18:00. Session 189. “ The Migration of Books: Cultural Heritage (objects) and Ideas on the Move” – Rare Books and Special Collections (SI).

From the inception of the printing press, books, and the ideas that they carry, have been sold, traded, and carried around the globe. Manuscripts, too, were copied, sold, and given as networks of transmission of ideas developed. Books as objects move throughout time and space, and those which have survived to modern day each have their own story to tell, their own journey and influence to reveal. Today, documentary cultural heritage objects still circulate on the open market, either via bonafide markets or illicit means, especially from areas affected by violence or political turmoil.

This session aims not merely to explore the global movement or loss of documentary cultural heritage, both historically and in the modern world, but also to share strategies for addressing the international community’s challenges with theft and illegal trade. An understanding of this problem can be informed by individual academic or library research projects and case studies; however, the session’s main goal is to uncover the overarching needs of the international library and archive community and identify promising projects, tools, tactics, networks that might assist us in meeting common needs.

Cite this blog post
IFLA Rare Books & Special Collections Section (2019, August 19). Join us at WLIC 2019 in Athens! Rare & Special: News from the Rare Books and Special Collections Section of IFLA. Retrieved June 18, 2024, from

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