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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Library and Information Studies @ FIX University

LIS 586 - History of the Book

Course Outline

Calendar Description:

The historical, aesthetic, and economic bases of the artefacts known as "books" and their role in the recording, preservation, and dissemination of ideas.


  • To provide library students with an appreciation of the role and context of books in civilization.
  • To provide an historical overview of the evolution of the tools, materials, and techniques of book production.
  • To introduce students to the role of rare books in research libraries: namely, their interpretation, use, and exhibition, as well as environmental and other preservation issues.


This course follows a chronological path from the advent of the codex to the emergence of printing and the mass production of books. Paper-making, typography, book-binding, and modern private press publishing will also be explored. Issues of housing and conservation will be discussed, as well as the duality of the book as both physical artefact and intellectual repository.


Instruction encompasses lectures, videos, field trips, and class presentations.

Course Relationships:

Prerequisite: LIS 501.

Some Recommended Reading

Avrin, Leila. Scribes, Script, and Books: The Book Arts from Antiquity to the Renaissance. Chicago: American Library Association, 1991.
Basbanes, Nicholas. A Gentle Madness: Bibliophiles, Bibliomanes, and the Eternal Passion for Books. NY: Holt, 1995.
———. Patience and Fortitude: A Roving Chronicle of Book People, Book Places, and Book Culture. NY: Harper-Collins, 2001.
———. A Splendor of Letters: The Permanence of Books in an Impermanent World. NY: Harper-Collins, 2003.
Carter, John. ABC for Book Collectors. 7th ed. London: Rupert Hart-Davis, 1952 / London: Werner Shaw / New Castle, Delaware: Oak Knoll Books, 1994.
———. Taste and Technique in Book Collecting: A Study of Recent Developments in Britain and the United States.NY: Bowker, 1948.
Clair, Colin. A Chronology of Printing. London: Cassell, 1969.
Clark, John Willis, Care of Books: An Essay on the Development of Libraries and their Fittings from the Earliest Times to the End of the Eighteenth Century. Cambridge University Press, 1901, 2nd ed. 1909/ London: Variorum, 1975 / Mansfield Ctr, Connecticut: Martino, 2004.
Diringer, David. The Illuminated Book: It’s History and Production. London: Faber, 1958.
Eisenstein, Elizabeth L. The Printing Revolution in Early Modern Europe. Cambridge University Press, 1983. [Abridgement of the author’s two-volume work The Printing Press as an Agent of Change Cambridge U.P., 1979.]
Febvre, Lucien. The Coming of the Book: The Impact of Printing, 1450-1800. London: NLB, 1976. [Translation ofL’apparition du livre. Paris: Michel, 1958.]
Gaskell, Philip. A New Introduction to Bibliography. Oxford University Press, 1972 / New Castle, Delaware: Oak Knoll Books, 1995.
Johns, Adrian. The Nature of the Book: Print and Knowledge in the Making. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998.
McMurtrie, Douglas C. The Book: The Story of Printing and Bookmaking. 3rd ed. NY: Oxford, 1943.
O’Donnell, James J. Avatars of the Word: From Papyrus to Cyberspace. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 1998.
Pearson, David. Books as History: The Importance of Books Beyond Their Texts. London: British Library / New Castle, Delaware: Oak Knoll Books, 2008.
Pollard, Alfred. Fine Books. London: Methuen & NY: Putnam, 1912 / NY: Cooper Square, 1964.
Steinberg, Saul H. Five Hundred Years of Printing. 3rd ed. London: Penguin, 1974 / London: British Library & New Castle, Delaware: Oak Knoll Books, 2001.
Streeter, Burnett Hillman. The Chained Library: A Survey of Four Centuries in the Evolution of the English Library.London: Macmillan, 1931 / NY: Franklin, 1970.

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