LIS 425 History of the Book

The course will cover a wide variety of topics concerned with the history and development of the book, both as a physical object and as the bearer of intellectual content. Therefore, the lectures/discussions will look at two different kinds of phenomena: the physical properties of the objects that carried written and pictorial texts and the intellectual use to which books have been put. A third area that the course will address picks up the miscellaneous but important issues of the world of libraries; the antiquarian and out- of-print book trade; book collecting; remainders; handling, storing, caring for, repairing, and conserving books; legal considerations of book/text ownership and use; and other areas of book history. Students will be introduced to the extensive vocabulary of the book world. With a mastery of this new vocabulary, the students will have a grasp of a subject of extraordinary breadth, boundless fascination, and endless debate. As Milton said, "A good book is the precious life blood of a master spirit." This course will explain why.