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Welcome to S681: The Book 1450 to the Present

From book smuggling and censorship to scandalous content and astonishing illustrations, the history of the book is filled with adventure and intrigue. When you look at a book, you may see a cover and bound pages. However a book is ultimately the story of people. From the author, illustrator, typesetter, and printer to the publisher, bookseller, and reader, a book is much more than a physical object. It's an artifact that reflects a connection to people, places, periods, and society.

This course is a wonderful companion to S580: Library History. Try to fit both into your schedule.

Regardless of whether you're interested in academic, school, public, corporate, health, and/or other special library settings, this course is a great elective. To plan and succeed in the future, we must learn from the past!


Explore the Course Materials section to read the Syllabus, explore the Calendar, Requirements and Checklist, or access the Course Guide. When you're ready to begin, work your way through the nine sections of the course: The Book, As Artifact, As Author Work, As Intellectual Property, As Commodity, As Knowledge, As Print Culture, As Cultural Icon, and As Reader.


If you've stumbled upon this course as a life-long learner, welcome! Feel free to work through the course materials on your own. Or, form your own book club and learn together. If you'd like course credit for your adventures, you'll need to contact the instructor. Otherwise, just enjoy the learning experience on your own.

If you enjoy teaching, learning, and libraries as much as we do, learn more about our online courses for graduate credit from anywhere in the world!


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