the book logo

Course Materials: Course Guide

Use the following guide to complete the requirements for this course.

Course Activities

In typography, the "apex" is the point of a character where two lines meet at the topic. Think of it as the "high point" of a letter. In our class, we'll use Apex Assignments as a way for you to think about the key points related to The History of the Book.

You will share your Apex assignment in the Discussion area of Canvas. Each assignment contains both a posting and reply requirement. You will choose one assignment from a number of options.

In this course, an emphasis is placed on the use of course readings in the discussions. As such, TWO replies are required for each assignment. The course readings include both an overview of key ideas along with specific examples. AT LEAST ONE of the replies must incoporate an article or other resource from the course readings.

The course contains seven Apex Assignments worth 10 points each and a Final Project worth 30 points.

Course Study Materials

Each person approaches the study of the history of books in a different way depending on his or her personal and professional interests and experiences. Rather than dictating all of the required readings, this course provides flexibility by allowing you to choose areas where you'd like to explore in-depth.

The course has been divided into nine sections that can be accessed through the left navigation bar.

Each of the nine sections begins with a short video highlighting the key ideas presented in that section. BE SURE to watch these videos. Think of them as a "lecture portion" of the course.

try itWoven into the required online course readings, you'll find required articles indicated with a yellow box containing a blue book icon shown on the left. Read (or skim) them for the general concepts they address. You don't need to read every word of every article. However they are often useful in completing the assignments so don't skip them!

try itIn some cases, a video link will be provided. Rather an a book icon, look for the blue video icon (right).

You'll also find additional resources at the bottom of each course page. It's up to you to decide whether these additional resources will be useful for your understanding. They can be very useful in identifying ideas to share in the assignments. Use the IUPUI Library Citation Linker for quick access to the resource articles.

try itRather than simply reading the materials on each page, be sure to TRY IT! Throughout the course readings, you'll find short activities or websites that will help you apply the ideas you're learning. These activities aren't graded and don't need to be turned in, however they are important for your learning. They're the types of activities we would be doing in a face-to-face class. Instead, it's your job to work your way through these activities independently. Look for the Try It! icon (left) on the left in light green boxes for TRY IT! activities.

If you're looking for a particular topic within the course materials, use the search tool below:

Loading

Course Guide

You can find the specific course readings for each week in this guide. They are also found in the course calendar along with due dates for readings and activity assignments.

Introduction

Welcome to the course. It's time to get to know your classmates.

Introduce Yourself (0 Points, required)
Introduce yourself. Share your book interests. Go to Archive.org. This website contains nearly 5 million digitized books from throughout print history. Share the links for three books that you found interesting.

Complete the Introduce Yourself activity. Post it at Canvas.

The Book

Read The Book section of the course. Be sure to watch the video.

Apex 1: The Book (10 Points)
Select ONE of the following assignments to complete. In addition to a posting in Canvas, you must also provide TWO high-quality replies to your peers.

IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT REPLIES: At least two replies are required for your Apex. At least one of these should incorporate articles or resources from the course readings.


Apex 1.1. Book Historians and their Books
Learn more about one of the well-known or lesser known book historians. Start on the Historiography page for ideas. The person must be associated with Book History (check with your instructor if you're not sure).
1) Provide a biographical sketch of the person.
2) Provide an annotated list 6-10 of this person's seminal works.
3) You should include a summary and review of one of his/her books (which you have read/skimmed) OR three of his/her articles (which you have read) containing examples and excerpts. How does the work reflect the time it was written? What's its contribution to book history?
2) Compare the book/articles to the contents of Darnton's "What is the history of books?" article. Where do these articles fit into our understanding of book historiography? Be specific. Be sure to provide examples and/or excerpts to illustrate your points.

Examples of landmarks books you might want to consider reading:
Illustrations of the Literary History of the Eighteenth Century by John Nichols
Fine Books by Alfred Pollard (others at Archive)
The Coming of the Book by Lucien Febvre
The Gutenberg Galaxy by Marshall McLuhan
The Cheese and the Worms by Carol Ginzburg
Printing Press as an Agent of Change by Elizabeth Eisenstein
The Business of Enlightenment by Robert Darnton
Book Jackets: Their History, Forms, and Use by Thomas Tanselle
Bibliography and the Sociology of Texts by D.F. McKenzie
Revolution and the Word Or Reading in America by Cathy Davidson
The Order of Books by Roger Chartier
The Nature of the Book by Adrian Johns

Checklist
Brief biographical sketch (2 Points)
List of works (2 Points)
Book review (2 Points)
Comparison to Darnton (2 Points)
TWO high-quality replies to your peers (2 Points)


Apex 1.2. Follow the Scent
You can pick up lots of ideas when you explore the notes, references, and resources found in articles. Use these to gain a better understanding of a topic associated with book history. Keep in mind that this includes recent history too (i.e., digital collections, ebooks).
1) Select one article from our readings or your own finding. Summarize the article. Be sure to provide a complete citation and link to the article.
2) Choose four citations from the article to trace. Locate, read, cite, and summarize each. Describe how these materials contribute to our understanding of the subject. Compare the articles to the contents of Darnton's "What is the history of books?" article. Where do these articles fit into our understanding of book historiography? 

Checklist
Summary of article (2 Points)
Summaries of four connected articles (4 Points)
Connection with Darnton and book history (2 Points)
TWO high-quality replies to your peers (2 Points)

Apex 1.3. Focus on Related Works
Ephemera, broadsides, pamphlets, chapbooks, comic books, and periodicasl all are closely connected to what we think of as a book.
1) Select one of these categories to explore in depth. How do you define "book"? Provide a definition, brief history, and examples from your selected category (related works) such as broadsides. How is the related work like and unlike your definition of a book? Cite at least two professional resources in your writing.
2) Select a item from your category such as a seed catalog and a traditional book from the same time period. Compare the physical structure and the contents of the two items. Use scans or photos to make direct comparisons labeling specific elements such as the title page if there is one. You might want to work ahead reading the Physical Properties and Book Structure pages for ideas.
3) How does your category of related works fit with Darnton's "What is the history of books?" article?

Checklist
Category focus description (1 Points)
Use of professional resources (1 Points)
Comparison of two items (4 Points)
Connection with Darnton and book history (2 Points)
TWO high-quality replies to your peers (2 Points)

Apex 1.4. Digital Approaches, Digital Collections, and Book History
This option has a number of components to explore.
1) Go to 500 Themes. Use his tool to generate a word cluster based on a theme of interest. Share three of your favorite themes. Define macro analysis and describe how these cloud visualizations are associated with this approach (cite your sources). Describe what can be learned from this type of cloud visualization.
2) Use one of the digital collections that provides digital text such as Project Gutenberg. Copy text from a work of interest. Create a word cloud using Wordle, Tagxedo, or another tool of your choice. Share the experience and the result (as an image or a link).
3) Explore two digital collections that contain transcriptions and/or scanned books. Describe the pros and cons of using digital collections rather than "physical books" for historical research. What are your book history questions? How could large-scale digital collections help you answer these questions? Summarize the contents and procedures for using each of the two digital collections. Be sure to provide the URLs for each. Create sample searches and compare the results. Which do you prefer, why? Ideas include Archive.org 
Google Books 
HathiTrust 
Nines: Nineteenth Century Scholarship Online
18th Century Connect
Digital Public Library of America
4) Darnton's "What is the history of books?" article was written long before the introduction of digital approaches and collections. How might you update the article to incorporate these new technologies?

Checklist
Cloud visualization discussion (1 Points)
Original word cloud (1 Points)
Comparison of digital collections (4 Points)
Connection with Darnton and book history (2 Points)
TWO high-quality replies to your peers (2 Points)

Complete Apex 1. Post your assignment and reply to Canvas.

The Book As Artifact

Read the Book As Artifact section of the course. Be sure to watch the video.

Apex 2: The Book As Artifact (10 Points)
Select ONE of the following assignments to complete. In addition to a posting in Canvas, you must also provide TWO high-quality replies to your peers.

Apex 2.1. Hug a Book
Books aren't just about text on a page. They're also about the tactile aspects. From the smell of new pages to the texture of letterpress type, conducting an investigation of the book as an artifact should include smell and touch, when possible.
1) Explore the Range. Search the catalog of a library of your choice. Or, put on some gloves and visit a rare book collection. What's the oldest book they have available? What's the newest book? What books are in between? Select three books to examine in-depth. At least one book should be from the 19th century and no book should be less than 40 years old.
2) Describe your Items. Let's describe our books as physical objects. What's the physical description? What's the format? How and when was it bound? Trace the editions and printings of the book. Who is the author and how are they identified in the book (i.e., anonymous, pseudonym, title page, preface, prefatory materials)? Who was the printer, publisher, seller? How do you know? Does the book contain signs of reader ownership or use? Use Philip Gaskell's five parts of book description from the Physical Properties page as a guide.
3) Gather Supportive Data. What can you learn about the book from other sources? Look for a description, review, or other information about your book from at least two external sources such as Literature Resource Center.
4) Create a Mini Exhibit. Put all your information together into your own online exhibit. You should have a sheet (PDF document) or web page for each of your three items. You should include at least two images associated with your book such as a photo of the cover or scan of the title page. In addition, you should have a cover sheet or entry page that introduces the exhibit. For instance, you might create "A Walk through Picture Book History" sharing copies of Little Black Sambo (1899), Millions of Cats (1928), and Make Way for Ducklings (1941). Or, "Let's Take a Nature Walk" with The Birds of American (1839) by John James Audubon, Our National Parks by John Muir (1909), A Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold (1949).

Checklist
Description of 3 items (3 Points)
Use of support materials (1 Points)
Mini exhibit (4 Points)
TWO high-quality replies to your peers (2 Points)

Apex 2.2. Trace Editions

Some authors spend their lives working on a single book. For instance, Walt Whitman created multiple editions of his Leaves of Grass book between 1855 and 1892. It's fascinating to compare the changes with each new edition.
1) Review the Physical Properties and Book Structure course pages. From the binding and paper to the frontispiece and back matter and more, compare two editions of a well-known book. Look for an example that reflects many changes. For instance compare the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885) with (1912). The front matter and illustrations are very different. It's fine to use a digital collection such as Archive.org for your comparisons. If you use a digital source be sure to use one that scans the book rather than transcribing.
2) Provide a detailed analysis comparing these two editions. If possible, capture the screen or take a photograph showing the differences. Think about why the changes may have been made. Who might have been involved in the decisions? What clues does the book provide about the changes such as the publisher? If there aren't many differences, choose another book to explore. There are literally millions of choices.
4) Create an infographic, chart, and/or written paper to share your findings. You may need an accompanying paper to provide the necessary detail.

Checklist
Description of items (3 Points)
Comparison of editions (3 Points)
Conclusions shared (2 Points)
TWO high-quality replies to your peers (2 Points)

Apex 2.3. Trace Title Pages
The history of the front matter of books is fascinating. You'll notice many changes between the 15th and 21st centuries. Look for books that reflect these changes. Use a resource such as Archive.org for quick access to millions of options.
1) Provide a brief history of the front matter of books.
2) Select five books that represent different time periods. Provide basic information about each book.
3) Create a side-by-side comparison of the front matter of these books particularly the frontispiece and title page. How has the front matter changed over time? Be specific. How do your choices reflect the time period?
4) Create an infographic, chart, and/or written paper to share your findings. You may need an accompanying paper to provide the necessary detail.

Checklist
History of Front Matter (2 Points)
Description of five books (2 Points)
Comparison of front matter (2 Points)
Conclusions shared (2 Points)
TWO high-quality replies to your peers (2 Points)

Apex 2.4. Fun with Book Forms
From festival and popup books to braille and board books, a wide range of unique book forms exist. Explore one of the book forms from the Unusual Book Forms course page. Explore your area with special consideration of the following topics: physical properties, paper, binding, book structure, illustration, typography, and production.
1) Define and describe the book form. How is it alike and different from other book forms? Provide some examples.
2) Select four books that represent different time periods in the history of this type of book. How has the book form evolved over time (even if it has a short history)? What is the audience for these books? Who publishes these books? What changes or innovations has the book experienced? How does each book reflect the history of the book?
3) Describe your books as physical objects. What's the physical description? Who is the author and how are they identified in the book (i.e., anonymous, pseudonym, title page, preface, prefatory materials)? Who was the printer, publisher, seller? How do you know? Use Philip Gaskell's five parts of book description from the Physical Properties page as a guide.
4) Share your book form in a fun way. Regardless of your approach, you need to include at least one image of the book. You could create a "mini-exhibit" online with a page for each book, you could create an infographic highlighting the key features of the book, or you could use a timeline tool such as Timeglider, Tiki-TokiCapzles, DipityOurStory, TimeToast.

Checklist
Define a book form (2 Points)
Description of four books (4 Points)
Conclusions shared (2 Points)
TWO high-quality replies to your peers (2 Points)


Apex 2.5. Create a book
To understand books, it's helpful to create one yourself. Watch the Quarto video.
1) Skim and compare three books on printing published before 1902. How did the process of printing change over time? Use specific examples from the three books in a short paper. For book ideas, go to the course page on Printing.
2) Learn about early bookmaking techniques. Write a short paper summarizing the bookmaking process citing at least three sources.
3) Construct your own book applying an early printing technique such as making a quarto. The contents of the book is up to you. However you should have the basic physical properties and book structure discussed in the course such as a a title page. Photograph your process of creating the book and create a short slide show. Or, create a video showing each step in the production of your book. Be sure to show your final product. An alternative approach is to focus on binding a book rather than making a quarto or some paper folding or cutting technique. You can find lots of great idea at YouTube searching for the topic book binding.

Checklist
Descriptions of books (3 Points)
Discussion of bookmaking (2 Points)
Construction of book (3 Points)
TWO high-quality replies to your peers (2 Points)

Complete Apex 2. Post your assignment and reply to Canvas.

The Book As Author Work

Read the Book As Author Work section of the course. Be sure to watch the video.

Apex 3: The Book As Author Work (10 Points)
Select ONE of the following assignments to complete. In addition to a posting in Canvas, you must also provide TWO high-quality replies to your peers.

Apex 3.1. Author Experiences
Select three authors from three different time periods who reflect very different backgrounds, countries of origin, social classes, races, and/or genders.
1) Provide a brief overview to the history of authorship focusing on how the role of author has evolved.
2) Provide a brief overview of each of the three author and their works.
3) Compare the authors in terms of at least one demographic aspect such as race, gender, or social class. How did this element impact the author and their book cycle? How did it reflect the time period when they worked? Do each of these authors reflect the norm or is their experience somewhat unique? Use at least one book by each author in your discussion. Use at lease one primary source such as a letter by the author, book review, newspaper article, on excerpt from a book introduction or preface in your discussion.
4) Books often reflect the experiences of the authors. Exploring the places where authors lived often provides insights into their works. Create a Google Map showing locations that are associated with each author. Include a discussion about how these locations may have impacted their work.

Checklist
History of authorship (1 Points)
Overview of authors (3 Points)
Comparison of authors (2 Points)
Google Map (2 Points)
TWO high-quality replies to your peers (2 Points)

Apex 3.2. Author Archives
Many well-known authors have donated their papers to research libraries or organizations. Some of these materials have been digitized and are available as digital collections online. For instance, Lewis Carroll's scrapbook, Willa Cather Archive, Jack London Online, Walt Whitman, Aldo Leopold, and Charles Darwin Online. Find these by searching for the author and adding the word archive to the search.
1) Explore at least three archives focusing on different authors. What materials do they commonly contain?
2) Explore one of these resources in depth. Provide an overview of the author and their works. Highlight what is available through the archive or online resource.
3) Discuss the many different types of primary source materials that can be used to gain insights into the the author's writing process, specific works, and the book cycle using this archive. Provide very specific examples. When possible, link to examples or embed visuals into your discussion. For instance if you talk about a letter, use passages from the letter not just a general reference to a letter.
4) What's the advantage of using an archive like this in studying book history? What's missing with the use of an archive of this type? Can you find other materials that would supplement the materials found at the archive to provide a broader look at authors and their works?

Checklist
Archives exploration (1 Points)
Resource discussion (3 Points)
Primary resources discussion (2 Points)
Archive conclusion (2 Points)
TWO high-quality replies to your peers (2 Points)

Apex 3.3. Author Autobiographies
Author autobiographies can provide fascinating insights into the book cycle. Books like the The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, Autobiography of Mark Twain, and On Writing by Stephen King are a few examples.
1) Using an author autobiography (or a well-researched biography about an author such as Rachel Carson: Witness for Nature) as your focus, provide an overview of the author and his/or her works.
2) Describe the book cycle from the author's perspective. Use specific examples from the autobiography/biography that that reflects this perspective.
3) Does the author's experience reflect the experience of other authors during this time period or is their experience unique? Use MANY specific examples from both the autobiography and your course readings to explore the book cycle from the author's perspective during the time period the author lived and worked.
4) What are the strengths and weaknesses of using autobiography and biography in book history?

Checklist
Overview of autobiography (2 Points)
Book cycle connection (3 Points)
Author example (3 Points)
TWO high-quality replies to your peers (2 Points)

Apex 3.4. Typographers, Illustrators, and Editors, Oh My
Typographers, illustrators and editors are often overlooked and under appreciated participants in the book cycle.
1) Provide an overview of the history of one of these three artisan roles in the book cycle. How did the tools of the trade, approaches to work, and responsibilities of the position change over time? Cite at least two professional resources in your writing.
2) Explore three individuals related to your area of interest that reflect three different time periods in the evolution of this particular role. Provide an overview of the life and works of each of the three individuals.
3) Using specific examples of their works, place each of the three individuals in book history. For instance, you might compare the job functions, lives, and works of illustrators Albrecht Durer (1471-1528), Thomas Bewick (1753-1828), and Kate Greenaway (1846-1901).

Checklist
Artisan role discussion (2 Points)
Individual descriptions (3 Points)
Place in History (2 Points)
Use of professional citations (1 Points)
TWO high-quality replies to your peers (2 Points)

Complete Apex 3. Post your assignment and reply to Canvas.

The Book As Intellectual Property and As Commodity

Read the Book As Intellectual Property section of the course. Be sure to watch the video.

Read the Book As Commodity section of the course. Be sure to watch the video.

Apex 4: The Book As Property & Commodity (10 Points)
Select ONE of the following assignments to complete. In addition to a posting in Canvas, you must also provide TWO high-quality replies to your peers.

Apex 4.1. Intellectual Property
The concept of intellectual property (IP) plays an important role in book history.
1) What's intellectual property (IP)? How has the definition of IP evolved over time? How are the author, printer, and publisher views of IP alike and different? Provide some examples.
2) How is intellectual property connected to the book cycle and the history of books? Cite at least two professional resources in your writing.
3) Discuss the connection among intellectual property, copyright systems and laws, suppression, and freedom? Who do the systems and law benefit? Why? Provide some examples.
4) Discuss how views regarding authors, patronage, property, and privileges changed over time.
5) How is piracy and smuggling associated with intellectual property? Who is hurt and who benefits from these activities?
6) Explore two time periods or copyright systems (i.e., London's Stationers' Company) in depth. How was intellectual property viewed? What was the role of licensure or copyright systems during this time? Compare these two periods or systems. How did they reflect the time when they existed? How do they compare?

Checklist
Intellectual Property overview (1 Points)
Use of professional citations (1 Points)
Connections (1 Points)
Changes over time (1 Points)
Piracy/Smuggling (1 Points)
Comparison of time periods (3 Points)
TWO high-quality replies to your peers (2 Points)

Apex 4.2. Copyright Laws
Through the centuries many laws and regulations were established regarding copyright.
1) Define copyright. How did laws and regulations regarding copyright impact the book cycle and book history? Cite at least three professional resources in your writing.
2) Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900) provides a wonderful set of primary source documents associated with different points in copyright history. Compare the perspectives of different people during the same time period. Or, examine changes in thinking over time. Use at least three documents from this online resource in your discussion.
3) Describe key events in the history of copyright laws worldwide. How did these impact the production and distribution of books? Provide a few examples of individuals who fought for or against changes or the introduction of laws. What was their role in the book cycle and book history?
4) Have some fun with the copyright records. Authors like Walt Whitman were very concerned about copyright and carefully tracked their applications. Go to the Copyright Records page and conduct a search for books published since 1978. Or, explore earlier copyright archives at Archive.org. Provide three examples that you find interesting.

Checklist
Copyright overview (1 Points)
Use of professional citations (1 Points)
Primary source analysis (2 Points)
Key events discussion (2 Points)
Copyright records (2 Points)
TWO high-quality replies to your peers (2 Points)

Apex 4.3. The Business of Books
What's the history of business side of books including the printing and publishing houses? Keep in mind that you can come all the way up to present day with ebooks and digital publishing if you wish.
1) Provide an overview of printing and publishing houses through history. How did they evolve? What types of primary sources are helpful in learning about the history of printer and publishers? Provide examples. Cite at least two professional resources in your writing.
2) Learn about two specific printing or publishing houses from two points in history. Who was involved? Where was it located? What equipment did they use? What did they print? Who were their clients?
3) Compare and contrast the history of the companies. How were they alike and different?
4) Created an annotated bibliography of at least five books published by each company. How are the works they published alike and different? How do they represent the time when they were published and the book cycle of the times?

Checklist
Business overview (1 Points)
Use of professional citations (1 Points)
Description of 2 businesses (2 Points)
Comparison of businesses (2 Points)
Annotated bibliography (2 Points)
TWO high-quality replies to your peers (2 Points)

Apex 4.4. Analyze Advertisements
What's the history of book advertising? Explore magazines, newspapers, and other locations for advertising. Many databases are available with historical newspapers you can explore. Also, consider publications such as Publisher's Weekly, Library Journal, and advertisements in professional publications. Explore popular journals such as Popular Science. You can sometimes find categories in digital collections such as The Sixties: Primary Documents and Personal Narratives and the Underground Press. You may also want to consider how the present day shift toward ebooks is changing how books are advertised.
1) Provide an overview of the history of book advertisements. Describe the many ways that books have been advertised over time. Provide examples. Cite at least two professional resources in your writing.
2) How do the publications where the advertisements are published reflect the anticipated audience for the book? How do the advertisements reflect the book and the author? Provide examples.
2) What do advertisements tell us about economics, culture, and society? Provide examples.
3) Select four book advertisements that represent different time periods. How do the advertisement reflect the time period it was produced?

Checklist
Advertising overview (1 Points)
Use of professional citations (1 Points)
Ad audiences (2 Points)
Ads and society (2 Points)
Ad examples (2 Points)
TWO high-quality replies to your peers (2 Points)

Apex 4.5 Booksellers, Bookman, and their Books
Records of book auctions, catalogues, and sales ledgers are a few of the many types of primary source materials can be used to understand the role of the booksellers, bookman, and others in the production and distribution stage of the book cycle.
1) Review the Books as a Commodity section of the course. Select one aspect of the "book as a commodity" to explore in depth. Develop a set of questions to explore.
2) What primary sources can be used to address these questions? Provide a few specific examples and documents. Write a short paper connecting the book as commodity to these documents. Cite at least two professional resources in your writing.
3) Design an interesting product (i.e., infographic, scrapbook, web page) connecting a book title, series, or category of books with the book cycle and the book as commodity. Have fun. Be creative. Avoid "writing a paper". Check out a Weebly example and infographic + paper example.

Checklist
Commodity questions (1 Points)
Use of professional citations (1 Points)
Primary sources (3 Points)
Product (3 Points)
TWO high-quality replies to your peers (2 Points)

Complete Apex 4. Post your assignment and reply to Canvas.

The Book As Knowledge

Read the Book As Knowledge section of the course. Be sure to watch the video.

Apex 5: The Book As Knowledge (10 Points)
Select ONE of the following assignments to complete. In addition to a posting in Canvas, you must also provide TWO high-quality replies to your peers.

Apex 5.1. Build a Timeline
Timelines are an exciting way to visualize book history. Use a timeline tool such as Timeglider, Tiki-TokiCapzles, DipityOurStory, or TimeToast to share a chronology (not Microsoft Word or PowerPoint).
1) Your timeline should focus on some aspect of the "Book as Knowledge". You have two options for building your timeline. First, you could explore a particular format or discipline and trace the history of books in this area. Or, you could "focus on firsts" across fields such as the first books printed in a particular language, firsts in particular subjects, firsts printed in a particular country, firsts of a particular type of illustration or typography, firsts in a particular category such as dictionaries or Bibles, or first books by a particular printer. Cite at least two professional resources in your writing.
2) Your timeline should be much more than a random set of books. Each book on our timeline should be there for a specific reason. Provide a citation for the book, an image that represents the book, and a description of the book and reasoning for why it appears on our timeline. Your timeline should include an introduction and at least five items. Check out the HarperCollins example that uses Timeglider, gothic novels using the Timeglider format, social fiction using Timeglider, Harlem Renaissance using Timeglider, dime novels using Dipity, fantasy in Tiki-Toki, James Bond in Tiki-Toki, and travel guides in the Tiki-Toki format. Keep in mind that some of these students also provided a supplemental document to accompany the timeline.

Checklist
Timeline focus (1 Points)
Use of professional citations (1 Points)
Introduction to timeline (1 Points)
Five timeline items (5 Points)
TWO high-quality replies to your peers (2 Points)

Apex 5.2. Focus on Form
Almanacs, dictionaries, cookbooks, guidebooks and how-to books are all interesting types of reference and specialty books. They are each best known for their form rather than their contents. Each type has its own history. Be sure to consider how the introduction of ebooks is changing this traditional book form.
1) Select a particular category such as field guides or military manuals that you wish to explore in depth. Select at least five books that represent the evolution of this type of book. Describe each book and defend why you think it represents the category. Cite at least two professional resources in your writing.
2) Be sure to explore the changes in physical properties, book structure, use of typography and illustration, as well as the evolution of content. Use very specific examples using visuals from your examples when possible.
3) You can present this information in whatever format works best for you. For instance, check out the cookbook example using Weebly and one in PDF. Also, check out the Choose Your Own Adventure project.

Checklist
Category focus (1 Points)
Use of professional citations (1 Points)
Five books (5 Points)
Meaningful presentation (1 Points)
TWO high-quality replies to your peers (2 Points)

Apex 5.3. Fun with Fiction
Are you a lover of romances, westerns, or some other genre fiction? This is your chance to explore a personal or professional area of interest.
1) Trace the history of a fiction genre. How did it evolve? What are some noteworthy examples? It's fine to use some of the ideas from the course materials, but you should come up with your own examples too. Skim at least three books in the area that represent different points in the history of the genre including a very early work. Compare and contrast these three books. How do they present the genre? Cite at least two professional resources in your writing.
2) Discuss the book cycle of the genre at different points in history. Who are the key authors? Do these books "sell themselves" or have specific types of advertising been developed? Who are the readers of these books?
3) Discuss the possible future of the genre. What's the impact of electronic books? What do you see as changes in this genre in the future? Provide specific examples and reasons for your statements.
4) You can present this information in whatever format works best for you.

Checklist
Fiction focus (1 Points)
Use of professional citations (1 Points)
Three books (3 Points)
Connection to book cycle (1 Points)
Discussion of future (1 Points)
Meaningful presentation (1 Points)
TWO high-quality replies to your peers (2 Points)

Apex 5.4. Blog your Passion.
Some of the most interesting blogs have been created by people with a passion for a very specific area of book history. From sharing miniature books to comparing different versions of the Bible, much of book history involves expertise in very focused areas.
1) Your job is to create a blog for your area of interest (i.e., historical picture books, erotica of the 19th century, using Wordpress, Weebly, Blogger, or a tool of your choice.
2) Create at least five postings that incorporate the Book As... themes from the course. For instance, a posting might deal with authors or illustrators of science books, while another might explore publishers in the sciences. Each entry should contain at least one visual. Cite at least three professional resources somewhere in your writing. Check out an example focusing on Presidents as Authors.

Checklist
Area of focus (1 Points)
Use of professional citations (1 Points)
Five postings (5 Points)
Use of blog (1 Points)
TWO high-quality replies to your peers (2 Points)

Complete Apex 5. Post your assignment and reply to Canvas.

The Book As Print Culture and Cultural Icon

Read the Book As Print Culture section of the course. Be sure to watch the video.

Read the Book As Cultural Icon section of the course. Be sure to watch the video.

Apex 6: The Book As Cultural Experience (10 Points)
Select ONE of the following assignments to complete. In addition to a posting in Canvas, you must also provide TWO high-quality replies to your peers.

Apex 6.1. Print Culture Around the World
Over the past several decades, there has been much debate about whether changes in society led to the printing press or if the invention of the printing press led to changes in society. This "chicken or egg" dilemma has been debated by scholars of book history for many decades.
1) Discuss the "chicken or egg" dilemma as it relates to society and the printing press. Trace a few of the key publications that have addressed this issue. What are the different viewpoints? Where do you stand? Be sure to include the "How Revolutionary was the Print Revolution" series of articles: Forum 1, Forum 2, Forum 3, Forum 4.
2) Regardless of your conclusion regarding the dilemma, a print culture did evolve at different points around the world. The Print Culture page of the course provides some starting points for an exploration of book history and print culture in different areas of the world. Select an area of the world to explore. Since the course has focused primarily on the United States, the United Kingdom, and French, don't choose one of those locations.
3) Write a short article titled "Book history and print culture in BLANK: the state of the discipline". Feel free to keep the focus broad such as China or narrow such as China during the BLANK dynasty. Cite at least five professional resources in your writing.

Checklist
Dilemma discussion (3 Points)
Use of professional citations (2 Points)
Article content (3 Points)
TWO high-quality replies to your peers (2 Points)

Apex 6.2. Build a Time Capsule
Focus on a historical period rather than a century. For example, you might study book history and the Renaissance, Protestant Reformation, Age of Enlightenment, Victorian Era, or some other block of time since 1450.
1) Explore the print culture of a particular time period. What was print culture like during this period? How was print culture different than the period prior to or after this period? What were key innovations in the book cycle? What book forms and categories were introduced or expanded during this period? Cite at least three professional resources in your writing.
2) Select ten books that best represent the time period. Build a "time capsule" with a page representing each book. Provide information about the book and how it represents the print culture of the times. Check out examples from the Victorian Period, Progressive Era, Romanticism.

Checklist
Time period discussion (2 Points)
Use of professional citations (1 Points)
Ten books (5 Points)
TWO high-quality replies to your peers (2 Points)

Apex 6.3. Cultural Icon Award
What books published since 1450 would you consider iconic? Don Quixote, Robinson Crusoe, Uncle Tom's Cabin, Origin of the Species, The Jungle, and Silent Spring all come to mind. Let's invent a new book award known as the "cultural icon award". You're in charge of nominating the first book to receive this honor.
1) Address the following questions as you write an introduction to this new award. How does a book become a "cultural icon"? How do books reflect the era and location where they were produced? What makes society ready for a particular book? Would the book have been popular in any era or is there something unique about the particular time and place it was written? What makes a book meaningful long after its been written and the original circumstances have changed?
2) Select a book you love and others have written about as having an impact on the world in some way. Read the book. Explore professional books and articles about the book's impact.
3) The book you select should be a classic not just for its literary quality, but for its impact based on the time and place it originated. Trace this impact over time. Cite sources that provide supportive evidence of your claim. Provide specific passages or themes from the book that connect it with the society in which it was produced. Cite at least three professional resources that would support the cultural status of this work.
4) Write a nomination speech for this book. Or, be creative and write an awards presentation (i.e., Radio Script Example). Include details about its author and publication history (i.e., editions, printings, publishers, sales). Be sure to provide a summary of the book. Consider taking excerpts from the book's preface, introduction, or body from various editions to support your stance.

Checklist
Cultural icon introduction (2 Points)
Use of professional citations (2 Points)
Nomination speech (4 Points)
TWO high-quality replies to your peers (2 Points)

Apex 6.4. Censorship: Prohibition and Destruction
Fear and hatred are just two of the strong negative emotions associated with books. From expurgation and obscenity laws to vice societies and libricide, books have been target of censorship throughout history.
1) Select one aspect of book censorship or destruction that you find particularly disturbing or fascinating. Obscenity laws, book burning, or the Index of Prohibited Books are just a few of the many options.
2) Trace the history of the negative emotions associated with individual books or groups of books. What is it about books that can elicit such strong emotions? Why are some books so hated and feared? Cite at least three professional resources in your discussion.
3) Create a timeline that explores some aspect of censorship using individual books to reflect each event on the timeline. Use a timeline tool such as Timeglider, Tiki-TokiCapzles, DipityOurStory, or TimeToast to share a chronology. Provide a citation for the book, an image that represents the book, and a description of the book and reasoning for why it appears on our timeline. Your timeline should include an introduction and at least five items. Explore an example at Dipity.

Checklist
Trace the history (2 Points)
Use of professional citations (1 Points)
Five timeline items (5 Points)
TWO high-quality replies to your peers (2 Points)

Complete Apex 6. Post your assignment and reply to Canvas.

The Book As Reader Experience

Read the As Reader Experience section of the course. Be sure to watch the video.

Apex 7: The Book As Reader Experience (10 Points)
Select ONE of the following assignments to complete. In addition to a posting in Canvas, you must also provide TWO high-quality replies to your peers.

Apex 7.1. Dig into Diaries
From personal journals and letters to newspaper articles and photographs, primary resources are the key to understanding readers of this past.
1) Go to the Reading Experience Database (RED), 1450-1945. Watch the short video about the project, then browse RED. Select at least three examples you find particularly compelling. Connect these three examples to book history.
2) Explore online diaries and newspapers for evidence of reading. North American Women's Letters and Diaries (available through IUPUI) is one you'll want to explore in-depth. Try doing a search for the word reading or a particular book title such as Huck Finn. Select at least three examples you find particularly compelling. Connect these three examples to book history.
3) Explore images of people reading. Select at least three images you find particularly compelling. Connect these three examples to book history.
4) What are the pros and cons of using diaries, letters, images, and other primary sources for investigating the book as a reading experience? What can you learn from these sources?

Checklist
Database examples (2 Points)
Diary examples (2 Points)
Image examples (2 Points)
Primary source use (2 Points)
TWO high-quality replies to your peers (2 Points)

Apex 7.2. Marginalia, Provenance, and the Readers of Books
What do the book plates, sales receipts, and marginalia tell us about a book?
1) Explore some aspect of provenance that you find interesting such as inscriptions, bookplates, bindings, or marginalia. Write about the history and science of this area of study. Provide lots of examples. Be specific using visuals when possible. Cite at least three professional sources.
2) Write an in-depth investigation into an interesting example of provenance found in the professional literature such as an author's book collection, a person from history that created lots of marginalia, or some other area of interest related to readers.
3) Provide a personal example from your own book collection or a book from a family member or friend. What traces remain of the current or previous owners and readers? Collect an oral history from yourself or the book owner about their connection with the book as a reader.

Checklist
Provenance focus (2 Points)
Use of professional citations (2 Points)
Investigation examples (2 Points)
Personal examples (2 Points)
TWO high-quality replies to your peers (2 Points)

Apex 7.3. The Biography of a Book
Review the Life Cycle of a Book from the readings. What patterns can be found in the life cycle of a book? From author to publisher to printer to shipper to bookseller to library to reader/critic/participant in society. Rather than trying to trace to origins of all books, many historians have used a single book to reflect the larger scope of publishing for a particular time period or era. By tracing the life cycle of a specific book, it's possible to explore the connection between the content, author, editor, printers, publishers, booksellers, and readers. Think of it as the biography of a book. Robert Darnton is known for using a wide range of primary sources to understand a single book including author and publisher correspondence, sales figures, and copyright records.
1) Choose a book to explore in-depth.
2) Share your results in whatever format works best for you. Check out examples of life cycle of a book as an infographic: infographic 1, infographic 2, and infographic 3.

Checklist
In-depth Exploration (6 Points)
Sharing (2 Points)
TWO high-quality replies to your peers (2 Points)

Apex 7.4: Electronic Books and the Reader Experience
Many bibliophiles have expressed concern about what may be lost with the transition from a paper-based to an electronic-based world. Do you share these concerns or are you a lover of all book forms? This is your chance to explore the literature related to this huge transformation and the implications of this change. You can approach this topic however you wish. You may take a broad view or focus on a particular area such as licensing, implications for young readers, or some other area of interest. The only requirement is that you incorporate and cite at least 6 articles into your product.

Checklist
In-depth Exploration (6 Points)
At Least 6 Articles (2 Points)
TWO high-quality replies to your peers (2 Points)

Apex 7.5. Visit a Collection Face-to-Face
Option 1: Herron Art Library
Meet with Sonja Staum, the Library Director at the Herron Art Library at IUPUI. She’s volunteered to meet with you and share her amazing collection. This is a rare opportunity to explore a significant fine press and artist book collection up-close. To get a feel for the collection, check out their Digital Collection.
If you choose to visit the Herron Art Library collection, consider going as a small group. Use the General Discussion area or send out a Canvas email to the class looking for others who might be interested. You should contact Sonja Staum directly to make arrangements.
After your visit, share your experience in a short written paper.
Option 2: Special Library Experience
If you don't live near Indy, you may visit a special book collection of your choice. If you select this option, you must make your own arrangements and meet with the library professional in charge of the collection. This should not be the place where you already work or volunteer. After your visit, share your experience in a short written paper.

Apex 7.6: Revisit a Topic 
Look back over the options in Apex 1-6 that you didn't choose. Complete one of these assignments.

Checklist
Depends of Apex selected.

Complete Apex 7. Post your assignment and reply to Canvas.

Final Project

Use the final project as a chance to investigate an area of professional interest.

Your project should NOT simply retell what has already been published. I don't want a traditional research paper on the history of censorship or a rehashing of the research related to Uncle Tom's Cabin. You've written hundred of papers during your college career. This is a chance to do something different. However if you choose to write a paper, it should be ready to be submitted for publication to a specific library history journal. In other words, the paper should answer a new question or take a unique look at topic.

The Paper. This project is about conducting an historical investigation and developing a meaningful product. By combining what we already know about book history with new information you've identified or gathered yourself, your project should make a contribution to the field of book history.

In addition to the project itself, you need to write a short paper explaining your approach to the final project. It should address the following questions:

The Product. In addition, you need to create a product that can be shared electronically with the public. In other words, I'll be sharing the best products on our class website for future students to enjoy. As such, your project must be professionally presented in the form of a PDF file, timeliner tool (i.e. Timeglider), and/or website (i.e., WeeblyGooglesitesWikispacesWordpress). Or, other digital format that can be easily enjoyed by others.

History is much more exciting when you can see and hear the evidence. When possible, incorporate digital images, artifacts, and media elements into your project. If you are using images from online, be sure they are in the public domain. If not, be sure you follow use guidelines or get permissions. Start early!

Explore a few examples from 2016. Note that a paper isn't alway available.

Explore a few examples from 2015. Note that a paper isn't alway available.

Explore a few examples from 2013. Some may be gone over time.

Project Options

Rather than a general book history topic, your project should focus on an area of interest such as features of incunable, examination of a book you consider a cultural icon, a comparison of author experiences during the Renaissance, botanical illustrators of the Enlightenment, the issue of book burning in war, marginalia in 18th century books, children's textbooks of the 19th century... Your project should represent a unique contribution to the study of book history.

Throughout the course, we've focused on the book cycle... the book as author work, commodity, etc. While you may be interested in authors, publishers, or readers, remember that the focus of the course is on "The Book".

Your project should include both analysis and interpretation. In other words, you should be evaluating sources and connecting readings with new ideas. Then, supporting your claims with evidence. Your project should be MUCH MORE THAN facts. It should present a new way of thinking about book history based on specific evidence citing credible sources. In other words, if you use a timeline tool, be sure you connect the events in your narrative. How do people, places, and things contribute to changes over time? What primary and secondary resources support the facts and interpretations you're making?

Be sure to incorporate primary sources into your project. Many courses rely on secondary sources. However in this course, you should be examining at least a few primary sources of information and part of the evidence used in your project. The use of historical materials is essential in your project. You should be using resources such as archive.org to locate books of the period you're exploring; digital collections that contain book reviews, reader experiences, and book advertisements; and old issues of magazines and newspaper to locate primary source materials. You'll be amazed at the primary sources that are available if you seek out old book catalogs and written correspondence from earlier centuries. Your project should include citations for books, articles, and other materials in addition to the resources you find at websites. In other words, DIG DEEP!

Review the Apex assignments, consider adapting and expanding one of those topics for your final project. Keep in mind that this project is worth 3 times the points as the Apex. If you choose a tool like a timeline, it should have 3 times that depth as an apex.

Format

Select a format for your final product. Be creative. Have some fun! Not everyone loves books and book history the way we do. Think of a way to convey your ideas in a way that will engage your readers and explorers. Not in the mood to write a paper? Create a timeline or video instead!

Alternative. Are you in the mood to write a book manifesto, a photo essay, a children's book, or mini-textbook? Be my guest. Use whatever format best suits your needs. You could even write an e-book to be published on Amazon or an ibook for the iPad. It just needs to be in a digital format that others in the class can access.

Scholarly Article. If you choose to write a professional article, it should meet the guidelines of a particular scholarly journal such as Book History or Information & Culture. Or, a journal aimed at a particular library journal type such as academic, medical, or law librarianship. If you choose to write for a popular journal, it should meet the guidelines of a popular journal such as Smithsonian Magazine. You should turn in two papers. One that provides the required backstory and another that contains the article itself. Use the PDF format for submission. It should be formatted with a title, headings, and subheading like you would submit it for professional publication rather than with the class title and course number across the top.

Timeline. When studying history, a chronology is an effective way to organize ideas. Use a tool like Timeglider as a way to present your final project. You might also explore other options such as Tiki-TokiCapzlesDipityOurStory, or TimeToast.

Video or Multimedia Presentation. If you choose to do a video or multimedia presentation, it must include all the components of a scholarly article. In other words, it should cite professional resources, images, and other materials incorporated into the work. You may need to provide a printed document to accompany your work that includes these required elements. A PowerPoint presentation is NOT an acceptable format unless it is a self-running, audio narrated show. Consider uploading your project to Vimeo or YouTube. Your project may need to be editing into smaller segments for online viewing.

Website. A website is a great way to share your project. Consider using a free website builder (i.e., WeeblyGooglesitesWikispacesWordpress). Or, your own website domain if you have one available.

Criteria

This project is worth 30 points. The expectations are high.

The Paper (5 Points). In a separate paper (or as part of the project), explain the investigation process.

The Product (22 Points). The final product may take many forms. Be creative. However also be sure to provide the depth expected in this project.

Peer Selection (3 Points). Review the projects of your peers. Select ONE that you think should be added to the course materials. Why do you think it's an exemplary project? Where would it fit into the course readings? How would it contribute to the course? Post your review as a reply to your peer in Canvas.

| eduscapes | IUPUI Online Courses | Teacher Tap | 42explore | About Us | Contact Us | © 2013-2017 Annette Lamb

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.