The Book: 1450+

Book History

Annette Lamb will no longer be teaching or updating this course after December 2021, but the materials will continue to be available.

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. We’ll look at the past, but also at the present and future including the role of eBooks in a changing book market.

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!

To register for this course, go to IUPUI.
To enjoy the lessons, simply use the links below.

Week 1: The Book

  • The Book: Defined
  • Formats: pop-up, miniature, board book, big books, cloth books, gift book 
  • Related Works: ephemera, periodicals, newspapers, chapbooks, broadsides, pamphlets, booklets, scrapbooks

Week 2: Book Historiography

  • The Book in History 
  • Book Historiography
  • Methodology

Week 3: The Book as Artifact

  • Book Elements
  • Key Terms
  • Editions

Week 4: The Book as Printed Work

  • The History of Printing
  • The History of Typography
  • The History of Illustration
  • The History of Book Binding

Week 5: The Book as Author Work: Part 1

  • Authorship

Week 6: The Book as Author Work: Part 2

  • Authorship

Week 7: The Book as Intellectual Property

  • Intellectual Property
  • Copyright Laws

Week 8: The Book as Commodity

  • Publishers
  • Booksellers

Week 9: The Book as Knowledge

  • Overview
  • Reference Works
    • Almanac Dictionary
    • Encyclopedia
    • Atlas, Travel
    • Field Guides, Manuals, and Handbooks
    • Ready Reference
    • Textbooks 
    • Trade Literature
  • Arts & Humanities
    • Arts
    • History
    • Music
    • Religious Studies & Magic
  • Literature
    • Novel
    • Genre Fiction
    • Plays, Poetry, & Essays
    • Nature Writing
    • Children’s
    • Comics
  • Science
    • Air science
    • Earth science
    • Life science
    • Physical science
    • Mathematics
    • Medicine and Health
  • Social Studies
    • Agriculture
    • Cookbooks
    • Economics
    • Law
    • Humor
    • Political Science
    • Philosophy
    • Psychology, Sociology, and Education
    • Self-Help and How-To

Week 10: The Book as Print Culture: 1400s-1700s

  • Overview
  • 1400s
  • 1500s
  • 1600s
  • 1700s
  • 1800s
  • 1900s
  • 2000s
  • The Future of Print and Electronic

Week 11: The Book as Cultural Icon

  • Intellectual Freedom
  • Censorship
  • Smuggling
  • Book Burning
  • Propaganda

Week 12: The Book as Reader

  • Preferences
  • Reading Activities
  • Marginalia
  • Provenance
  • The Future of Reading