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A Field Guide to Book History : Researching the Material Book, Paperback / softback Book

A Field Guide to Book History : Researching the Material Book Paperback / softback


As book historians will attest, students are usually surprised to learn that a book's container can matter deeply when it comes to understanding the value placed on it by the work's original readers.

A Field Guide to Book History provides students and researchers new to the field the information and interpretive skills necessary for the material study of the book.

Focusing on books published in England and America from the end of the eighteenth century to the present, Ann R.

Hawkins and Maura Ives trace the complex transition from handmade to machine-made objects.

They begin with an overview of theories of the book and book production, followed by an introduction to the parts of the book (Just what is a fore-edge?) and its common features.

Explanations of the intricacies of book production assist researchers to think fully about the historical, cultural, and sociological context of the artifact under examination, while discussions of marginalia, inscriptions, and other signs of ownership show what post-publication marks may reveal about a book's history.

Readers will learn how to identify fraudulent books, to research ephemera, the various approaches to manuscript books and materials, and the processes by which texts are converted to digital form.

Too often books on production processes are highly detailed and arduous to wade through.

Richly illustrated, imaginatively conceived, and accessibly written, A Field Guide to Book History is indispensable for novice researchers and students of the book.


  • Format: Paperback / softback
  • Pages: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Literature: history & criticism
  • ISBN: 9781472436245

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