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History of the Book

A guide to research in the history of books, reading, publishing, and print culture.

Using the Libraries' catalog to find secondary sources in book history

You can use the Libraries' catalog to discover books in our collections that deal with topics related to book history. Subject headings, the terms attached to every record to categorize each item in our collection, can be searched using the "In subject" option in the pulldown menu under "Anywhere in the record." Once you've found a list of results in the catalog, you can also click "Subject" under "Limit my results" on the left side of the page to see a list of subject headings. Click any of these to refine your search only to materials with that subject heading.

Some subject headings that may help you find titles on book history:

  • Authors and readers -- History
  • Book industries and trade
  • Bookbinding
  • Booksellers and bookselling
  • Early printed books
  • Illustration of books
  • Libraries -- History
  • Manuscripts
  • Printing -- History
  • Publishers and publishing -- History
  • Books and reading -- History
  • Type and type-founding

Bibliographic methods and terminology

General overviews

General introductions to the field, readers, handbooks, and guides:

Historical overviews:

The Cambridge History of the Book in Britain (Cambridge University Press)

The Edinburgh History of Reading (Edinburgh University Press)

A History of the Book in America (University of North Carolina Press)