ARTH 299 History of the Book from Manuscript to Print

A survey of the evolution of the book, both as a vessel for the transmission of text and image and as evidence of material culture. Through close examination of rare books in Clapp Library's Special Collections, we will explore the social and political forces that influenced the dissemination and reception of printed texts. Lectures will cover the principle techniques and materials of book production from the ancient scroll to the modern codex, including calligraphy, illumination, format and composition, typography, illustration, papermaking, and bookbinding. Weekly reading, discussion, and analysis of specimens will provide the skills needed to develop a critical vocabulary and an investigative model for individual research. Additional sessions on the hand press in the Book Arts Lab and in the Pendleton paper studio.


Permission of the instructor.



Semesters Offered

Not Offered

Degree Requirements


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