An introduction to the cultural history of the book and its functions as both material object and text. Major themes include the techniques of book production, authorship, popular and learned readership, libraries and censorship, with a focus on printing and developments in early modern Europe (notably in France, 16th-18th centuries).


vindolanda tablets - Online edition of the Vindolanda writing tablets unearthed in northern England. In Latin with English commentary.

naudé - PDF of Gabriel Naudé's Instructions Concerning Erection of a Library

eebo - Early English Books Online. A HOLLIS e-resource, Harvard ID required for access.

Introduction to Letterpress Printing - Please browse as an introduction to our visit to the Adams House handpress.

William St Clair, "The political economy of reading" - Reading for Week XII (section on Fri April 28)

Reading Experience Database 1450-1945 - A place to both contribute and collect evidence of "reading experiences" with a British focus.

bibliotheca eruditionis - Project "Bibliotheca Eruditionis" is working on creating a restrospective national bibliography of Hungarian books from the 16th-17th centuries.

bl gutenberg - The British Library's online project for digitizing the Gutenberg Bible.

gottingen gutenberg - The University of Gottingen's online project for digitizing the Gutenberg Bible. In German and English.

sharp - Society for the History of Authorship, Reading & Publishing. Publishers' records and many useful links.

ihl - Institut d'histoire du livre, including links to 500 book history sites on the Web. In English and French.

hbic - History of the Book in Canada.

hobo - History of the Book @ Oxford. Dedicated webspace for all History of the Book events and resources throughout the UK.

textes rares - Downloadable texts and pictures from the 15th to 19th century. Primarily in French.

gallica - Digital library of the Bibliothèque nationale de France. Many downloadable books and documents. Primarily in French.

project gutenberg - The Internet's largest source of free (English-language) electronic texts.

houghton library - Harvard's rare-book and manuscript library.

hyde collection catablog - Hyde Collection catablog by John Overholt, concerning the cataloging of the Samuel Johnson papers at Houghton Library.


syllabus - Course books, reading assignments (in PDF format).

lecture notes - Outlines from class:

Lecture one

Timeline (handout for lecture 1)

Lecture two

Lecture three

Antiquity overview

Lecture four

Middle Ages overview

Lecture five

Short paper assignment

Lecture six

China overview

Lecture seven

Lecture eight

Houghton visit

Lecture nine

midterm - Review for the midterm, timeline, and midterm preparation notes (all in PDF format).

Lecture ten

Lecture eleven

Final paper assignment

Lecture twelve

Lecture thirteen

Lecture fourteen

Lecture fifteen

Suggested research strategies for the final paper

Lecture sixteen

Lecture seventeen

Lecture eighteen

Lecture nineteen

Lecture twenty

Lecture twenty-one

Lecture twenty-two

Lecture twenty-three

final - Overview of second half of course, guide to the final exam, list of ID terms (all in PDF format).

philobiblon - The Philobiblon of Richard de Bury (in PDF format).

research paper tips - Guidelines for writing a research paper (in PDF format).

rare book markets - Links to various rare book resources and rare book markets from Barbara Burg, Research Librarian at Widener.

resources guide - An extensive guide to history of the book and history of reading resources available through the Harvard College Libraries. Compiled by Barbara Burg (in PDF format).

History 1318 meets Monday and Wednesday at 11 A.M. in Sever Hall 213. Friday sections at 11 A.M.
Teaching Fellow: Amy Houston,