LIBR 548F offers an overview of the history of the book as a material object and as an agent of intellectual and social development. It places particular emphasis on the book in Europe, Britain, and North America. This course defines book widely, so its interests include the past, present, and future of the creation, diffusion, and reception of the written word. The course looks at the book in two ways: as a physical object; and as the bearer of intellectual content. It therefore examines the physical properties of the objects that carry written and pictorial texts, as well as the intellectual uses to which books have been put.
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