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CLS 50 — The History of the Book, 1050-1800

Quarter: Spring
Day(s): Thursdays
Time: 7:00—8:50 pm
Date(s): Mar 31—May 19
Duration: 8 weeks
Drop By
Drop Deadline: Apr 13
Unit(s): 1 Units
Tuition: $360
Format: On-campus course
Limit: Limit 21
Status: Closed
In this course, which meets in Stanford’s Special Collections at the Green Library, we will utilize Stanford’s extensive antiquarian holdings to study the emergence of the printed book in the 15th century, follow its spread from Germany to the rest of continental Europe and England, and examine the book as it developed in the Renaissance right on through the 18th century. Topics will include the abiding value of the book as an artifact (we will look at bindings, formats, typography, provenance, and marginalia); the manuscript traditions that preceded the invention of movable type; Renaissance printing and humanism; book illustration (woodcut and intaglio processes); and the major printers, typographers, and illustrators of both continental and English printing. Each student will have the opportunity to handle the antiquarian materials used each week.

This course is intended for those with an interest in antiquarian books and printing history; no special background is required.

John Mustain, Curator of Rare Books, Stanford University Libraries

John Mustain joined the Stanford Libraries in 1980 and the Department of Special Collections in 1996. His interests include the illustrated book, early printed books, and the Book Arts Revival in Great Britain. He received an MLS in library science from UC Berkeley and an MTS in medieval studies from Harvard.

Textbooks for this course:

(Recommended) David Finkelstein and Alistair McCreery, An Introduction to Book History., 2nd Edition, 1913 (ISBN 041568806X)
(Required) David Finkelstein and Alistair McCreery, eds., The Book History Reader, 2nd ed. 2006 (ISBN 0415359481)