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History of the Book

Taught in the Department of Special Collections, the course examines the book as both a developing concept and as a material object, from scroll to codex, from manuscript to print, from cold type to electronic medium. Basic bibliographical and paleographical techniques will be taught, and readings in history and theory will be discussed. Attention will focus particularly on the use of books, and hence on the history of reading practices, including marginalia and other marks of ownership. Students will be expected to develop their own projects from among the riches of Stanford┬┐s rare book collection. The final project may be a collaborative one, with contributions by the class as a whole. This has typically been the preparation of an edition of a manuscript or piece of ephemera in Stanford┬┐s collection.


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