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John M. Kelly Library

Research Guide to Book and Printing History

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This research guide is designed for use particularly by undergraduate students in the Book and Media Studies Program. It is maintained by Richard Carter. It was last updated August 2010.

General Works

Oxford Companion to the Book

The Oxford Companion to the Book.

Edited by Michael F. Suarez, S.J. and H.R. Woudhuysen. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010. 2 volumes.
[St Michael's College Library 1st Floor Reference Area Z4 .O94 2010].
Part general essay collection, part encyclopedia, this 2-volume set serves as both an in-depth introduction to book history and a handy reference tool for the fact-checking researcher. The 48 essays in volume 1 are substantial, include bibliographies, and cover such topics as the ancient book, bookbinding, and the History of the Book in Germany. The briefer A-Z entries in both volumes often contain at least one bibliographical source, and run from such topics as the African Books Collective in volume 1 to Zanders, a manufacturer of fine paper, in volume 2. Volume 1 contains a thematic listing of entries, as well as a table of contents, while volume 2 offers a general index.

An Introduction to Book History

An Introduction to Book History.

By David Finkelstein and Alistair McCleery. New York: Routledge, 2005.
[St Michael's College Library 1st Floor Reference Area Z4 .F49 2005].
Introducing book history, from early oral texts to electronic titles, Finkelstein and McCleery cover such topics as authorship, the publishing world, readership, and the future of the book.

A Dictionary of Book History.

A Dictionary of Book History.

By John Feather. New York: Oxford University Press, 1986.
[St Michael's 1st Floor Reference Area - Z 1006 .F38 1986].
Packed with more than 650 articles and recommended sources, this book elucidates a range of people and places, along with such topics as terminology, printing history, publishing and bookselling, physical book history, and book collecting.

ABC for Book Collectors.

ABC for Book Collectors.

By John Carter and Nicolas Barker. New Castle: Oak Knoll Press, 2004.
[St Michael's 2nd Floor - Z 1006 .C37 2004].
This classic text contains in-depth descriptions of every aspect of antique and modern book collecting from A to Z. All terms are alphabetized for quick reference, including how to take care of pigskin, morocco, or Russian Leather, how to tell Japan vellum from India proof paper and how to determine 'very good copy' in a collectible volume.

The Art and History of Books.

The Art and History of Books.

By Norma Levarie. New Castle: Oak Knoll Press, 1995.
[St Michael's 2nd Floor - Z 4 .L58 1995].
Chronologically examines the history of book design and illustration from mediaeval manuscripts to the twentieth century, touching on social, religious and technological factors. Includes 176 facsimiles from books of special interest.

The Encyclopedia of the Book.

The Encyclopedia of the Book.

By Geoffrey Glaister. New Castle: Oak Knoll Press, 2001.
[St Michael's 1st Floor Reference Area -Z 118 .G55 2001].
This comprehensive illustrated source contains more than 3,000 entries on terms used in bookmaking, printing, papermaking, and the book trade. Pick up this book for biographical details on printers, authors, bookbinders, and bibliophiles, as well as information on machinery, famous books, printing societies, organizations, customs of the trade, and book lore.

Printing and the Mind of Man.

Printing and the Mind of Man.

By John Carter. London: Cassell, 1967.
[St Michael's 2nd Floor - Z 4 .C3].

Principles of Bibliographic Description.

Principles of Bibliographic Description.

By Fredson Bowers. New Castle: Oak Knoll Press, 1994.
[St Michael's 2nd Floor -Z 1001 .B78 1994].
Considered a standard guide, this is a comprehensive manual for the description of printed books as physical objects. Covers hand-printed books up to the 20th century. The appendix includes sample descriptions.

Printing and Typography

A Short History of the Printed Word.

A Short History of the Printed Word.

By Robert Bringhurst and Warren Chappell. Vancouver: Hartley and Marks, 1999.
[St Michael's 2nd Floor - Z 124 .C47].
This illustrated book covers the history of printing from the earliest alphabets, and includes such topics as the evolution of the printing press, contributions of great printers and typographers, and twentieth century graphic technology.

An Introduction to the History of Printing Types.

An Introduction to the History of Printing Types.

By Geoffrey Dowding. London: The British Library, 1998.
[St Michael's 2nd Floor - Z 250 .A2 D6 1998].
First published in 1961, this is the standard work on the use of type faces over the last five hundred years. It is an illustrated summary on the main stages in the development of type design and also offers practical guidance for identifying types.

A New Introduction to Bibliography.

A New Introduction to Bibliography.

By Philip Gaskell.Winchester: St. Paul's Bibliographies, 1995.
[St Michael's 2nd Floor - Z 1001 .G37 1995].
This classic manual on bibliography explains the history of book production from 1500 onwards and focuses on type, illustration, paper, formats, binding, and decoration.

Anatomy of Printing: The Influence of Art and History on its Design.

Anatomy of Printing: The Influence of Art and History on its Design.

By John Lewis. New York: Watson-Guptill, 1970.
[St Michael's 2nd Floor - Z 124 .L48 1970].
Starting with the history of printing in Mediaeval Europe, Anatomy of Printing surveys the historical influences that have shaped the printed page from the Middle Ages to the twentieth century. This illustrated book is based on twenty years of research by a distinguished designer.

Annals of Printing: A Chronological Encyclopedia from the Earliest Times to 1950.

Annals of Printing: A Chronological Encyclopedia from the Earliest Times to 1950.

By Berry W. Turner. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1966.
[St Michael's 1st Floor Reference Area - Z 124 .B45].
Chronicling significant events in the evolution and history of printing in Europe, this book explains printing techniques and innovations, including the manufacturing of paper, the development of types, methods of illustration, the printing of music, and the laws concerning printing. Contains maps, illustrations and an extensive bibliography.

Five Hundred Years of Printing.

Five Hundred Years of Printing.

By S.H. Steinberg.London: Oak Knoll Press, 1996.
[St Michael's 2nd Floor - Z 124 .S8 1996].
This standard beginner's volume on the history of printing covers type design, the spread of printing in Europe, the effect of printing on society, public and private presses, paper, binding, illustration, the publishing trade, and censorship.

The Printing Revolution in Early Modern Europe.

The Printing Revolution in Early Modern Europe.

By Elizabeth Eisenstein. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993.
[St Michael's 2nd Floor - Z 124 .E374 1993].
Survey of the communications revolution in 15th century Europe. Topics include the implications of the introduction of printing, the shift from script to print, and the effects of printing on Western intellectual thought. Based on the author's monumental work The Printing Press as an Agent of Change which was the first comprehensive treatment of the subject.

The British Library Guide to Priting: History and Technique.

The British Library Guide to Priting: History and Technique.

By Michael Twyman. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1999.
[St Michael's 2nd Floor - Z 124 .T89 1998].
This illustrated guide focuses on printing methods and techniques, from the invention of printing in the Far East and Europe to the digital revolution. The book explains how both printing methods and techniques play a role in shaping their end product.

Illustration

How to Identify Prints: A Complete Guide to Manual and Mechanical Processes from Woodcut to Inkjet.

How to Identify Prints: A Complete Guide to Manual and Mechanical Processes from Woodcut to Inkjet.

By Bamber Gascoigne. London: Thames and Hudson, 2004.
[St Michael's 2nd Floor - NE850 .G37 2004].
With nearly 300 illustrations, this book describes more than 90 different manual and mechanical print production techniques and provides overviews of the history of printing, the printing trade, and ways to identify different types of print.

The Print in the Western World: An Introductory History.

The Print in the Western World: An Introductory History.

By Linda C. Hults. Madison, Wisc.: University of Wisconsin Press, 1996.
[Robarts Stacks - NE 400 .H79 1996x].
Introductory chronological study of western prints from 1400 to the present. Examines not only the technical aspects, but also the cultural and economical issues surrounding each medium. Well organized and researched, this title contains both a gloassry and a bibliography.

Bookbinding

Bookbinders at Work: Their Roles and Methods.

Bookbinders at Work: Their Roles and Methods.

By Mirjam Foot. London: British Library, 2006.
[St Michael's 2nd Floor - Z 266 .F64 2006].
This work explains how bookbinders are an essential part of the book production cycle. Topics include a history of bookbinding, book decoration, the economics of the binding trade, and the importance of bibliographical description of binding information.

Bookbinding: Its Background and Technique.

Bookbinding: Its Background and Technique.

By Edith Diehl. New York: Dover Publications, 1980.
[St Michael's 2nd Floor - Z 266 .D5 1980].
This overview of the development of bookbinding is worthwhile both as an historical survey and as a guide to technique. Written by an expert, this book includes an examination of national styles of book decoration and the contributions of influential bookbinders.

A Manual of the Art of Bookbinding.

A Manual of the Art of Bookbinding.

By James B. Nicholson. New York: Garland Publishers, 1980.
[St Michael's 2nd Floor - Z 271 .N62 1980].
Drawn from English sources, this was the first American manual on bookbinding, first published in 1856. It explains forwarding, binding and finishing techniques. Intended for craftsmen, the commentaries are also of interest to scholars and collectors.

The British Library Guide to Bookbinding.

The British Library Guide to Bookbinding.

By P.J.M. Marks. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1998.
[St Michael's 2nd Floor - Z 269 .M37 1998].
This history of bookbinding in the West from the codex to the twentieth century explains how book bindings are structured and made, and gives an overview of the development of decorative techniques and artistic styles.

Literature and Artifacts.

Literature and Artifacts.

By George Thomas Tanselle. Charlottesville, VA: Bibliographical Society of the University of Virginia, 1998.
[St Michael's 2nd Floor - Z 1001 .T255 1998].

Mediaeval Books

Scribes and Illuminators.

Scribes and Illuminators.

By Christopher de Hamel. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1992.
[St Michael's 2nd Floor - Z 6 .D45 1992].
This short illustrated work introduces readers to mediaeval manuscript production, focusing on several trades people associated with this industry such as paper and parchment makers, ink makers, scribes, illuminators, binders and booksellers.

A Guide to Western Historical Scripts from Antiquity to 1600.

A Guide to Western Historical Scripts from Antiquity to 1600.

By Michelle P. Brown. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1990.
[St Michael's 2nd Floor - Z 113 .B76 1990].
An important and authoritative text. Offers fifty-two examples of major Western scripts, accompanied by commentary and a transcription. Useful for students of palaeography.

The Medieval Book.

The Medieval Book.

By Barbara Shailor. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1991.
[St Michael's 2nd Floor - Z 6621 .B45 1991].
After beginning with the physical composition of mediaeval books, Shailor's work studies mediaeval manuscript genres and their historical place in the cultures that produced them. While useful to the mediaevalist, this book will also interst the general reader.

The Book: A History of the Bible.

The Book: A History of the Bible.

By Christopher De Hamel. London: Phaidon, 2001.
[St Michael's 3rd Floor - BS 445 .D44 2001]

The British Library Guide to Manuscript Illumination: History and Techniques.

The British Library Guide to Manuscript Illumination: History and Techniques.

By Christopher De Hamel. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2001.
[St Michael's 2nd Floor- ND 2900 .D34 2001].
Besides investigating illuminated manuscripts from The British Library's collection, this guide explores the role of illuminators in the mediaeval book trade--how books were commissioned, patrons found, illuminators and scribes made to work together, various materials and techniques employed, and time and expertise tapped to produce masterpieces.

British Book History

The Cambridge History of the Book in Britain.

The Cambridge History of the Book in Britain.

Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999 - present. Only 3 and 4 out of 7 have been printed.
[St Michael's 2nd Floor - Z 8 .G7 C36].
This series explains how texts were created, why they took the forms they did, their relation to other media, and their influence on society. These two volumes contain more than 60 articles.

Trade Bookbinding in the British Isles, 1660-1800.

Trade Bookbinding in the British Isles, 1660-1800.

By Stuart Bennett. New Castle, Delaware: Oak Knoll Press, 2004.
[St Michael's 2nd Floor - Z 270 .G7 B4 2004].
Focusing on the bookbinding trade during the Early Modern Period, this illustrated book discusses such topics as bookbinding styles.

A History of British Publishing.

A History of British Publishing.

By John Feather. London: Routledge, 2006.
[St Michael's 2nd Floor- Z 325 .F414 2006].
This comprehensive history covering the British book trade from 1476 to the twentieth century explores the role of literacy, the development of the book trade, the role of publishers, and the impact of the industrial revolution and trade laws.

The British Library Guide to Printing: History and Techniques.

The British Library Guide to Printing: History and Techniques.

By Michael Twyman. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1999.
[St Michael's 2nd Floor - Z 124 .T89 1999].

English Bookbinding Styles, 1450-1800: A Handbook.

English Bookbinding Styles, 1450-1800: A Handbook.

By David Pearson. Oak Knoll Press, 2005.
[St Michael's 2nd Floor - Z 270 .E5P44 2005].
This illustrated work guides readers in recognizing and dating English book bindings of the hand press period. Besides helping locate bindings within their time and place, this handbook concentrates on what a binding can tell us about previous owners and their approach to books.

North American Book History

History of the Book in Canada Databases.

History of the Book in Canada Databases.

[Available online for free.]
These National Library and Archives of Canada databases cover material from the 16th to the 21st centuries related to the history of books in Canada, the Canadian book trade, Canadian imprints, and Canadian textbooks. The print version is listed below.

History of the Book in Canada.

History of the Book in Canada.

Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2004. 3 vols.
[St Michael's 2nd Floor - Z 206 .H58 2004].
This 3-volume set focuses on the role of print in the political, religious, intellectual, and cultural life of Canada up to 1918.

A Bibliography of Canadian Imprints, 1751-1800.

A Bibliography of Canadian Imprints, 1751-1800.

By Marie Tremaine. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1952.
[St Michael's 1st Floor Reference - Z 1365 .T7 1952].
A record of the production of printing presses in Canada between 1751-1800, including books, pamphlets, leaflets, broadsides, handbills, newspapers and magazines. Contains full bibliographical descriptions, information on technical production, prices, and circumstances of publication. This volume is of interest to collectors and scholars of Canadiana.

Early Canadian Printing: A Supplement to Marie Tremaine's A Bibliography of Canadian Imprints, 1751-1800.

Early Canadian Printing: A Supplement to Marie Tremaine's A Bibliography of Canadian Imprints, 1751-1800.

By Patricia Fleming. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1999.
[Robarts Library 4th Floor Reference - Z 1365 .T7 1999 Suppl.].
[Victoria University Pratt Reference - Z 1365 .T7 1999 Suppl.].

Upper Canadian Imprints, 1801-1841: A Bibliography.

Upper Canadian Imprints, 1801-1841: A Bibliography.

By Patricia Fleming. Toronto: University of Toronto, 1988.
[Robarts Library 13th Floor - Z 1365 .T72 1988]
[Victoria University Pratt Reference - Z 1365 .F54 1988].
This comprehensive analytical bibliography of books, pamphlets, government publications, serials and broadsides printed in Canada between 1801 and 1841 continues Tremaine's book.

The Book in America.

The Book in America.

By Richard Clement. Fulcrum Publishing, 1996.
[St Michael's 2nd Floor - Z 8 .U62 C58 1996].
An examination of the role books played in the history and development of the United States. The author brings to life the story of book production and publishing in America from 1638 to today. Filled with photos, this is a good introduction to the topic.

The Book in America: A History of the Making and Selling of Books in the United States.

The Book in America: A History of the Making and Selling of Books in the United States.

By Hellmut Lehmann-Haupt. New York: Bowker, 1951.
[St Michael's 2nd Floor - Z 473 .L44 1952].
Considered one of the best summaries of the history of printing, selling and collecting books in America. Lehmann-Haupt's book covers the establishment of presses, book production and distribution, and the business of bookselling, as well as an extensive bibliography.

Key Databases

Book History Online: Bibliography of the History of the Printed Book and Libraries.

Book History Online: Bibliography of the History of the Printed Book and Libraries.

[Available online for free.]
A database on the history of the printed book and libraries, this source is based on the Annual Bibliography of the History of the Printed Book and Libraries. The database contains 28,200 records, going back to 1990. For earlier records, consult the print version of the Annual Bibliography of the History of the Printed Book and Libraries, which can be found on the 13th floor of the Robarts Library - Z117 .A6.

Hand Press Book Database.

Heritage of the Printed Book Database.

[Available online for UofT use.]
The Heritage of the Printed Book Database contains covers early European printed materials from the hand-press period roughly between 1455 and 1830.

Library Literature and Information Science Full-Text.

Library Literature and Information Science Full-Text.

[Available online for UofT use.]
This major database for library and information science helps you keep up with the latest concepts, trends, opinions, theories, and methodologies in the area, including preservation, publishing, rare books, and restoration. The source provides access to more than 200 key library and information science periodicals published in the United States and elsewhere. Full-text coverage of articles begins in 1994.