7.0158 The History of the Book (1/228)

Mon, 6 Sep 1993 17:23:32 EDT

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 7, No. 0158. Monday, 6 Sep 1993.

Date: Mon, 06 Sep 93 15:30:07 +0100
From: Robin Alston <uczcroa@ucl.ac.uk>

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Final details regarding the proposed new M.A. in the History of
the Book remain to be confirmed after the Conference to be held
at the Warburg Institute on October 30. A proposal will be put
to the Senate early in 1994. At the moment the course might
follow roughly the following outline.

Research methodology

A short series of lectures and seminars with practical sessions
using online sources introducing students to the essentials of
research methodology in the history of the book. The seminars
will concentrate on the resources available in the British
Library and Senate House Library. All students will be expected
to acquire admission passes to the Reading Room and the
Department of Manuscripts.

10 sessions

Unit 1 - Foundation - 10 sessions [mandatory]

- Core course - 40 sessions [mandatory]

Total: 50 sessions

Unit 2 - Option I - 50 sessions

Unit 3 - Option II - 50 sessions

Total: 160 sessions

Unit 4 - Dissertation

Starting in 1994 the University moves to a three semester session
with 2 semesters for teaching (each of 12 weeks). In practice it
will probably be difficult to get more than 10 active weeks, and
we should consider having a reading week in both semesters. This
means that each teaching unit should be timetabled so that there
are two hours per week.


Semester 1


There are various ways of putting the history of the book into a
meaningful context with some chronological perspective. One
approach might be to have an overview of the early period `at a
gallop' bringing the story up to the point where vernacular
printing becomes the rule rather than the exception (c.1520). For
practical purposes I think the best way is to have illustrated

Note: in practice a postgraduate session is deemed to be not less
than 90 minutes and not more than 105 minutes.

Antiquity [3000 BC-500 AD]

Writing materials
Surface materials - clay, leather, papyrus, parchment,
copper, ivory, gold, wood, &c.
Contents - accounts, treaties, archives, stories, epics,
plays, poetry, &c.
Shape - rectangular, scroll (rolled, folded), &c.
Libraries in antiquity
The Fall of Rome
Lectures/seminars [2 sessions]

The Manuscript Book [500-800 AD]

The Eastern Mediterranean
Development of the codex shape and form
Christianity and parchment books
Hebrew & Greek
Codex Sinaiticus
Religion - literature - science
Monasticism - Benedict [529]
Early medieval libraries
The St Gall `plan' [c. 820]

Lectures/seminars [2 sessions]

Insular Manuscripts [500-800 AD]

Celtic and British Monasticism
Columba and Iona [-597]
Jarrow and Wearmouth
Kells [c. 800]
Insular libraries

Lectures/seminars [2 sessions]

The Spread of Monasticism [800-1200]

The West
The Benedictines
Monastic libraries

The East

Lectures/seminars [1 session]

The Rise of Universities [1200-1500]

Paris, Bologna, Padua, Oxford, Cambridge, Prague (1348), &c.
Books and students - the stationarii, &c.
Academic libraries
Lectures/seminars [1 session]

The Invention of Printing

Spread of printing throughout Europe
Lectures/seminars [2 sessions]

Vernacular printing 1475-1520
Lectures/seminars [2 sessions]

Core Course

>From Script to Print

Lectures/seminars [2 sessions]

Skelton to Newton [1520-1650]

Lectures/seminars [6 sessions]

The Rise of Science [1650-1750]

Lectures/seminars [4 sessions]


Lectures/seminars [6 sessions]

The Industrial Revolution [1750-1850]

Lectures/seminars [6 sessions]

Public Libraries and Mass Culture [1850-1914]

Lectures/seminars [6 sessions]

Universities and the Mass Elite [1919-]

Lectures/seminars [6 sessions]

TOTAL: 50 sessions

If the Options involve no more than 40 sessions of teaching (plus
course-work) then students will at least have had the benefit of
the Introductory lectures before deciding on what particular area
interests them. It is assumed that these lectures will look
forward to subsequent developments as well as providing a broad
chronological perspective of dvelopments up to the beginnings of
the printed book.


Semester 1


One to be selected from the following:

1. The Bible - Manuscript & printed [period to be allocated each
2. The illustrated book [period to be allocated each year]
3. Manuscript and print in the fifteenth century
4. Vernacular manuscripts [period to be allocated each year]
5. The book trade [period to be allocated each year]
6. Book manufacture [a) > 1850; b) 1850 >]
7. Humanism and books
8. Role of the author [period to be allocated each year]
9. Role of the reader [period to be allocated each year]
10. Publisher's and printer's archives
11. Collectors and libraries
12. The electronic book
13. Twentieth century publishing history
14. Sociology of the book


Semester 2


One to be selected from the list of options [1-14] given above.


Semesters 2 - 3


Students with a clear idea of what it is they wish to study in
depth for their dissertation will have the opportunity to be
assigned a supervisor in Semester 1; some may choose to defer a
decision until the end of Semester 1. In principle,a student may
elect to do a dissertation on any aspect of the history of the
book with the approval of the Course Director. The dissertation
must be completed within one calendar year of the beginning of
the course.

Part-time Study

Since it is essential that the course is offered on a part-time
basis it will be necessary to teach Units 1 and 2 every year.

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