Remote Book History Resources

From Cultures of the Book at Penn
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Many of us have a preconceived notion of what a book is, but there are many aspects hidden within the pages (if there are any in the first place). Even the most intuitive parts of our modern codices, like pages and titles, had to be invented along the way. Texts have gone through countless changes to arrive at our modern conception of a book, and this page focuses on some of those interesting and revolutionary developments.

As we continue to navigate unexpected shifts towards remote learnings and research, we had the unique opportunity to delve deeper into digital resources. Our professor challenged us to publish our research on this MediaWiki platform. The wiki platform has an ever-growing audience of readers / editors which represents an event in the incunabular era of the Digital Age, allowing the engagement of human knowledge from all corners of the globe. This project not only gave rise to a discussion on the role of this collaborative platform, but also gave us the opportunity to build a virtual museum that future students could continue to draw on and contribute to.

We are excited to share the research conducted by the virtual Fall 2020 Cultures of the Book seminar taught by Professor Whitney Trettien, and hope to present the multifaceted history of the book in a way that challenges our familiar notions.

Due to the virtual nature of our class this semester, we had an opportunity to explore and utilize online databases of worldwide artifacts. These databases, including but not limited to the Khipu Database Project and UCSB Broadside Ballad Archive (EBBA), enabled us to grapple with what it means to interact with centuries-old substrates.

This project would not be possible without the help of Anju Parvathy Biju, Mary Tasillo of The Common Press, John Pollack of the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts at the University of Pennsylvania Libraries, and the numerous digital resources referenced herein.

Page Categories
Genres of Books
Processes and Organization
Digital Technology
Reproduction/Visual Technology
Forms and Format