- New Castle, Delaware and London, England: Oak Knoll Press and The British Library, 2011.
- 8.75 x 9.5 inches
- 208 pages
- ISBN: 9781584562900
Price: $29.95 other currencies
Order Nr. 105444
This revised version of David Pearson's Books as History includes changes and additions, particularly in the first and last chapters. Updated in light of the recent development of the e-book, this version will offer new pictures and suggestions for further reading, new ideas on the life of the book, and thoughts on how the book will survive.
Books have been hugely important in human civilization as instruments for communicating information and ideas. The digital age has caused the landscape of books to change, with more and more of the traditional functions of books being performed electronically. People usually think of books in terms of their contents or their texts, but in fact, books may possess all kinds of potentially interesting qualities beyond their texts, as designed or artistic objects, or because they have unique properties deriving from the ways they have been printed, bound, annotated, beautified or defaced.
David Pearson explores these themes and uses many examples of books from the Middle Ages to the present day to show why books may be interesting beyond their texts. As the format of the book becomes history---as texts are increasingly communicated electronically---we can recognize that books are also history in another significant way. Books can develop their own individual histories, which provide important evidence about the way they were used and regarded in the past, which make them an indispensable part of the fabric of our cultural heritage. This book will raise awareness of an important aspect of the life of books in the context of the ongoing debate about their future. Extensively illustrated with a wide range of images, it will not only be approachable but also thought-provoking.
David Pearson has extensive experience in managing and working in major research collections. He is also a respected scholar in the field of book history, whose articles and books, including Provenance Research in Book History (Oak Knoll Press and The British Library, 1994) and English Bookbinding Styles, 1450-1800: a Handbook (Oak Knoll Press and The British Library 2005), have focused on various aspects of the ownership and binding of books.
Sales rights: North and South America; available elsewhere from The British Library.