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History of the Book

This libguide contains resources pertaining to the history of printing and the history of the book as they were developed in Western Europe beginning in the Middle Ages.


This guide gives the reader a broad introduction and overview of the histories of printing and the book, generally as these developed in Western Europe during the late Medieval Period and the Renaissance. These histories are founded in the rich histories that precede them; the development of printing in China and Korea, the creation of paper in China and then its introduction to Europe through the Middle East, and the structure of the codex itself, introduced from northeastern Africa.

A page of printed resources refers the reader to books that provide more history on the topic.

A page of images of realia and books in Norlin Library's Special Collections provides a visual progression of writing, printing, and book history from the time of the Sumerians in about 2000 BCE through Europe's Early Modern period.

Rare and Distinctive Collections


Classroom: Norlin N345

Reading Room: Norlin M350B