The Book: Book Sleuthing: What 19th-Century Books Can Tell Us About the Rise of the Reading Public? - Harvard University

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Beschreibung

Go behind the scenes at Harvard’s libraries to discover how readers in the first information age interacted with their books.With this course you earn while you learn, you gain recognized qualifications, job specific skills and knowledge and this helps you stand out in the job market.

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Was lernen Sie in diesem Kurs?

Public
Humanities
Reading
Culture
Book

Themenkreis

Do you love printed paper and wonder how much longer it will survive in the age of ebooks? Are you curious about how the mass-produced modern book emerged in the first place?  Come behind the scenes in Harvard’s libraries to explore the look, feel and even smell of nineteenth-century British and American books in this module of The Book: Histories Across Time and Space.

In 19th-century Britain and America, schooling expanded, paper cheapened, and new technologies allowed print to reach wider audiences than ever before.  After the rare and beautiful manuscripts and books showcased by earlier modules, the mass-produced, disposable objects that survive from the nineteenth century bear witness to the rise of the reading public.

This module investigates what scholars know about nineteenth-century reading, as well as how they know it.

This module’s six sections guide you through underlined, inscribed, defaced and repaired books in Harvard’s collections:

1. Name That Book
Find out what you can tell about a book when you’re blindfolded.

2. Handheld Books and Mobile Readers
What book did one soldier carry to Civil War battlefields in his pocket? (Hint: it’s not what you think.)

3. The Pen and the Needle
Did 19th-century girls have to choose between sewing and reading?  The holes pricked in one book suggest they did both at once.

4. Leaving your Mark
Luckily for future historians, these children didn’t listen when people told them not to write in their books.

5. Detective Work
Try out some tools that build on what you’ve learned about books at Harvard to discover the stories hidden in your local library.

6. Over to You
Your chance to share what you have found in the books around you.

Join us, and discover how people in the first information age read, underlined, and repaired the pages that they treasured. 

What you'll learn

  • Examine books for clues to the lives of the people who have read them
  • Gain historical perspective on today’s shift from print to digital media by tracing the 19th-century origins of modern mass-produced books
  • Compare your own reading habits to those of past readers.  What conclusions would future historians draw if they could look at your bookshelves?

Zusätzliche Informationen

Leah Price Leah Price is Francis Lee Higginson Professor of English at Harvard University, where she teaches courses on eighteenth- and nineteenth-century literature, gender, fiction, and the history of books.  She is the author of two prizewinning books, How to Do Things with Books in Victorian Britain and The Anthology and the Rise of the Novel,  and editor of Unpacking my Library: Writers and their Books.  She writes on old and new media for the New York Times, London Review of Books, Times Literary Supplement, San Francisco Chronicle, and Boston Globe.