Rare Book School
Preliminary Reading List
- A History of the Book in America, Volume 3: The Industrial Book, 1840–1880, ed. Scott E. Casper, Jeffrey D. Groves, Stephen W. Nissenbaum, & Michael Winship (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2007). See especially the introduction and coda (by Scott Casper), chapters 1 and 4 (by Michael Winship & Jeff Groves), and chapter 8 (by Barbara Sicherman).
- A History of the Book in America, Volume 4: Print in Motion, The Expansion of Publishing and Reading in the United States, 1880–1940, ed. Carl F. Kaestle & Jan Radway). See especially the prologue, epilogue, and introductions (by Carl Kaestle & Jan Radway), chapter 3 (by Michael Winship), chapter 4 (by Jim West) and chapter 5 (Peter Jaszi & Martha Woodmansee).
This series is the standard modern scholarly history of the book in America, and students are encouraged to consult these and the other volumes in the series for further browsing and selective additional reading.
- Lehmann-Haupt, Hellmut, et al. The Book in America: A History of the Making and Selling of Books in the United States, rev. ed. (New York: Bowker, 1951). Parts II-III (pp. 63-419).
Still a useful overview after more than 60 years. You may wish to skim or pass over parts that seem too detailed or tedious.
For additional historical background, one or more of the following may also be useful:
- Charvat, William. Literary Publishing in America, 1790–1850 (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1959; reprinted Amherst MA: University of Massachusetts Press, 1993).
- Sheehan, Donald. This Was Publishing: A Chronicle of the Book Trade in the Gilded Age (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1952).
- West, James L. W., III. American Authors and the Literary Marketplace since 1900 (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1988).
For bibliographical practice, the following are the fundamental texts:
- Gaskell, Philip. A New Introduction to Bibliography (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1972; corrected reprint 1974, frequently reprinted by Oak Knoll Press); pp. -310.
- Bowers, Fredson. Principles of Bibliographical Description (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1949; reprinted New Castle DE: Oak Knoll Press, 1994); pp. -453.