Speaking Volumes: Books with Histories (Hardcover)

Speaking Volumes: Books with Histories By David Pearson Cover Image
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A fascinating catalog that analyzes books as historical objects.

Scholars increasingly recognize that the cultural and research value of books lies not just in their printed contents, but in their value as historical artifacts. An individual book can tell us many things about the ways books have been used, read, and regarded throughout the years.
Within these pages, you will find books damaged by bullets or graffiti, recovered from fire or water, or even disguised as completely different texts for protection in dangerous times. Marks of ownership—be it a rich treasure binding or a humble family inscription—shine a light on social history and literacy, while student doodles from the sixteenth century and a variety of pithy annotations give us a sense of readers through the ages.

Generously illustrated with examples from the early Middle Ages to the present day, Speaking Volumes presents a fascinating selection of books in both public and private collections whose individual histories tell surprising and illuminating stories, encouraging us to look at and appreciate books in new and non-traditional ways.

About the Author

David Pearson is a leading expert on the history of books after a lifetime spent working with them, writing about them, and owning them. His previous books include Provenance Research in Book History and Book Ownership in Stuart England.

Product Details
ISBN: 9781851245628
ISBN-10: 1851245626
Publisher: Bodleian Library, University of Oxford
Publication Date: November 25th, 2022
Pages: 240