Readers in a Revolution
Bibliographical Change in the Nineteenth Century
Author(s): David McKitterick
Publication Date: 30-06-2022
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The mid-nineteenth century brought a revolution in popular and scholarly understandings of old and second-hand books. Manuals introduced new ideas and practices to increasing numbers of collectors, exhibitions offered opportunities previously unheard of, and scholars worked together to transform how the history of printing was understood. These dramatic changes would have profound consequences for bibliographical study and collecting, accompanied as they were by a proliferation in means of access. Many ideas arising during this time would even continue to exert their influence in the digitised arena of today. This book traces this revolution to its roots in commercial and personal ties between key players in England, France and beyond, illuminating how exhibitions, libraries, booksellers, scholars and popular writers all contributed to the modern world of book studies. For students and researchers, it offers an invaluable means of orientation in a field now once again undergoing deep and wide-ranging transformations.
- Relates shifting nineteenth-century attitudes around old and second-hand books to the way we access, collect and use primary sources in today's digitised environment
- Takes a refreshingly broad view that encompasses book trades and book collecting as a whole, rather than prioritising dominant historical figures and narratives
- Examines fresh and unexplored sources, providing a model for research that is eminently compatible with today's shift away from canonical scholars and historical figures