Book Studies is an interdisciplinary field that brings together people, courses, and resources that explore the book as a material, artistic, and/or cultural object of production and consumption. Often using materials from Gould Library's Special Collections, courses in Book Studies attend to both manuscript and printed books and the cultures that gave rise to these distinct forms of communication and were, in turn, influenced by them. Book Studies is also interested in the book as a structure for storing knowledge and information and the larger problems and questions of knowledge management. As such, we also explore the nature and purpose of libraries and collections and the relationships between the physical book and its digital analogs. Book Studies also attends to the production and function of specific aspects or elements of the book (for example, engravings, illuminations, script/font, etc.). Finally, Book Studies is interested in all traditions of writing, not just those of the West and of the codex.
Courses are listed in Book Studies if they contain a significant unit or units or a special project devoted to some aspect of book culture or book arts. Interested students are encouraged to contact the course instructor or the Interest Thread Curator, William North.
Curated by Kristi Wermager (head of Special Collections) and Terry Kissner (Rare Books, Preservation,and Collections Specialist) and housed on the First Level of Gould Library, Special Collections is a rich and varied resource for Book Studies at Carleton. As well as manuscript fascimiles and early printed books, Special Collections contains first editions, texts of historical value, a superb collection of artists books, and other materials from around the world. Visit the website and contact the curators for more information.
Located in Minneapolis, the MCBA is one of the foremost center for Book Arts in the United States. Its mission is lead the advancement of the book as an evolving art form, and they host a rich array of events and speakers as well as hosting classes.