nl en

History of the Book 1: Developments and Practice


Admission requirements

Course open to BDMS students (and BDMS exchange students) only. All others should contact the course lecturer.


This introductory course deals with the history of the printed book in the West. Central themes are the transition from manuscript to print, censorship, the development of copyright, technical and organisational changes in book production and distribution, reading and book collecting, the emergence of a public sphere, the physical appearance of the book, and the impact of the printed book on society. During the course, students will be given small research assignments.

Course objectives

  • To acquire a general knowledge of the history of the printed book in the West from the invention of printing to the present;

  • To become familiar with the methods and tools used in book historical research.

Time table

Timetable on the website

Mode of instruction

Combination of lectures, seminars and reading list.

Course load

The course load of this course is 140 hours.

  • hours spent on attending lectures and seminars: 30

  • time for studying the compulsory literature: 60

  • time to prepare for the exam and write a paper (including reading/research): 50

Assessment method

Written examination (70%) and one assignment (30%).
To complete the final mark, please take notice of the following:
1) the final grade for the course is established by determining the weighted average;
2) the final grade for the course is established by (i) determination of the weighted average combined with (ii) additional requirements. These additional requirements generally relate to one or more of the subtests which always have to be sufficient.

In the case of a fail students are entitled to re-write the examination and/or small assignment.


Blackboard will be used to provide students with an overview of current affairs, as well as specific information about (components of) the course.

Reading list

  • Eliot, Simon, & Jonathan Rose (eds.), A Companion to the History of the Book (Blackwell, 2009).

  • Briggs, Asa, and Peter Burke, A Social History of the Media, from Gutenberg to the Internet (London: Polity Press, 2010).


Enrollment through uSis is mandatory. If you have any questions, please contact the departmental office, tel. 071 5272144 or mail:

Registration Studeren à la carte en Contractonderwijs

Not applicable

Contact details

Media Studies student administration, P.N. van Eyckhof 4, room 102C. Tel. 071 5272144;

Coordinator of studies: Mr. J. Donkers, MA, P.N. van Eyckhof 4, room 1.02b.