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History of the Book

A guide to resources on the the history of printing and the book using materials from University of Maryland Special Collections.


History of the Book in Special Collections at UMD

This guide provides an introduction to special collection resources covering the history of the book in Special Collections and University Archives at the University of Maryland.  It highlights materials available in the Maryland Room in Hornbake Library, as well as additional online resources. Topics include the historical development of the book, bookbinding, the printing press, book illustrations, the fine press movement, and typography.  

The resources covered in this guide are available primarily in the Maryland Room in Hornbake Library.  However, the search strategies and resources discussed may serve as starting point for researching broader topics related to the history of the book.  Additional materials are located in the general collections in McKeldin Library as well as the Art Library.

Getting Started

There are several places to go to start your research on the history of the book:

  • UM Library Catalog- Information about searching the University of Maryland online library catalog for materials related to the history of the book.

  • Topical Bibliography- A selection of resources covering various aspects of books and printing, arranged into the following topics: Bookbinding/ Bookmaking, Book Trade/ Publishing, Fine Press/ Private Press, Illustrations, Printing Press, Printing in Maryland, and Typography.

  • Historical Bibliography- A selection of resources focusing on book history, arranged into the following areas: general book history, early book history, 1700s -1800s, and 1900s - present, 

  • Rare Book Collections- A list of resources available from Rare Books and Special Collections at the University of Maryland's Hornbake Library.

  • Online Resources- Links to online organizations and exhibits dealing with the history of the book.