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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.

Choosing a Topic

Consult the Topical Bibliography section in this guide for a list of books and search tips for researching more specific topics, including:

Consult the Historical Bibliography section for a list of books and search tips for researching different periods of book history, including:

Search the UMD Catalog for Items in Special Collections

Use the University of Maryland classic catalog to search for titles in the rare book collection by date of publication, author, or keyword. Select Advanced Search and select Marylandia and Rare Books to search for works housed in Special Collections and University Archives.

Contact us with any questions about locating books in Special Collections and University Archives at the University of Maryland.

All rare books can be requested online and viewed in the Maryland Room, located in Hornbake Library at the University of Maryland College Park.

Basic Search of the UMD Catalog

Search the library catalog to find books, periodicals, and other material from University of Maryland's libraries. 

For a basic search, enter a search term into the box below.  You can search by keyord, author, title, and subject heading.

Locating Books in the Maryland Room

You can use the College Park Advanced Search to locate materials using more specific search criteria.  In the word search boxes enter keywords, for example "bookbinding", using the all fields option. 

For a more narrow search, you can change the all fields option to specify keywords in the title or subject categories.

Limiting the location to Marylandia & Rare Books will return materials available in the Maryland Room, including items from the Maryland Collection, Rare Books, and Special Collections.  You can also limit the location to Archives to find materials from the University Publications, University Records, Historic Manuscripts, and other archival collections. 

Locating Books Published During a Specific set of Years

For researchers interested bindings or printing during a particular era, it can be useful to locate books in the catalog according to the year in which they were published.  To locate books that were published during a specific set of years, use the College Park Advanced Search and narrow your search criteria using the year/s option.

For example, to search for book published in the 16th century, enter "1500" to "1600" in the year/s field. Limiting the location to Marylandia & Rare Books will return materials available in the Maryland Room, including items from Rare Books, and Special Collections.

Your search results will be sorted from newest to oldest according to year published.  You can resort the records by author/year or title/year.  You can also skip to earlier books by using the next pg buttom on the top right of the screen, or enter a number in the skip to rec# field.