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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.

Locating Books in the Catalog

Browse this page for resources on the early history of the book.  This early period includes books printed before 1501 up through the 1600s.  In general, this period encompases incunables and early forms of illuminated manuscripts and printing. 

The books listed on this page are located in the Maryland Room in Hornbake Library.  You may also search the online catalog for books on this topic using the suggested subject headings below.   

Additional books on this topic can be found in McKeldin Library and the Art Library at the University of Maryland.  These resources are searchable using the online catalog.  The location of each book is noted in the catalog record.

Use the subject terms below to search the University of Maryland Library online catalog for additional titles. Simply select "Subject beginning with..." on the drop-down menu. Then enter one of the terms below.

  • Books -- History -- to 400

  • Books -- History -- 400-1450

  • Books -- History -- 1450-1600

  • Early printed books

  • Incunabula

  • Incunabula -- Bibliography

  • Incunabula -- Facsimiles

  • Printing -- England -- History -- 16th century

  • Printing -- Europe -- -- History -- 16th Century

  • Printing -- Great Britain -- History -- 17th century

For information on early printing, consult the Nuremberg Chronicle (Liber Chronicarum) Exhibit from the University of Maryland Special Collections.

Rare Book Collections

Incunable leaves, codices, and books are wonderful examples of the craft and artistry of the early years of printing. 

These materials illustrate the techniques of early Western printing as it developed from the fifteenth century onwards.  

Contact a Special Collections Librarian for more information on incunable leaves, codices, and books avaiable in the Maryland Room in Hornbake Library.


Image: Illustration from Cologne Chronicle, Cologne: Joh. Koehloff-Younger, 1499.

Selected Books on Early Book History