History of the Dust Jacket

Books are part of our everyday lives. But, while we may celebrate or curse their contents, we rarely take a moment to look at them as material objects in their own right. Yet, every aspect of the book has gone through centuries of design evolution, and every part of the book has its own unique history, even the dust jacket.

In “The History of Dust Jackets: From Disposable to Collectible,” Danika Ellis dives into the history of this controversial feature of the modern-day book. You can check it out here: https://bookriot.com/history-of-dust-jackets/?fbclid=IwAR0-8lQT2MuERGuS5X3gmfSbcWPqx-XNd4VbZetDOYOC-ZJxn2E8F96pbtY
Also, check out her articles on the shape of books and on the history of the deckled edge (links in article).

SHARP: Call for Papers

The Society of the History of Authorship, Reading, and Publishing (SHARP) is now accepting proposals for its 2021 conference, “Moving texts: from discovery to delivery.” The conference will be held between July 26 and 30, 2021, and is being hosted virtually by the University of Muenster, Germany.

The conference aims to explore the historical movement of books and the businesses, trade systems, and people who moved them.

For more information, check out their website: https://www.sharpweb.org/movingtexts2021/index.php/call-for-proposals/

Libraries of Old: Preserving Library Material Culture

Remember when you checked a book out from the library, and you received a stamp on a due date slip? Or when you had to use an actual card catalogue to find a book? Libraries have changed a lot since then, but what happens to all the “old” stuff that’s no longer needed? Well, thankfully, the Watson Library at the Metropolitan Museum has started the Museum of Obsolete Library Science (MOLISCI) to preserve some of these important items. You can check out some of the highlights of their collection here:


New Volunteer!

Hello everyone, my name is Olivia Cotton Cornwall. I am very excited to join the Library History Round Table blog team as a new volunteer! 

I’m a master’s student in history at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, where I study the history of reading, readers, and libraries in eighteenth-century Britain. I will be assisting the LHRT team in sharing news regarding international library history from Canada, Britain, Ireland, West Indies, Australia, New Zealand, and more. 

 I first became interested in British library history in my undergraduate degree at the University of Calgary, where I wrote my thesis on libraries and middle class identity. Since then, I have been working on expanding my knowledge. My master’s research has taken a transnational approach to library history. It focuses on libraries and other literary institutions in the British Atlantic world from 1750-1820 and engages with a wide verity of themes, including reading, the book trade, gender, race, and space. I plan to continue my academic career by pursuing a PhD in the near future. 

Books, reading, bookstores, and libraries are all integral to our daily lives, so much so, that we often don’t give them much notice, but library history and the history of the book offer unique ways to discuss a wide variety of themes and ideas that continue to be relevant and pressing in our modern lives. I hope to share my interests and passion with blog readers and inspire them to look at the power of libraries, books, and reading in a new light.