Arc Humanities Press, 2018,
First Edition. octavo, printed wrappers. 304 pp. Arc Humanities Press, Item #28278
This beautifully illustrated book provides an accessible introduction to the medieval manuscript and what it can tell us about the world in which it was made and used. Books Before Print explores how manuscripts can act as a vibrant and versatile tool to understand the deep historical roots of human interaction with written information. It highlights extraordinary continuities between medieval book culture and modern-world communication, as witnessed in medieval pop-up books, posters, speech bubbles, book advertisements, and even sticky notes. Filling the Page: Script, Writing, and Page Design
Introduction 1. Medieval Script; 2. Cracking Codes: Abbreviations in Medieval Script; 3. The Empty Part of the Page; 4. Footnotes Before Print; 5. The First Page of the Manuscript; 6. The Last Page of the Manuscript. II: Enhancing the Manuscript: Binding and Decoration; 7. Dressing Up the Manuscript; 8. Hugging a Manuscript; 9. Judging a Book by its Cover; 10. Mary Had a Little Book; 11. Drawing with Words; 12. Speech Bubbles; 13. Model Books. III: Reading in Context: Annotations, Bookmarks, and Libraries: 14. Getting Personal in the Margin; 15. Helping Hands on the Page; 16. Smart Bookmarks; 17. Location, Location; 18. Combating Book Theft. IV: The Margins of Manuscript Culture; 19. The Incredible Expandable Book; 20. Books on a Diet; 21. Books on a Stick; 22. Slips, Strips, and Scraps: Messaging; 23. Slips, Strips, and Scraps: Scholarly Notes; 24. Medieval Name Tags; 25. Posters Before Print; 26. Medieval Book Apps. V: Contextualizing the Medieval Manuscript; 27. Where are the Scriptoria?; 28. Desktops; 29. Second-Hand Books Before Print; 30. Manuscripts on the Move; 31. The Skinny on Bad Parchment; 32. Destroying Medieval Books (and Why That's Useful). Epilogue: The Legacy of the Medieval Book; Recommended Reading; Bibliography; Index.