History of the book

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For the history of books see: History of books

A 15th-century Incunable. Notice the blind-tooled cover, corner bosses and clasps.

The History of the Book is an academic discipline that studies the production, transmission, circulation and dissemination of text from antiquity to the present day. Its scope includes the history of ideas, history of religion, bibliography, conservation and curation.


The History of the Book came into existence in the latter half of the 20th century. It was fostered by both Henri-Jean Martin and Lucien Febvre's L'apparition du livre in 1958 as well as Marshall McLuhan's Gutenberg Galaxy. Another pioneer is Robert Darnton.[1]