‘Provides a global approach to the world of the book and is, in every way, a monumental achievement’ – CHOICE
The Oxford Companion to the Book is a unique work of reference, covering the book, broadly conceived, throughout the world from ancient to modern times. It includes traditional subjects such as bibliography, palaeography, the history of printing, editorial theory and practice, textual criticism, book collecting, and libraries, but it also engages with newer disciplines such as the history of the book and the electronic book. It pays particular attention to how different societies shape books and how books shape societies.
The work includes a substantial series of introductory essays alongside an A-Z section of over 5,000 entries, all linked by thorough cross-referencing and served by a classified index of entries.
The essays provide histories of the subject ranging from writing systems, the ancient and the medieval book, through central aspects of book production, to editorial theory and textual criticism, the economics of print, and the sacred book, as well as 29 surveys of the history of the book around the world, including the Muslim world, Latin America, and Sub-Saharan Africa (these can be found under ‘Essay’).
The entries cover every aspect of this exceptionally rich and diverse subject, ranging from brief definitions and biographical entries to more extensive treatments. The text is illustrated throughout with reproductions, diagrams, and examples of various typographical features.
The Companion is the only reference book of its kind in the field, and has been written by 400 of the world’s best scholars in bibliography and book history.