Manufacturing methods, publishing practices, distribution networks, reception and use of books, periodicals, and other printed materials in the United States during the industrial era, roughly from the 1820s to the 1940s. Among the topics to be considered are: the introduction and impact of new industrial production technologies; the rise of trade publishing and other publishing systems; methods of book distribution as the book market expanded across the continent, especially the role of bookstores; reading, readership, and the ways in which readers acquired and used books; and the importance of the international trade in American and British books and texts both before and after the 1891 international copyright law. The course is aimed at scholars, librarians, collectors, and other interested persons.
Rare Book School (RBS) is an independent, non-profit institute supporting the study of the history of books and printing and related subjects. Founded in 1983, it moved to its present home at the University of Virginia in 1992. At various times during the year, Rare Book School offers about 30 five-day courses on topics concerning old and rare books, manuscripts, and special collections. The majority of courses take place in Charlottesville, but courses are also offered in New York City, Baltimore, and Washington, DC. Most courses are limited to twelve or fewer students, who make a full-time commitment to any course they attend, from 8:30 or 9 am through 5 pm, Monday - Friday.