We hope that everyone had a good time today at the recently restored Bancroft Library. We thought that we were only giving you a tangible exposure to a couple of almost-two-hundred-year-old printing presses. We were delighted that Anthony Bliss was willing to spend so much time giving us a brief show and tell (and touch) of old manuscripts and printed books. It was quite a unique experience to be able to touch 500 year-old vellum (both the yellow side and the white side), compare two versions of Euclid’s Elementa Geometriae, see the first pocket book and first use of italics by Aldus Manutius, and to conclude with 21 shillings worth of Dicken’s David Copperfield (plus all of those ads, of course). If you enjoyed it and want to send along a thank you note to Anthony, I’m sure he’d appreciate it (email address here).
Getting the timing right on the group rotation through the library and through Megan’s lecture on coffeehouse society and the public proved to be trickier than we thought, so we apologize if the lecture felt either too rushed or not enough material (depending on which group you were in!).
Project proposals due Wednesday
Remember that we are asking for 2 copies of a 200 word proposal from each group. So, each group has to write one proposal, print off two copies and bring them to class. The details on what needs to go into the proposal are on the research project page.
The next class
As briefly discussed at the end of class, we move into some complex terrain on Wednesday as we discuss the rise of modern notions of intellectual property. We will be telling a UK and US-centric story and will be excited to hear if anyone has more to say about other places around the world. What this also means is that if people are unfamiliar with some of the foundational concepts in US or UK civics that those of us educated here just take for granted, it may help to find the basics online.
As always, feel free to email us with any questions or concerns. Remember to replace “dot” with a “.” and “at” with “@”.