The Book: Book Sleuthing: What 19th-Century Books Can Tell Us About the Rise of the Reading Public?

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The Book: Book Sleuthing: What 19th-Century Books Can Tell Us About the Rise of the Reading Public?

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FREE

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  • On demand

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edX online courses
Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of California, Berkeley, are just some of the schools that you have at your fingertips with edX. Through massive open online courses (MOOCs) from the world's best universities, you can develop your knowledge in literature, math, history, food and nutrition, and more. These online classes are taught by highly-regarded experts in the field. If you take a class on computer science through Harvard, you may be tau...
Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of California, Berkeley, are just some of the schools that you have at your fingertips with edX. Through massive open online courses (MOOCs) from the world's best universities, you can develop your knowledge in literature, math, history, food and nutrition, and more. These online classes are taught by highly-regarded experts in the field. If you take a class on computer science through Harvard, you may be taught by David J. Malan, a senior lecturer on computer science at Harvard University for the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. But there's not just one professor - you have access to the entire teaching staff, allowing you to receive feedback on assignments straight from the experts. Pursue a Verified Certificate to document your achievements and use your coursework for job and school applications, promotions, and more. EdX also works with top universities to conduct research, allowing them to learn more about learning. Using their findings, edX is able to provide students with the best and most effective courses, constantly enhancing the student experience.

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22301 reviews

Course Description

Do you love printed paper and wonder how much longer it will survive in the age of ebooks? Are you curious about how the mass-produced modern book emerged in the first place?  Come behind the scenes in Harvard’s libraries to explore the look, feel and even smell of nineteenth-century British and American books in this module of The Book: Histories Across Time and Space.

In 19th-century Britain and America, schooling expanded, paper cheapened, and new technologies allowed print to reach wider audiences than ever before.  After the rare and beautiful manuscripts and books showcased by earlier modules, the mass-produced, disposable objects that survive from the nineteenth century bear witness to the rise of the reading public.

This module investigates what scholars know about nineteenth-century reading, as well as how they know it.

This module’s six sections guide you through underlined, inscribed, defaced and repaire...

Do you love printed paper and wonder how much longer it will survive in the age of ebooks? Are you curious about how the mass-produced modern book emerged in the first place?  Come behind the scenes in Harvard’s libraries to explore the look, feel and even smell of nineteenth-century British and American books in this module of The Book: Histories Across Time and Space.

In 19th-century Britain and America, schooling expanded, paper cheapened, and new technologies allowed print to reach wider audiences than ever before.  After the rare and beautiful manuscripts and books showcased by earlier modules, the mass-produced, disposable objects that survive from the nineteenth century bear witness to the rise of the reading public.

This module investigates what scholars know about nineteenth-century reading, as well as how they know it.

This module’s six sections guide you through underlined, inscribed, defaced and repaired books in Harvard’s collections:

1. Name That Book
Find out what you can tell about a book when you’re blindfolded.

2. Handheld Books and Mobile Readers
What book did one soldier carry to Civil War battlefields in his pocket? (Hint: it’s not what you think.)

3. The Pen and the Needle
Did 19th-century girls have to choose between sewing and reading?  The holes pricked in one book suggest they did both at once.

4. Leaving your Mark
Luckily for future historians, these children didn’t listen when people told them not to write in their books.

5. Detective Work
Try out some tools that build on what you’ve learned about books at Harvard to discover the stories hidden in your local library.

6. Over to You
Your chance to share what you have found in the books around you.

Join us, and discover how people in the first information age read, underlined, and repaired the pages that they treasured. 


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Reviews 9/10 stars
6 Reviews for The Book: Book Sleuthing: What 19th-Century Books Can Tell Us About the Rise of the Reading Public?

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Nicole Stack profile image
Nicole Stack profile image

Nicole Stack

8/10 starsCompleted
2 years, 11 months ago
Would you ever consider doing an online course in gender studies in Victorian Literature? Thank you for your wonderful class and for making me look at books and literature in a new way.
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Shar H. profile image
Shar H. profile image

Shar H.

10/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 4 months ago
This has by far been the most enjoyable course I've taken! I was able to complete the videos in one day and learned things I never knew before. Thank you very much for this course. The instructor was wonderful and the information has given me new insight into the old books I own.
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MB Wall profile image
MB Wall profile image

MB Wall

10/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 7 months ago
What a great course! I definitely learned and did not have a lot of stress. The videos were interesting, and showed great examples.
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Jack Kruf profile image
Jack Kruf profile image

Jack Kruf

10/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 7 months ago
Great min-course which leads to more insight in the meta story telling of books and bring them directly in line with new modern media and use of e-readers. The relation between text within books and your own thoughts is inspiring. I learned to re-appreciate of my old books collection. There are actual again, not just 'old books'. Professor Price is a great teacher who brings in refreshing links and associations.
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Paul Hundal profile image
Paul Hundal profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 138 reviews
  • 119 completed
3 years, 9 months ago
Nice mini-MOOC module focusing on one part of the overall course that can be completed in a much shorter time. I did find that this module of The Book Series had less content than the others but it still is a useful edition to the series because it doesn't take much time either. Nice presentation.
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Scott Lord profile image
Scott Lord profile image

Scott Lord

10/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 9 months ago
taken as a whole, this was an interesting way to spend an evening. Thank You. Looking at things, inferring from them their history, comparing materials during different time periods and what makes value in a collection was a good beginning in placing historical objects in their period by looking at how the were manufactured and what uses were considered in their making.
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