Bookshelf - Histories of Libraries, Books, Newspapers, and the Internet
History of Information
This collection provides histories of information sources and the organization of information from ancient to modern times. Among the offerings found on this page are histories of books, libraries, newspapers and the Internet
In The Book, Keith Houston reveals that the paper, ink, thread, glue and board from which a book is made tell as rich a story as the words on its pages--of civilisations, empires, human ingenuity and madness. In an invitingly tactile history of this 2,000 year-old medium, Houston follows the development of writing, printing, the art of illustrations, and binding to show how we have moved from cuneiform tablets and papyrus scrolls to the hardcovers and paperbacks of today. Sure to delight book lovers of all stripes with its lush, full-colour illustrations, The Book gives us the momentous and surprising history behind humanity's most important--and universal--information technology. Praise for Shady Characters: "Punctuation is not a mere ornament or a curiosity--it is essential, and we need to know about it. Keith Houston's history is entertaining and readable." --The Guardian "Engaging typographical journeys... Houston brings to life a history of ingenuity and imagination." --The Times "[S]cholarly, highly readable and, on some deeper level, slightly deranged." --The Spectator "Refreshing... the stories he uncovers along the way are fascinating." --The Telegraph "Shady Characters might make you look at books... in an entirely new way." --Nature
A concise edition of the highly acclaimed Oxford Companion to the Book, this book features the 51 articles from the Companion plus 3 brand new chapters in one affordable volume. The 54 chapters introduce readers to the fascinating world of book history. Including 21 thematic studies on topics such as writing systems, the ancient and the medieval book, and the economics of print, as well as 33 regional and national histories of 'the book', offering atruly global survey of the book around the world, the Oxford History of the Book is the most comprehensive work of its kind. The three new articles, specially commissioned for this spin-off, cover censorship, copyright and intellectual property, and book history in the Caribbean and Bermuda.All essays are illustrated throughout with reproductions, diagrams, and examples of various typographical features.Beautifully produced and hugely informative, this is a must-have for anyone with an interest in book history and the written word.
If you loved Hidden Figures or The Rise of the Rocket Girls, you'll love Claire Evans' breakthrough book on the women who brought you the internet -- written out of history, until now. Before Steve Jobs put a personal computer in your hands; before Larry Page and Sergey Brin put any answer at your fingertips; before Mark Zuckerberg connected you to your long-lost friends, female visionaries were at the vanguard of the technology you love (and love to hate). VICE futures editor and lead singer of the band YACHT Claire Evans presents the first social history of women and the internet. These innovators, concentrating where computers have made our lives better, richer, and more connected, are the unsung heroes of network culture. Join the ranks of women who have pioneered technology, like Ada Lovelace, the tortured, imaginative daughter of Lord Byron, who wrote the first program for a mechanical computer. Grace Hopper, a navy admiral and mathematician created machine-independent programming languages. Stacy Horn ran one of the Internet's earliest social networks, Echo, out of her Greenwich Village apartment in New York City. To say nothing of database poets, desktop thespians, cyber-ingenues, glass ceiling-shattering entrepreneurs, and the self-proclaimed "biggest bitch in Silicon Alley." Evans shines a light on these bright minds whom history forgot, showing us how women have always pushed technology forward and will continue to shape our world in powerful ways that we can no longer ignore.
The invention of writing was one of the most important technological, cultural, and sociological breakthroughs in human history. With the printed book, information and ideas could disseminate more widely and effectively than ever before--and in some cases, affect and redirect the sway of history. Today, nearly one million books are published each year. But is the era of the book as we know it--a codex of bound pages--coming to an end? And if it is, should we celebrate its demise and the creation of a democratic digital future, or mourn an irreplaceable loss? The digital age is revolutionizing the information landscape. Already, more books have been scanned and digitized than were housed in the great library in Alexandria, making available millions of texts for a curious reader at the click of a button, and electronic book sales are growing exponentially. Will this revolution in the delivery of information and entertainment make for more transparent and far-reaching dissemination or create a monopolistic stranglehold? In The Case for Books, Robert Darnton, an intellectual pioneer in the field of the history of the book and director of Harvard University's Library, offers an in-depth examination of the book from its earliest beginnings to its shifting role today in popular culture, commerce, and the academy. As an author, editorial advisor, and publishing entrepreneur, Darnton is a unique authority on the life and role of the book in society. This book is a wise work of scholarship--one that requires readers to carefully consider how the digital revolution will broadly affect the marketplace of ideas.
Exploring a vast array of topics related to computation, Computing: A Historical and Technical Perspective covers the historical and technical foundation of ancient and modern-day computing. The book starts with the earliest references to counting by humans, introduces various number systems, and discusses mathematics in early civilizations. It guides readers all the way through the latest advances in computer science, such as the design and analysis of computer algorithms.Through historical accounts, brief technical explanations, and examples, the book answers a host of questions, including:Why do humans count differently from the way current electronic computers do?Why are there 24 hours in a day, 60 minutes in an hour, etc.?Who invented numbers, when were they invented, and why are there different kinds?How do secret writings and cryptography date back to ancient civilizations?Innumerable individuals from many cultures have contributed their talents and creativity to formulate what has become our mathematical and computing heritage. By bringing together the historical and technical aspects of computing, this book enables readers to gain a deep appreciation of the long evolutionary processes of the field developed over thousands of years. Suitable as a supplement in undergraduate courses, it provides a self-contained historical reference source for anyone interested in this important and evolving field.
Chapters: 1. Unravelling Utopias and Dystopias -- 2. The Techno-Scientific Utopias of Modernity: From Real to Virtual -- 3. Virtual Utopias and the Imaginary of the Internet -- 4. The Dystopian Worlds of Techno-Science -- 5. Virtual Dystopias and the Imaginary of the Internet -- 6. Beyond Virtual Utopias and Dystopias?
Social media has come to deeply penetrate our lives: Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and many other platforms define many of our daily habits of communication and creative production. The Culture of Connectivity studies the rise of social media in the first decade of the twenty-first century upuntil 2012, providing both a historical and a critical analysis of the emergence of major platforms in the context of a rapidly changing ecosystem of connective media. Such history is needed to understand how these media have come to profoundly affect our experience of online sociality. The firststage of their development shows a fundamental shift. While most sites started out as amateur-driven community platforms, half a decade later they have turned into large corporations that do not just facilitate user connectedness, but have become global information and data mining companiesextracting and exploiting user connectivity.Author and media scholar Jose van Dijck offers an analytical prism to examine techno-cultural as well as socio-economic aspects of this transformation. She dissects five major platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, and Wikipedia. Each of these microsystems occupies a distinct position in thelarger ecology of connective media, and yet, their underlying mechanisms for coding interfaces, steering users, and filtering content rely on shared ideological principles. At the level of management and organization, we can also observe striking similarities between these platforms' shiftingownership status, governance strategies, and business models.Reconstructing the premises on which these platforms are built, this study highlights how norms for online interaction and communication gradually changed. "Sharing," "friending," "liking," "following," "trending," and "favoriting" have come to denote online practices imbued with specifictechnological and economic meanings. This process of normalization, the author argues, is part of a larger political and ideological battle over information control in an online world where everything is bound to become social. Crossing lines of technological, historical, sociological, and culturalinquiry, The Culture of Connectivity will reshape the way we think about interpersonal connection in the digital age.
Distinguished scholar and library systems innovator Frederick Kilgour tells a five-thousand-year story in this exciting work, a tale beginning with the invention of writing and concluding with the emerging electronic book. Calling on a lifetime of interest in the growth of information technology, Kilgour brings a fresh approach to the history of the book, emphasizing in rich, authoritative detail the successive technological advances that allowed the book to keep pace with ever-increasing needs for information. Borrowing a concept from evolutionary theory--the notion of punctuated equilibria--to structure his account, Kilgour investigates the book's three discrete historical forms--the clay tablet, papyrus roll, and codex--before turning to a fourth, still evolving form, the cyber book, a version promising swift electronic delivery of information in text, sound, and motion to anyone at any time. The clay tablet, initially employed as a content descriptor for sacks of grain, proved inadequate to the growing need for commercial and administrative records. Its successor the papyrus roll was itself succeeded by the codex, a format whose superior utility and information capacity led to sweeping changes in the management of accumulated knowledge, the pursuit of learning, and the promulgation of religion. Kilgour throughout considers closely both technological change and the role this change played in cultural transformation. His fascinating account of the modern book, from Gutenberg's invention of cast-type printing five hundred years ago to the arrival of books displayed on a computer screen, spotlights the inventors, engineers, and entrepreneurs who in creating the machinery of production and dissemination enabled the book to maintain its unique cultural power over time. Deft, provocative, and accessibly written, The Evolution of the Book will captivate book lovers as well as those interested in bibliographic history, the history of writing, and the history of technology.
This book takes a fresh look at the role of the newspaper in United States civic culture. Unlike other histories which focus only on the content of newspapers, this book digs deeper into ways of writing, systems of organizing content, and genres of presentation, including typography and pictures. The authors examine how these elements have combined to give newspapers a distinctive look at every historical moment, from the colonial to the digital eras. They reveal how the changing "form of news" reflects such major social forces as the rise of mass politics, the industrial revolution, the growth of the market economy, the course of modernism, and the emergence of the Internet. Whether serving as town meeting, court of opinion, marketplace, social map, or catalog of diversions, news forms are also shown to embody cultural authority, allowing readers to see and relate to the world from a particular perspective. Including over 70 illustrations, the book explores such compelling themes as the role of news in a democratic society, the relationship between news and visual culture, and the ways newspapers have shaped the meaning of citizenship. Winner of the International Communication Association Outstanding Book Award
Call Number: Online and in print at UNI Stacks HE151 .W43 2019
Publication Date: 2019
Network revolutions of the past have shaped the present and set the stage for the revolution we are experiencing today. In an era of seemingly instant change, it's easy to think that today's revolutions-in communications, business, and many areas of daily life-are unprecedented. Today's changes may be new and may be happening faster than ever before. But our ancestors at times were just as bewildered by rapid upheavals in what we now call "networks"-the physical links that bind any society together. In this fascinating book, former FCC chairman Tom Wheeler brings to life the two great network revolutions of the past and uses them to help put in perspective the confusion, uncertainty, and even excitement most people face today. The first big network revolution was the invention of movable-type printing in the fifteenth century. This book, its millions of predecessors, and even such broad trends as the Reformation, the Renaissance, and the multiple scientific revolutions of the past 500 years would not have been possible without that one invention. The second revolution came with the invention of the telegraph early in the nineteenth century. Never before had people been able to communicate over long distances faster than a horse could travel. Along with the development of the world's first high-speed network-the railroad-the telegraph upended centuries of stability and literally redrew the map of the world. Wheeler puts these past revolutions into the perspective of today, when rapid-fire changes in networking are upending the nature of work, personal privacy, education, the media, and nearly every other aspect of modern life. But he doesn't leave it there. Outlining "What's Next," he describes how artificial intelligence, virtual reality, blockchain, and the need for cybersecurity are laying the foundation for a third network revolution.
"John Naughton is The Observer's "Networker" columnist, a prominent blogger, and Vice-President of Wolfson College, Cambridge. The Times has said that his writings, "[it] draws on more than two decades of study to explain how the internet works and the challenges and opportunities it will offer to future generations," and Cory Doctrow raved that "this is the kind of primer you want to slide under your boss's door." In From Gutenberg to Zuckerberg, Naughton explores the living history of one of the most radically transformational technologies of all time. From Gutenberg to Zuckerberg is a clear-eyed history of one of the most central, and yet most taken-for-granted, features of modern life: the internet. Once a technological novelty and now the very plumbing of the Information Age, the internet is something we have learned to take largely for granted. So, how exactly has our society become so dependent upon a utility it barely understands? And what does it say about us that this is so? While explaining in highly engaging language the way the internet works and how it got to be the way it is, technologist John Naughton has distilled the noisy chatter surrounding the technology's relentless evolution into nine essential areas of understanding. In doing so, he affords readers deeper insight into the information economy and supplies the requisite knowledge to make better use of the technologies and networks around us, highlighting some of their fascinating and far-reaching implications along the way."
Call Number: Online and in print at UNI Stacks TK5105.875.I57 R73 2010
Publication Date: 2010
A History of the Internet and the Digital Future tells the story of the development of the Internet from the 1950s to the present and examines how the balance of power has shifted between the individual and the state in the areas of censorship, copyright infringement, intellectual freedom, and terrorism and warfare. Johnny Ryan explains how the Internet has revolutionized political campaigns; how the development of the World Wide Web enfranchised a new online population of assertive, niche consumers; and how the dot-com bust taught smarter firms to capitalize on the power of digital artisans. From the government-controlled systems of the Cold War to today's move towards cloud computing, user-driven content, and the new global commons, this book reveals the trends that are shaping the businesses, politics, and media of the digital future. "The WikiLeaks saga may have drawn us into new, and scary, galaxies of cyberspace, but this survey of the online story so far offers a handy catch-up that will prove a boon to geeks and dabblers alike."--Independent "Contains an unexpected, but most welcome surprise: stories. These stories are what makes this such a wonderful read. . . . The stories and historical references add color and life to the text and help show important cultural connections between today's digital age and earlier times."--PopMatters
In The Idea of the Library in the Ancient World Yun Lee Too argues that the ancient library was much more than its incarnation at Alexandria, which has been the focus for students of the subject up till now. In fact, the library is a complex institution with many different forms. It can be abuilding with books, but it can also be individual people, or the individual books themselves. In antiquity, the library's functions are numerous: as an instrument of power, of memory, of which it has various modes; as an articulation of a political ideal, an art gallery, a place for sociality. Tooindirectly raises important conceptual questions about the contemporary library, bringing to these the insights that a study of antiquity can offer.
James Gleick, the author of the best sellers Chaos and Genius, now brings us a work just as astonishing and masterly: a revelatory chronicle and meditation that shows how information has become the modern era's defining quality--the blood, the fuel, the vital principle of our world. nbsp; The story of information begins in a time profoundly unlike our own, when every thought and utterance vanishes as soon as it is born. From the invention of scripts and alphabets to the long-misunderstood talking drums of Africa, Gleick tells the story of information technologies that changed the very nature of human consciousness. He provides portraits of the key figures contributing to the inexorable development of our modern understanding of information: Charles Babbage, the idiosyncratic inventor of the first great mechanical computer; Ada Byron, the brilliant and doomed daughter of the poet, who became the first true programmer; pivotal figures like Samuel Morse and Alan Turing; and Claude Shannon, the creator of information theory itself. nbsp; And then the information age arrives. Citizens of this world become experts willy-nilly: aficionados of bits and bytes. And we sometimes feel we are drowning, swept by a deluge of signs and signals, news and images, blogs and tweets. The Information is the story of how we got here and where we are heading.
Call Number: Online and in print at UNI Stacks PN5110 .P48 2014
Publication Date: 2014
The extraordinary history of news and its dissemination, from medieval pilgrim tales to the birth of the newspaper Long before the invention of printing, let alone the availability of a daily newspaper, people desired to be informed. In the pre-industrial era news was gathered and shared through conversation and gossip, civic ceremony, celebration, sermons, and proclamations. The age of print brought pamphlets, edicts, ballads, journals, and the first news-sheets, expanding the news community from local to worldwide. This groundbreaking book tracks the history of news in ten countries over the course of four centuries. It evaluates the unexpected variety of ways in which information was transmitted in the premodern world as well as the impact of expanding news media on contemporary events and the lives of an ever-more-informed public. Andrew Pettegree investigates who controlled the news and who reported it; the use of news as a tool of political protest and religious reform; issues of privacy and titillation; the persistent need for news to be current and journalists trustworthy; and people's changed sense of themselves as they experienced newly opened windows on the world. By the close of the eighteenth century, Pettegree concludes, transmission of news had become so efficient and widespread that European citizens--now aware of wars, revolutions, crime, disasters, scandals, and other events--were poised to emerge as actors in the great events unfolding around them.
On the survival and destruction of knowledge, from Alexandria to the Internet. Through the ages, libraries have not only accumulated and preserved but also shaped, inspired, and obliterated knowledge.Matthew Battles, a rare books librarian and a gifted narrator, takes us on a spirited foray from Boston to Baghdad, from classical scriptoria to medieval monasteries, from the Vatican to the british Library, from socialist reading rooms and rural home libraries to the Information Age. He explores how libraries are built and how they are destroyed, from the decay of the great Alexandrian library to scroll burnings in ancient China to the destruction of Aztec books by the Spanish--and in our own time, the burning of libraries in Europe and Bosnia. Encyclopedic in its breadth and novelistic in its telling, this volume will occupy a treasured place on the bookshelf next to Baker's Double Fold, Bashanes's A Gentle Madness, Manguel's A History of Reading, and Winchester's The Professor and the Madman.
"In this age of an open Internet, it is easy to forget that every American information industry, beginning with the telephone, has eventually been taken captive by some ruthless monopoly or cartel. With all our media now traveling a single network, an unprecedented potential is building for centralized control over what Americans see and hear. Could history repeat itself with the next industrial consolidation? Could the Internet--the entire flow of American information--come to be ruled by one corporate leviathan in possession of "the master switch"? That is the big question of Tim Wu's pathbreaking book. As Wu's sweeping history shows, each of the new media of the twentieth century--radio, telephone, television, and film--was born free and open. Each invited unrestricted use and enterprising experiment until some would-be mogul battled his way to total domination. Here are stories of an uncommon will to power, the power over information: Adolph Zukor, who took a technology once used as commonly as YouTube is today and made it the exclusive prerogative of a kingdom called Hollywood . . . NBC's founder, David Sarnoff, who, to save his broadcast empire from disruptive visionaries, bullied one inventor (of electronic television) into alcoholic despair and another (this one of FM radio, and his boyhood friend) into suicide . . . And foremost, Theodore Vail, founder of the Bell System, the greatest information empire of all time, and a capitalist whose faith in Soviet-style central planning set the course of every information industry thereafter. Explaining how invention begets industry and industry begets empire--a progress often blessed by government, typically with stifling consequences for free expression and technical innovation alike--Wu identifies a time-honored pattern in the maneuvers of today's great information powers: Apple, Google, and an eerily resurgent AT&T. A battle royal looms for the Internet's future, and with almost every aspect of our lives now dependent on that network, this is one war we dare not tune out. Part industrial exposE, part meditation on what freedom requires in the information age, "The Master Switch" is a stirring illumination of a drama that has played out over decades in the shadows of our national life and now culminates with terrifying implications for our future."
William J. Bernstein'sA Splendid Exchange: How Trade Shaped the World, anEconomist andFinancial Times Best Book of the Year, placed him firmly among the top flight of historians like Jared Diamond and Bill Bryson, capable of distilling major trends and reams of information into insightful, globe-spanning popular narrative. Bernstein explains how new communication technologies and in particular our access to them, impacted human society. Writing was born thousands of years ago in Mesopotamia. Spreading to Sumer, and then Egypt, this revolutionary tool allowed rulers to extend their control far and wide, giving rise to the world's first empires. When Phoenician traders took their alphabet to Greece, literacy's first boom led to the birth of drama and democracy. In Rome, it helped spell the downfall of the Republic. Later, medievalscriptoria and vernacular bibles gave rise to religious dissent, and with the combination of cheaper paper and Gutenberg's printing press, the fuse of Reformation was lit. The Industrial Revolution brought the telegraph and the steam driven printing press, allowing information to move faster than ever before and to reach an even larger audience. But along with radio and television, these new technologies were more easily exploited by the powerful, as seen in Germany, the Soviet Union, even Rwanda, where radio incited genocide. With the rise of carbon duplicates (Russian samizdat), photocopying (the Pentagon Papers), the internet, social media and cell phones (the recent Arab Spring) more people have access to communications, making the world more connected than ever before. InMasters of the Word, Bernstein masterfully guides the reader through the vast history of communications, illustrating each step with colorful stories and anecdotes. This is a captivating, enlightening book, one that will change the way you look at technology, history, and power.
From Greek and Roman times to the digital era, the library has remained central to knowledge, scholarship, and the imagination. The Meaning of the Library is a generously illustrated examination of this key institution of Western culture. Tracing what the library has meant since its beginning, examining how its significance has shifted, and pondering its importance in the twenty-first century, notable contributors--including the Librarian of Congress and the former executive director of the HathiTrust--present a cultural history of the library. In an informative introduction, Alice Crawford sets out the book's purpose and scope, and an international array of scholars, librarians, writers, and critics offer vivid perspectives about the library through their chosen fields. The Meaning of the Library will appeal to all who are interested in this vital institution's heritage and ongoing legacy.
The first scholarly book in English on Minitel, the pioneering French computer network, offers a history of a technical system and a cultural phenomenon.A decade before the Internet became a medium for the masses in the United States, tens of millions of users in France had access to a network for e-mail, e-commerce, chat, research, game playing, blogging, and even an early form of online porn. In 1983, the French government rolled out Minitel, a computer network that achieved widespread adoption in just a few years as the government distributed free terminals to every French telephone subscriber. With this volume, Julien Mailland and Kevin Driscoll offer the first scholarly book in English on Minitel, examining it as both a technical system and a cultural phenomenon. Mailland and Driscoll argue that Minitel was a technical marvel, a commercial success, and an ambitious social experiment. Other early networks may have introduced protocols and software standards that continue to be used today, but Minitel foretold the social effects of widespread telecomputing. They examine the unique balance of forces that enabled the growth of Minitel- public and private, open and closed, centralized and decentralized. Mailland and Driscoll describe Minitel's key technological components, novel online services, and thriving virtual communities. Despite the seemingly tight grip of the state, however, a lively Minitel culture emerged, characterized by spontaneity, imagination, and creativity. After three decades of continuous service, Minitel was shut down in 2012, but the history of Minitel should continue to inform our thinking about Internet policy, today and into the future.
The impact on modern society made by the Internet is immeasurable. Yet some questioned "why anyone would want such a thing" when the idea was first introduced. Part history, part memoir and part cultural study, Network Geeks charts the creation of the Internet and the establishment of the Internet Engineering Task Force, from the viewpoint of a self-proclaimed geek who witnessed these developments first-hand. With boundless enthusiasm and abundant humour, Brian Carpenter leads the reader on a journey from post-war Britain to post-millennium New Zealand, describing how the Internet grew into today's ubiquitous, global network, including the genesis of the World-Wide Web in the hotbeds of a particle collider at CERN. Illuminating the science and technology behind the apparent "magic trick" of the Internet, Network Geeks opens a window into the initially bewildering world of the Internet engineering geek. After reading this book, you may wish to join this world yourself.
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 or printing, editorial theory and practice, textualcriticism, 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 two-volume work is organized in two parts, totalling a million words. Part I is a substantial series of introductory essays, making up about a third of the text. Nineteen of the essays provide generic histories of the subject ranging from writing systems, the ancient and the medieval book,through central aspects of book production, to theories of text, editorial theory and textual criticism, the economics of print, and the sacred book. These are complemented by 29 surveys of the history of the book around the world, including the Muslim world, Asia, Latin America, and Sub-SaharanAfrica. Part II of the Companion comprises an A-Z section of over 5,000 entries on every aspect of this exceptionally rich and diverse subject, ranging from brief definitions and biographical entries to more extensive treatments of up to 2,000 words. The two parts are linked by thoroughcross-referencing (both between and within the volumes) and the whole is also served by a general index and a classified index of entries. Both parts of the text are illustrated with reproductions, diagrams, and maps, and examples of various typographical features.The contents of the book have been planned around the following scheme which aptly illustrates the breadth and depth of this most interdisciplinary of subjects:* book genres of every kind including dictionaries, government documents, and music* all aspects of the physical book, and a generous coverage of individual bookbinders, paper-makers, typographers, type-founders, and designers* authorship, including issues of attribution, authors' societies and communities, forgeries and hoaxes* the entire reproduction process over the centuries (in both Asia and the West), not forgetting individual engravers, illuminators, and illustrators* printers and publishers around the world, plus book-trade organizations, and patronage* intellectual property issues* distribution and sales, comprising international coverage of booksellers, as well as book clubs, auction houses, and advertising* preservation, covering not only libraries and library systems but also individual collectors, librarians, and professional associations* suppression of the book, including censorship and stamp acts, and issues surrounding blasphemy and pornography* scholarship, covering bibliography, editions, and scholarly centres and organizations, as well as numerous individual scholars in all parts of the world* aspects of reading and reception, including book organizations and literary prizes* a broad range of periodicals encompassing literary, professional and trade, and scholarly and bibliophile interests* named manuscripts, scripts, and individual scribes and calligraphers* individual books as exemplars of book historyThe Companion is intended to be a highly informative and genuinely useful work of reference and the only book of this kind in the field. It is intended for an international readership and has been written by an international team of scholars. As appropriate to its subject matter, the finished bookis designed to be both exceptionally practical and aesthetically pleasing to own.
The history of the book is the history of millions of written, printed, and illustrated texts, their manufacture, distribution, and reception. Here are different types of production, from clay tablets to scrolls, from inscribed codices to printed books, pamphlets, magazines, and newspapers, from written parchment to digital texts. The history of the book is a history of different methods of circulation and dissemination, all dependent on innovations in transport, from coastal and transoceanic shipping to roads, trains, planes and the internet. It is a history of different modes of reading and reception, from learned debate and individual study to public instruction and entertainment. It is a history of manufacture, craftsmanship, dissemination, reading and debate.
Since Gutenberg's time, every aspect of print has gradually changed. But the advent of computational media has exponentially increased the pace, transforming how books are composed, designed, edited, typeset, distributed, sold, and read. N. Katherine Hayles traces the emergence of what she identifies as the postprint condition, exploring how the interweaving of print and digital technologies has changed not only books but also language, authorship, and what it means to be human. Hayles considers the ways in which print has been enmeshed in literate societies and how these are changing as some of the cognitive tasks once performed exclusively by humans are now carried out by computational media. Interpretations and meaning-making practices circulate through transindividual collectivities created by interconnections between humans and computational media, which Hayles calls cognitive assemblages. Her theoretical framework conceptualizes innovations in print technology as redistributions of cognitive capabilities between humans and machines. Humanity is becoming computational, just as computational systems are edging toward processes once thought of as distinctively human. Books in all their diversity are also in the process of becoming computational, representing a crucial site of ongoing cognitive transformations. Hayles details the consequences for the humanities through interviews with scholars and university press professionals and considers the cultural implications in readings of two novels, The Silent History and The Word Exchange, that explore the postprint condition. Spanning fields including book studies, cultural theory, and media archeology, Postprint is a strikingly original consideration of the role of computational media in the ongoing evolution of humanity.
We may imagine the digital cloud as placeless, mute, ethereal, and unmediated. Yet the reality of the cloud is embodied in thousands of massive data centers, any one of which can use as much electricity as a midsized town. Even all these data centers are only one small part of the cloud. Behind that cloud-shaped icon on our screens is a whole universe of technologies and cultural norms, all working to keep us from noticing their existence. In this book, Tung-Hui Hu examines the gap between the real and the virtual in our understanding of the cloud. Hu shows that the cloud grew out of such older networks as railroad tracks, sewer lines, and television circuits. He describes key moments in the prehistory of the cloud, from the game "Spacewar" as exemplar of time-sharing computers to Cold War bunkers that were later reused as data centers. Countering the popular perception of a new "cloudlike" political power that is dispersed and immaterial, Hu argues that the cloud grafts digital technologies onto older ways of exerting power over a population. But because we invest the cloud with cultural fantasies about security and participation, we fail to recognize its militarized origins and ideology. Moving between the materiality of the technology itself and its cultural rhetoric, Hu's account offers a set of new tools for rethinking the contemporary digital environment.
1. The Heritage of the American Press -- 2. The Colonial Years -- 3. The Press and the Revolution -- 4. Founding the New Nation -- 5. Westward Expansion -- 6. A Press for the Masses -- 7. The Irrepressible Conflict -- 8. A Revolution in National Life -- 9. The New Journalism -- 10. The People's Champions -- 11. Bastions of News Enterprise -- 12. War Comes to the United States -- 13. The Twenties: Radio, Movies, and Jazz Journalism -- 14. Depression and Reform -- 15. A World at War -- 16. Television Takes Center Stage -- 17. Challenges and Dissent -- 18. A Crisis of Credibility -- 19. Efforts to Improve the Media -- 20. The Surviving Newspaper Press -- 21. Media Technology: The Challenge of the 1990s.
This major study re-examines fundamental aspects of what has been widely labeled the printing revolution of the early modern period. David McKitterick argues that many of the changes associated with printing were only gradually absorbed over almost 400 years, a much longer period than usually suggested. He re-evaluates the modern myths and misconceptions surrounding the emergence of print and invites readers to work forward from the past, rather than backwards into it.
pt. 1. Introduction to an elusive transformation. The unacknowledged revolution -- Defining the initial shift ; some features of print culture -- pt. 2. Classical and Christian traditions reoriented ; Renaissance and Reformation reappraised -- A classical revival reoriented : the two phases of the Renaissance -- The scriptural tradition recast : resetting the stage for the Reformation -- pt. 3. The book of nature transformed. Introduction ; problems of periodization -- Technical literature goes to press : some new trends in scientific writing and research -- Resetting the stage for the Copernican Revolution -- Sponsorship and censorship of scientific publication -- Conclusion : Scripture and nature transformed.
Information scientist David M. Levy wants us to look at the documents that fill our lives, and his book Scrolling Forward is a thoughtful reflection on their near-omnipresence. Levy has the perfect resume for this job--after getting his Ph.D. in Computer Science in 1981, he took off for England to pursue the study of calligraphy and bookbinding. His love of books shows in his writing, which is rich with references and anecdotes from Walt Whitman to Woody Allen.Drawing on examples as disparate as grocery store receipts, greeting cards, identity papers, and (of course) e-mail, Levy finds the common threads binding them together and explores how and why we use them in daily life. He looks at digitization closely, considering how speed, ease of editing, and potentially perfect copying changes our traditional considerations of documentation. Though he insists that he's looking at the present, not speculating about the future, it's hard to see how to avoid looking ahead after reading Scrolling Forward. --Rob Lightner
A Short History of the Modern Media presents a concise history of the major media of the last 150 years, including print, stage, film, radio, television, sound recording, and the Internet. Offers a compact, teaching-friendly presentation of the history of mass media Features a discussion of works in popular culture that are well-known and easily available Presents a history of modern media that is strongly interdisciplinary in nature
While the importance of writing has often been recognized, the role of books and especially that of libraries has just as often been slighted. Knowledge, once generated, has to be communicated, preserved, and accessible. Books in their varying formats--from clay tablets to scrolls and manuscripts to pixels--have been instrumental in spreading knowledge, although relatively little attention has been given to the story of books themselves. A Social History of Books and Libraries from Cuneiform to Bytes traces the roles of books and libraries throughout recorded history and explores their social and cultural importance within differing societies and changing times. It presents the history of books from clay tablets to e-books and the history of libraries, whether built of bricks or bytes. Following an introduction that sets the theoretical basis for the historical importance of books and libraries, chapters alternate between the history of the book and the history of libraries. Included within the chapters are short excursions on some particular development, such as book emblems or cataloging. Case studies are given as thematic illustrations of libraries everywhere. Patrick M. Valentine argues that social and cultural forces have been more influential in determining the nature and status of information, books, and libraries than has technology. But A Social History of Books and Libraries is far from a jeremiad against technology; rather it presents history within the subtle yet shifting context of time and place. Although written primarily for librarians and library students, it will also be of interest to a wider audience of scholars and those interested in books, libraries, and cultural history.
In this book Peter Burke adopts a socio-cultural approach to examine the changes in the organization of knowledge in Europe from the invention of printing to the publication of the French Encyclopédie. The book opens with an assessment of different sociologies of knowledge from Mannheim to Foucault and beyond, and goes on to discuss intellectuals as a social group and the social institutions (especially universities and academies) which encouraged or discouraged intellectual innovation. Then, in a series of separate chapters, Burke explores the geography, anthropology, politics and economics of knowledge, focusing on the role of cities, academies, states and markets in the process of gathering, classifying, spreading and sometimes concealing information. The final chapters deal with knowledge from the point of view of the individual reader, listener, viewer or consumer, including the problem of the reliability of knowledge discussed so vigorously in the seventeenth century. One of the most original features of this book is its discussion of knowledges in the plural. It centres on printed knowledge, especially academic knowledge, but it treats the history of the knowledge 'explosion' which followed the invention of printing and the discovery of the world beyond Europe as a process of exchange or negotiation between different knowledges, such as male and female, theoretical and practical, high-status and low-status, and European and non-European. Although written primarily as a contribution to social or socio-cultural history, this book will also be of interest to historians of science, sociologists, anthropologists, geographers and others in another age of information explosion.
What spam is, how it works, and how it has shaped online communities and the Internet itself. The vast majority of all email sent every day is spam, a variety of idiosyncratically spelled requests to provide account information, invitations to spend money on dubious products, and pleas to send cash overseas. Most of it is caught by filters before ever reaching an in-box. Where does it come from? As Finn Brunton explains in Spam, it is produced and shaped by many different populations around the world: programmers, con artists, bots and their botmasters, pharmaceutical merchants, marketers, identity thieves, crooked bankers and their victims, cops, lawyers, network security professionals, vigilantes, and hackers. Every time we go online, we participate in the system of spam, with choices, refusals, and purchases the consequences of which we may not understand. This is a book about what spam is, how it works, and what it means. Brunton provides a cultural history that stretches from pranks on early computer networks to the construction of a global criminal infrastructure. The history of spam, Brunton shows us, is a shadow history of the Internet itself, with spam emerging as the mirror image of the online communities it targets. Brunton traces spam through three epochs: the 1970s to 1995, and the early, noncommercial computer networks that became the Internet; 1995 to 2003, with the dot-com boom, the rise of spam's entrepreneurs, and the first efforts at regulating spam; and 2003 to the present, with the war of algorithms--spam versus anti-spam. Spam shows us how technologies, from email to search engines, are transformed by unintended consequences and adaptations, and how online communities develop and invent governance for themselves.
Conceptual framework -- Historical framework -- Case Studies -- Transformations.
This coursebook examines the material history of human communication, allowing students and teachers to examine how communication's production, form, materiality, and reception are crucial to our interpretations of culture, history, and society.
The flood of information brought to us by advancing technology is often accompanied by a distressing sense of “information overload,” yet this experience is not unique to modern times. In fact, says Ann M. Blair in this intriguing book, the invention of the printing press and the ensuing abundance of books provoked sixteenth- and seventeenth-century European scholars to register complaints very similar to our own. Blair examines methods of information management in ancient and medieval Europe as well as the Islamic world and China, then focuses particular attention on the organization, composition, and reception of Latin reference books in print in early modern Europe. She explores in detail the sophisticated and sometimes idiosyncratic techniques that scholars and readers developed in an era of new technology and exploding information.
In this revealing account of how the digital universe exploded in the aftermath of World War II, George Dyson illuminates the nature of digital computers, the lives of those who brought them into existence, and how code took over the world. nbsp; In the 1940s and '50s, a small group of men and women--led by John von Neumann--gathered in Princeton, New Jersey, to begin building one of the first computers to realize Alan Turing's vision of a Universal Machine. The codes unleashed within this embryonic, 5-kilobyte universe--less memory than is allocated to displaying a single icon on a computer screen today--broke the distinction between numbers that mean things and numbers that do things, and our universe would never be the same. Turing's Cathedral is the story of how the most constructive and most destructive of twentieth-century inventions--the digital computer and the hydrogen bomb--emerged at the same time.
The Library of Alexandria, one of the wonders of the Ancient World, has haunted Western culture for over 2,000 years. The Ptolemaic kings of Egypt—successors of Alexander the Great—had a staggering ambition: to house all of the books ever written under one roof, and the story of the universal library and its destruction still has the power to move us. But what was the library, and where was it? Did it exist at all? Contemporary descriptions are vague and contradictory. The fate of the precious books themselves is a subject of endless speculation. Canfora resolves these puzzles in one of the most unusual books of classical history ever written. He recreates the world of Egypt and the Greeks in brief chapters that marry the craft of the novelist and the discipline of the historian. Anecdotes, conversations, and reconstructions give The Vanished Library the compulsion of an exotic tale, yet Canfora bases all of them on historical and literary sources, which he discusses with great panache. As the chilling conclusion to this elegant piece of historical detective work he establishes who burned the books. This volume has benefited from the collegial support of The Wake Forest University Studium.
Introduction / Mostafa El-Abbadi -- À La Recherche De La Systématisation Des Connaissances Et Du Passage Du Concret À L’Abstrait Dans L’Egypte Ancienne / Mounir H. Megally -- Private Collections And Temple Libraries In Ancient Egypt / Fayza M. Haikal -- Earth, Wind, And Fire: The Alexandrian Fire-Storm Of 48 B.C. / William J. Cherf -- The Destruction Of The Library Of Alexandria: An Archaeological Viewpoint / Jean-Yves Empereur -- Demise Of The Daughter Library / Mostafa A. El-Abbadi -- Ce Que Construisent Les Ruines / Lucien X. Polastron -- The Nag Hammadi ‘Library’ Of Coptic Papyrus Codices / Birger A. Pearson -- Learned Women In The Alexandrian Scholarship And Society Of Late Hellenism / Maria Dzielska -- Synesius Of Cyrene And The Christian Neoplatonism: Patterns Of Religious And Cultural Symbiosis / Dimitar Y. Dimitrov -- Damascius And The Collectio Philosophica A Chapter In The History Of Philosophical Schools And Libraries In The Neoplatonic Tradition / Georges Leroux -- Academic Life Of Late Antique Alexandria: A View From The Field / Grzegorz Majcherek -- The Arab Story Of The Destruction Of The Ancient Library Of Alexandria / Qassem Abdou Qassem -- The Arab Destruction Of The Library Of Alexandria: Anatomy Of A Myth / Bernard Lewis -- Bibliography / M. El-Abbadi , O. Fathallah and I. Serageldin -- General Index / M. El-Abbadi , O. Fathallah and I. Serageldin.
Papyrus rolls and Twitter have much in common, as each was their generation’s signature means of “instant” communication. Indeed, as Tom Standage reveals in his scintillating new book, social media is anything but a new phenomenon. From the papyrus letters that Roman statesmen used to exchange news across the Empire to the advent of hand-printed tracts of the Reformation to the pamphlets that spread propaganda during the American and French revolutions, Standage chronicles the increasingly sophisticated ways people shared information with each other, spontaneously and organically, down the centuries. With the rise of newspapers in the nineteenth century, then radio and television, “mass media” consolidated control of information in the hands of a few moguls. However, the Internet has brought information sharing full circle, and the spreading of news along social networks has reemerged in powerful new ways.A fresh, provocative exploration of social media over two millennia, Writing on the Wall reminds us how modern behavior echoes that of prior centuries—the Catholic Church, for example, faced similar dilemmas in deciding whether or how to respond to Martin Luther’s attacks in the early sixteenth century to those that large institutions confront today in responding to public criticism on the Internet. Invoking the likes of Thomas Paine and Vinton Cerf, co-inventor of the Internet, Standage explores themes that have long been debated: the tension between freedom of expression and censorship; whether social media trivializes, coarsens or enhances public discourse; and its role in spurring innovation, enabling self-promotion, and fomenting revolution. As engaging as it is visionary, Writing on the Wall draws on history to cast new light on today’s social media and encourages debate and discussion about how we’ll communicate in the future.
"Knowledge is of two kinds," said Samuel Johnson in 1775. "We know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information upon it." Today we think of Wikipedia as the source of all information, the ultimate reference. Yet it is just the latest in a long line of aggregated knowledge--reference works that have shaped the way we've seen the world for centuries. You Could Look It Up chronicles the captivating stories behind these great works and their contents, and the way they have influenced each other. FromThe Code of Hammurabi, the earliest known compendium of laws in ancient Babylon almost two millennia before Christ to Pliny'sNatural History; from the 11th-century Domesday Book recording land holdings in England to Abraham Ortelius's first atlas of the world; from Samuel Johnson'sA Dictionary of the English Language toThe Whole Earth Catalog to Google, Jack Lynch illuminates the human stories and accomplishment behind each, as well as its enduring impact on civilization. In the process, he offers new insight into the value of knowledge.