Book History Colloquium: Old Books as Digital Objects

13 February 2019 | 6pm | Room 522 Butler Library

early english manuscript
Photo courtesy

We are used to reading texts with our eyes—reading the words and images for their content (in fact, this is so obvious it’s odd to describe it). But we also read texts with our fingers—the feel of the materials, the act of navigating through a codex or scroll, and the feel of the weight shifting or paper folding as we move through the content all contribute to our understanding of the work we’re reading.

The guest speaker for this event is Dr. Sarah Werner, independent scholar, editor of the blog Wynken de Worde books, early modern culture, post-modern readers and the author of the forthcoming Studying Early Printed Books 1450-1800: A Practical Guide.

Dr. Werner’s talk will use the practice of reading with our fingers to explore how we experience old books in that other sense of being digital—as bits of data able to be seen and manipulated by computer software. How does the transformation of early printed texts into digital images change how we use and understand the books we study and teach? And how can we take advantage of and respond to these changes without losing the tactile experience of reading material texts?

RSVP is required.