A History of the Book in 100 Books


From inscriptions on tombs to the first writings on papyrus; from scrolls to the first bound codex books in Roman times; from exclusive and expensive hand-scribed books to the creation of movable type and the invention of printing for the masses; and from the printed book to the digital book, the e-book reader and beyond – discover The History of the Book in 100 Books.

Product details

The 100 books originate from around the world and cover subjects as diverse as religion, science, crime, travel and fashion. Classic examples, such as Gutenberg’s 42-Line Bible and the Book of Kells, are included alongside less well-known titles that have been selected to represent a stage in the history of book production or because of their content or impact. Each entry is placed inits specific historical context and includes connections to books across cultures and periods of time.

Illustrated with lavish photography of the most treasured artefacts from the world’s historic collections, this book is a visual delight as well as a fascinating journey through mankind’s 5,000-year quest to communicate ideas and knowledge.

About the authorsRoderick Cave is a printing historian and former library educator. His books include The Private Press and Impressions of Nature: A History of Nature Printing (British Library, 2010).

Roderick Cave and Sara Ayad
The British Library
Publication date
October 2014
284 pages
254 x 203mm

Sign up for our e-newsletter

Keep up to date with news and events at the British Library

Sign up to our newsletter Subscribe