INFO 284-14
INFO 284-02
Seminar in Archives and Records Management
Topic: History of Books (2-units)
Spring 2022 Syllabus

Dr. Linda Main
Office Hours: Virtually by e-mail

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Canvas Information: Courses will be available beginning January 26th, 6 am PT unless you are taking an intensive or a one-unit or two-unit class that starts on a different day. In that case, the class will open on the first day that the class meets.

This 2-unit class runs from January 26th-March 23rd 2022.

You will be enrolled in the Canvas site automatically.

Course Description

This class examines the role of the book and the library in expressing and fostering culture throughout history. It traces the development of the book through its many stages--cuneiform fragments, illuminated manuscripts, printed books, and electronic journals-and explores how the creation, use, and storage of information are affected by social and technological change. The development of early libraries and librarianship and how they have accommodated themselves to the changing form of the book will also be considered.

Course Requirements

: All work will be of graduate standard. This means:

  • No assignments submitted after the due date and time
  • Spelling, grammatical, and syntactical errors will not be allowed

Late assignments will not be accepted. If you have an illness (medical certificate supplied) or a family tragedy, please contact the instructor.

  • Manuscript Study. Each student will select a manuscript to research and study. Criteria will be provided to guide the research. The results of the study will be presented via a Web site built on a WordPress blog dedicated to the class. It is due by 4 pm on the 16th February Pacific time.  CLOs 1-5
  • Printed Book Study. Each student will select a printed book (pre-1900) to research and study. Criteria will be provided to guide the research. The results of the study will be presented via a Web site built on a WordPress blog dedicated to the class. It is due by 4 pm on the 9th March Pacific time. CLOs 1-5
  • Exhibit Presentation. Students will be given a list of items/objects drawn from each period covered in the course. They will locate examples of the items and build a small exhibit. It is due by 4 pm on the 23rd of March Pacific time CLOs 1-5
  • Weekly Activities  You will be assigned six weekly activities using Quia web to illustrate your ability to present information in different formats. CLOs 1-5

Course Calendar

(All times are Pacific)

  • First Weekly Activity set 26th January; due 2nd February by 4 pm
  • Second Weekly Activity set 2nd February due 9th February by 4 pm
  • Third Weekly Activity set 9th February; due 16th February by 4 pm
  • Manuscript Project due by 4 pm on 16th February
  • Fourth Weekly Activity set  16th February due 23rd February by 4 pm
  • Fifth Weekly Activity set 23rd February due 2nd March by 4 pm
  • Printed book project due by 4 pm on 9th March
  • Sixth Weekly Activity set 2nd March; due 9th March by 4 pm
  • Exhibit Presentation due by 4 pm on 23rd March


No rounding up of points

MSS Project 30 points
Printed Book Project 30 points
Exhibit 28 points 
Weekly Activities 12 points

Class Format and Technology Requirements

This class makes use of a variety of technologies. The Manuscript and Printed Books Assignments will be submitted as websites built on a passworded WordPress site dedicated to the class. No Web programming skills are required, but you will be expected to be comfortable with Web tools that have easy to use user interfaces. The weekly activities will use Quia web. You will be given access to the software.

Course Workload Expectations

Success in this course is based on the expectation that students will spend, for each unit of credit, a minimum of forty-five hours over the length of the course (normally 3 hours per unit per week with 1 of the hours used for lecture) for instruction or preparation/studying or course related activities including but not limited to internships, labs, clinical practica. Other course structures will have equivalent workload expectations as described in the syllabus.

Instructional time may include but is not limited to:
Working on posted modules or lessons prepared by the instructor; discussion forum interactions with the instructor and/or other students; making presentations and getting feedback from the instructor; attending office hours or other synchronous sessions with the instructor.

Student time outside of class:
In any seven-day period, a student is expected to be academically engaged through submitting an academic assignment; taking an exam or an interactive tutorial, or computer-assisted instruction; building websites, blogs, databases, social media presentations; attending a study group;contributing to an academic online discussion; writing papers; reading articles; conducting research; engaging in small group work.

Course Prerequisites

INFO 200, INFO 202, INFO 204, other prerequisites may be added depending on content

Course Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to:

  1. Describe the evolution of graphic communication symbols, and identify alphabetic and ideographic systems in use in various parts of the world.
  2. Exhibit familiarity with the materials and methods of book production in various parts of the world from the manuscript era to the present.
  3. Analyze aspects of external forces—social, economic, political, religious, and artistic—that have affected the content and appearance of books in several specific parts of the world.
  4. Identify and discuss economic problems that have shaped methods of publishing and distributing books.
  5. Attribute major technical and artistic developments in typography, book design, and book production to persons and nations originating these developments.

Core Competencies (Program Learning Outcomes)

INFO 284 supports the following core competencies:

  1. C Articulate the importance of designing programs and services supportive of diversity, inclusion, and equity for clientele and employees.
  2. F Use the basic concepts and principles related to the selection, evaluation, organization, and preservation of physical and digital information items.


No Textbooks For This Course.

Grading Scale

The standard SJSU School of Information Grading Scale is utilized for all iSchool courses:

97 to 100 A
94 to 96 A minus
91 to 93 B plus
88 to 90 B
85 to 87 B minus
82 to 84 C plus
79 to 81 C
76 to 78 C minus
73 to 75 D plus
70 to 72 D
67 to 69 D minus
Below 67 F


In order to provide consistent guidelines for assessment for graduate level work in the School, these terms are applied to letter grades:

  • C represents Adequate work; a grade of "C" counts for credit for the course;
  • B represents Good work; a grade of "B" clearly meets the standards for graduate level work or undergraduate (for BS-ISDA);
    For core courses in the MLIS program (not MARA, Informatics, BS-ISDA) — INFO 200, INFO 202, INFO 204 — the iSchool requires that students earn a B in the course. If the grade is less than B (B- or lower) after the first attempt you will be placed on administrative probation. You must repeat the class if you wish to stay in the program. If - on the second attempt - you do not pass the class with a grade of B or better (not B- but B) you will be disqualified.
  • A represents Exceptional work; a grade of "A" will be assigned for outstanding work only.

Graduate Students are advised that it is their responsibility to maintain a 3.0 Grade Point Average (GPA). Undergraduates must maintain a 2.0 Grade Point Average (GPA).

University Policies

Per University Policy S16-9, university-wide policy information relevant to all courses, such as academic integrity, accommodations, etc. will be available on Office of Graduate and Undergraduate Programs' Syllabus Information web page at: Make sure to visit this page, review and be familiar with these university policies and resources.

In order to request an accommodation in a class please contact the Accessible Education Center and register via the MyAEC portal.

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