History of the Book

AAS draws not only on its traditional resources as a center of bibliographical research and as a matchless repository of early American printed materials, but also on recent intellectual currents that look at the history of books and other printed objects in their full economic, social, and cultural context. 

Women and the World of Dime Novels

Full of romance and adventure, dime novels were a variety of melodramatic fiction that was popular in the United States from about 1860 until the early 1900s.  Published as cheap paperbacks (most cost only ten cents), they were generally regarded as low-quality fiction. Women, more often than not, were major characters in these novels. This exhibition explores these women.

Place of Reading: Three Centuries of Reading in America

This exhibitions uses images and objects from the AAS collections to illuminate the spaces where reading happened in early America.

Group photo of the summer seminar participants Teaching the History of the Book

Scott Casper

Jeff Groves

Group photo of the summer seminar participants The American Renaissance: Critical and Bibliographical Perspectives

David S. Reynolds, Michael Winship

Book Madness

During the mid-nineteenth century, Americans witnessed the growth of major public, university, and historical society libraries. In her new book Book Madness: A Story of Collectors in America, Denise Gigante brings to life the stories of bibliophiles who assembled these institutions and shaped intellectual life in America during the 1840s. Booksellers, publishers, editors, librarians, journalists, poets, actors, politicians, and even clergymen all hastened to collect books, manuscripts, and other objects related to America's history.

A Fatal Resemblance

A story about mistaken identity involving a burglary. Author Henry Kunze, Jr. (1857-1922) was a Detroit, Michigan amateur printer; he later worked as a bookkeeper and real estate agent in Detroit. Publisher Will A. Innes (1857 or 1858-1889) worked as a clerk and later a newspaperman in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Reclaiming Authorship: Literary Women in America, 1850-1900
Liberty's Captives: Narratives of Confinement in the Print Culture of the Early Republic
Imaginary Citizens: Child Readers and the Limits of American Independence, 1640–1868
The Letters of the Republic Publication and the Public Sphere in Eighteenth-Century America