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Johannes Trithemius

A book is a medium for recording information in the form of writing or images, typically composed of many pages (made of papyrus, parchment, vellum, or paper) bound together and protected by a cover. The technical term for this physical arrangement is codex (plural, codices). In the history of hand-held physical supports for extended written compositions or records, the codex replaces its predecessor, the scroll. A single sheet in a codex is a leaf and each side of a leaf is a page.

As an intellectual object, a book is prototypically a composition of such great length that it takes a considerable investment of time to compose and still considered as an investment of time to read. In a restricted sense, a book is a self-sufficient section or part of a longer composition, a usage reflecting that, in antiquity, long works had to be written on several scrolls and each scroll had to be identified by the book it contained. Each part of Aristotle's Physics is called a book. In an unrestricted sense, a book is the compositional whole of which such sections, whether called books or chapters or parts, are parts.

The intellectual content in a physical book need not be a composition, nor even be called a book. Books can consist only of drawings, engravings or photographs, crossword puzzles or cut-out dolls. In a physical book, the pages can be left blank or can feature an abstract set of lines to support entries, such as in an account book, an appointment book, an autograph book, a notebook, a diary or a sketchbook. Some physical books are made with pages thick and sturdy enough to support other physical objects, like a scrapbook or photograph album. Books may be distributed in electronic form as ebooks and other formats.

Although in ordinary academic parlance a monograph is understood to be a specialist academic work, rather than a reference work on a scholarly subject, in library and information science monograph denotes more broadly any non-serial publication complete in one volume (book) or a finite number of volumes (even a novel like Proust's seven-volume In Search of Lost Time), in contrast to serial publications like a magazine, journal or newspaper. An avid reader or collector of books is a bibliophile or colloquially, "bookworm". A place where books are traded is a bookshop or bookstore. Books are also sold elsewhere and can be borrowed from libraries. Google has estimated that by 2010, approximately 130,000,000 titles had been published. In some wealthier nations, the sale of printed books has decreased because of the increased usage of ebooks. Although in most countries printed books continue to outsell their digital counterparts due to many people still preferring to read in a traditional way. (Full article...)

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  • Image 1Trinity College, Cambridge MS O.2.1The Liber Eliensis is a 12th-century English chronicle and history, written in Latin. Composed in three books, it was written at Ely Abbey on the island of Ely in the fenlands of eastern Cambridgeshire. Ely Abbey became the cathedral of a newly formed bishopric in 1109. Traditionally the author of the anonymous work has been given as Richard or Thomas, two monks at Ely, one of whom, Richard, has been identified with an official of the monastery, but some historians hold that neither Richard nor Thomas was the author.The Liber covers the period from the founding of the abbey in 673 until the middle of the 12th century, building on earlier historical works. It incorporates documents and stories of saints' lives. The work typifies a type of local history produced during the latter part of the 12th century. Similar books were written at other English monasteries. The longest of the contemporary local histories, the Liber chronicles the devastation that the Anarchy caused during the reign of King Stephen. It also documents the career of Nigel, the Bishop of Ely from 1133 to 1169, and his disputes with King Stephen. Other themes include the miracles worked by the monastery's patron saint, Æthelthryth, and gifts of land to Ely. (Full article...)
    Liber Eliensis.PNG

    The Liber Eliensis is a 12th-century English chronicle and history, written in Latin. Composed in three books, it was written at Ely Abbey on the island of Ely in the fenlands of eastern Cambridgeshire. Ely Abbey became the cathedral of a newly formed bishopric in 1109. Traditionally the author of the anonymous work has been given as Richard or Thomas, two monks at Ely, one of whom, Richard, has been identified with an official of the monastery, but some historians hold that neither Richard nor Thomas was the author.

    The Liber covers the period from the founding of the abbey in 673 until the middle of the 12th century, building on earlier historical works. It incorporates documents and stories of saints' lives. The work typifies a type of local history produced during the latter part of the 12th century. Similar books were written at other English monasteries. The longest of the contemporary local histories, the Liber chronicles the devastation that the Anarchy caused during the reign of King Stephen. It also documents the career of Nigel, the Bishop of Ely from 1133 to 1169, and his disputes with King Stephen. Other themes include the miracles worked by the monastery's patron saint, Æthelthryth, and gifts of land to Ely. (Full article...)
  • Image 2Gods' Man is a wordless novel by American artist Lynd Ward (1905–1985) published in 1929. In 139 captionless woodblock prints, it tells the Faustian story of an artist who signs away his soul for a magic paintbrush. Gods' Man was the very first American wordless novel, and is considered a precursor of the graphic novel, whose development it influenced.Ward first encountered the wordless novel with Frans Masereel's The Sun (1919) while studying art in Germany in 1926. He returned to the United States in 1927 and established a career for himself as an illustrator. He found Otto Nückel's wordless novel Destiny (1926) in New York City in 1929, and it inspired him to create such a work of his own. Gods' Man appeared a week before the Wall Street Crash of 1929; it nevertheless enjoyed strong sales and remains the best-selling American wordless novel. Its success inspired other Americans to experiment with the medium, including cartoonist Milt Gross, who parodied Gods' Man in He Done Her Wrong (1930). In the 1970s, Ward's example of wordless novels inspired cartoonists Art Spiegelman and Will Eisner to create their first graphic novels. (Full article...)
    Gods' Man is a wordless novel by American artist Lynd Ward (1905–1985) published in 1929. In 139 captionless woodblock prints, it tells the Faustian story of an artist who signs away his soul for a magic paintbrush. Gods' Man was the very first American wordless novel, and is considered a precursor of the graphic novel, whose development it influenced.

    Ward first encountered the wordless novel with Frans Masereel's The Sun (1919) while studying art in Germany in 1926. He returned to the United States in 1927 and established a career for himself as an illustrator. He found Otto Nückel's wordless novel Destiny (1926) in New York City in 1929, and it inspired him to create such a work of his own. Gods' Man appeared a week before the Wall Street Crash of 1929; it nevertheless enjoyed strong sales and remains the best-selling American wordless novel. Its success inspired other Americans to experiment with the medium, including cartoonist Milt Gross, who parodied Gods' Man in He Done Her Wrong (1930). In the 1970s, Ward's example of wordless novels inspired cartoonists Art Spiegelman and Will Eisner to create their first graphic novels. (Full article...)
  • Image 3Cover of the 1940 editionThe Negro Motorist Green Book (also The Negro Motorist Green-Book, The Negro Travelers' Green Book, or simply the Green Book) was an annual guidebook for African-American roadtrippers.  It was originated and published by African-American New York City mailman Victor Hugo Green from 1936 to 1966, during the era of Jim Crow laws, when open and often legally prescribed discrimination against African Americans especially and other non-whites was widespread. Although pervasive racial discrimination and poverty limited black car ownership, the emerging African-American middle class bought automobiles as soon as they could, but faced a variety of dangers and inconveniences along the road, from refusal of food and lodging to arbitrary arrest. In response, Green wrote his guide to services and places relatively friendly to African-Americans, eventually expanding its coverage from the New York area to much of North America, as well as founding a travel agency.Many black Americans took to driving, in part to avoid segregation on public transportation. As the writer George Schuyler put it in 1930, "all Negroes who can do so purchase an automobile as soon as possible in order to be free of discomfort, discrimination, segregation and insult". Black Americans employed as athletes, entertainers, and salesmen also traveled frequently for work purposes using automobiles that they owned personally. (Full article...)
    The Negro Motorist Green Book.jpg
    Cover of the 1940 edition

    The Negro Motorist Green Book (also The Negro Motorist Green-Book, The Negro Travelers' Green Book, or simply the Green Book) was an annual guidebook for African-American roadtrippers. It was originated and published by African-American New York City mailman Victor Hugo Green from 1936 to 1966, during the era of Jim Crow laws, when open and often legally prescribed discrimination against African Americans especially and other non-whites was widespread. Although pervasive racial discrimination and poverty limited black car ownership, the emerging African-American middle class bought automobiles as soon as they could, but faced a variety of dangers and inconveniences along the road, from refusal of food and lodging to arbitrary arrest. In response, Green wrote his guide to services and places relatively friendly to African-Americans, eventually expanding its coverage from the New York area to much of North America, as well as founding a travel agency.

    Many black Americans took to driving, in part to avoid segregation on public transportation. As the writer George Schuyler put it in 1930, "all Negroes who can do so purchase an automobile as soon as possible in order to be free of discomfort, discrimination, segregation and insult". Black Americans employed as athletes, entertainers, and salesmen also traveled frequently for work purposes using automobiles that they owned personally. (Full article...)
  • Image 4Cover of 1945 Princeton editionThe Smyth Report (officially Atomic Energy for Military Purposes) is the common name of an administrative history written by American physicist Henry DeWolf Smyth about the Manhattan Project, the Allied effort to develop atomic bombs during World War II. The subtitle of the report is A General Account of the Development of Methods of Using Atomic Energy for Military Purposes. It was released to the public on August 12, 1945, just days after the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6 and 9.Smyth was commissioned to write the report by Major General Leslie R. Groves, Jr., the director of the Manhattan Project. The Smyth Report was the first official account of the development of the atomic bombs and the basic physical processes behind them. It also served as an indication as to what information was declassified; anything in the Smyth Report could be discussed openly. For this reason, the Smyth Report focused heavily on information, such as basic nuclear physics, which was either already widely known in the scientific community or easily deducible by a competent scientist, and omitted details about chemistry, metallurgy, and ordnance. This would ultimately give a false impression that the Manhattan Project was all about physics. (Full article...)
    Smyth Report.jpg
    Cover of 1945 Princeton edition

    The Smyth Report (officially Atomic Energy for Military Purposes) is the common name of an administrative history written by American physicist Henry DeWolf Smyth about the Manhattan Project, the Allied effort to develop atomic bombs during World War II. The subtitle of the report is A General Account of the Development of Methods of Using Atomic Energy for Military Purposes. It was released to the public on August 12, 1945, just days after the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6 and 9.

    Smyth was commissioned to write the report by Major General Leslie R. Groves, Jr., the director of the Manhattan Project. The Smyth Report was the first official account of the development of the atomic bombs and the basic physical processes behind them. It also served as an indication as to what information was declassified; anything in the Smyth Report could be discussed openly. For this reason, the Smyth Report focused heavily on information, such as basic nuclear physics, which was either already widely known in the scientific community or easily deducible by a competent scientist, and omitted details about chemistry, metallurgy, and ordnance. This would ultimately give a false impression that the Manhattan Project was all about physics. (Full article...)
  • John Vanbrugh (1664–1726), author of The Relapse, by Godfrey Kneller
    John Vanbrugh (1664–1726), author of The Relapse, by Godfrey Kneller
  • Image 6Title page from the first edition of A Voyage Round the WorldA Voyage Round the World (complete title A Voyage Round the World in His Britannic Majesty's Sloop, Resolution, Commanded by Capt. James Cook, During the Years 1772, 3, 4, and 5) is Georg Forster's report on the second voyage of the British explorer James Cook. During the preparations for Cook's voyage, the expedition's naturalist Joseph Banks had withdrawn his participation, and Georg's father, Johann Reinhold Forster, had taken his place at very short notice, with his seventeen-year-old son as his assistant. They sailed on HMS Resolution with Cook, accompanied by HMS Adventure under Tobias Furneaux. On the voyage, they circumnavigated the world, crossed the Antarctic Circle and sailed as far south as 71° 10′, discovered several Pacific islands, encountered diverse cultures and described many species of plants and animals.When they returned to England after more than three years, disagreement about the publication rights for a narrative of the journey arose. After plans agreed with John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich, the First Lord of the Admiralty, to publish a joint work with contributions by both Cook and Reinhold Forster had fallen through, Georg, who was not bound by any agreement with the Admiralty, began writing Voyage in July 1776. He published on 17 March 1777, six weeks before Cook's A Voyage Towards the South Pole and Round the World appeared. While 63 copper engravings, paid for by the Admiralty, illustrated Cook's account, only a chart of the Southern Hemisphere showing the expedition ships' courses illustrated Forster's Voyage, which was sold for the same price. (Full article...)
    Voyageroundtheworld titlepage.jpg
    Title page from the first edition of A Voyage Round the World

    A Voyage Round the World (complete title A Voyage Round the World in His Britannic Majesty's Sloop, Resolution, Commanded by Capt. James Cook, During the Years 1772, 3, 4, and 5) is Georg Forster's report on the second voyage of the British explorer James Cook. During the preparations for Cook's voyage, the expedition's naturalist Joseph Banks had withdrawn his participation, and Georg's father, Johann Reinhold Forster, had taken his place at very short notice, with his seventeen-year-old son as his assistant. They sailed on HMS Resolution with Cook, accompanied by HMS Adventure under Tobias Furneaux. On the voyage, they circumnavigated the world, crossed the Antarctic Circle and sailed as far south as 71° 10, discovered several Pacific islands, encountered diverse cultures and described many species of plants and animals.

    When they returned to England after more than three years, disagreement about the publication rights for a narrative of the journey arose. After plans agreed with John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich, the First Lord of the Admiralty, to publish a joint work with contributions by both Cook and Reinhold Forster had fallen through, Georg, who was not bound by any agreement with the Admiralty, began writing Voyage in July 1776. He published on 17 March 1777, six weeks before Cook's A Voyage Towards the South Pole and Round the World appeared. While 63 copper engravings, paid for by the Admiralty, illustrated Cook's account, only a chart of the Southern Hemisphere showing the expedition ships' courses illustrated Forster's Voyage, which was sold for the same price. (Full article...)
  • First page of the first edition of Thoughts (1787)
    First page of the first edition of Thoughts (1787)
  • Title page from the first edition of Letters (1796)
    Title page from the first edition of Letters (1796)
  • Title page from History of a Six Weeks' Tour (1817), Thomas Hookham, Jr. and Charles and James Ollier, London.
    Title page from History of a Six Weeks' Tour (1817), Thomas Hookham, Jr. and Charles and James Ollier, London.
  • Image 10First edition coverThe Bread-Winners: A Social Study is an 1883 novel by John Hay, former secretary to Abraham Lincoln who in 1898 became U.S. Secretary of State. The book takes an anti-organized labor stance, and when published anonymously sold well and provoked considerable public interest in determining who the author was.The plot of the book revolves around former army captain Arthur Farnham, a wealthy resident of Buffland (an analog of Cleveland). He organizes Civil War veterans to keep the peace when the Bread-winners, a group of lazy and malcontented workers, call a violent general strike. He is sought in marriage by the ambitious Maud Matchin, daughter of a carpenter, but instead weds a woman of his own class. (Full article...)
    The Bread-Winners, a Social Study (1883) - Cover.jpg
    First edition cover

    The Bread-Winners: A Social Study is an 1883 novel by John Hay, former secretary to Abraham Lincoln who in 1898 became U.S. Secretary of State. The book takes an anti-organized labor stance, and when published anonymously sold well and provoked considerable public interest in determining who the author was.

    The plot of the book revolves around former army captain Arthur Farnham, a wealthy resident of Buffland (an analog of Cleveland). He organizes Civil War veterans to keep the peace when the Bread-winners, a group of lazy and malcontented workers, call a violent general strike. He is sought in marriage by the ambitious Maud Matchin, daughter of a carpenter, but instead weds a woman of his own class. (Full article...)
  • Office of the Dead, folios 121v–122r; the manuscript's closing leaves
    Office of the Dead, folios 121v–122r; the manuscript's closing leaves
  • Image 12The General in His Labyrinth (original Spanish title: El general en su laberinto) is a 1989 dictator novel by Colombian writer and Nobel laureate Gabriel García Márquez. It is a fictionalized account of the last seven months of Simón Bolívar, liberator and leader of Gran Colombia. The book traces Bolívar's final journey from Bogotá to the Caribbean coastline of Colombia in his attempt to leave South America for exile in Europe. Breaking with the traditional heroic portrayal of Bolívar El Libertador, García Márquez depicts a pathetic protagonist, a prematurely aged man who is physically ill and mentally exhausted. The story explores the labyrinth of Bolívar's life through the narrative of his memories, in which "despair, sickness, and death inevitably win out over love, health, and life".Following the success of One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967) and Love in the Time of Cholera (1985), García Márquez decided to write about the "Great Liberator" after reading an unfinished novel by his friend Álvaro Mutis. He borrowed the setting—Bolívar's voyage down the Magdalena River in 1830—from Mutis. García Márquez spent two years researching the subject, encompassing the extensive memoirs of Bolívar's Irish aide-de-camp, Daniel Florencio O'Leary, as well as numerous other historical documents and consultations with academics. (Full article...)
    The General in His Labyrinth (original Spanish title: El general en su laberinto) is a 1989 dictator novel by Colombian writer and Nobel laureate Gabriel García Márquez. It is a fictionalized account of the last seven months of Simón Bolívar, liberator and leader of Gran Colombia. The book traces Bolívar's final journey from Bogotá to the Caribbean coastline of Colombia in his attempt to leave South America for exile in Europe. Breaking with the traditional heroic portrayal of Bolívar El Libertador, García Márquez depicts a pathetic protagonist, a prematurely aged man who is physically ill and mentally exhausted. The story explores the labyrinth of Bolívar's life through the narrative of his memories, in which "despair, sickness, and death inevitably win out over love, health, and life".

    Following the success of One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967) and Love in the Time of Cholera (1985), García Márquez decided to write about the "Great Liberator" after reading an unfinished novel by his friend Álvaro Mutis. He borrowed the setting—Bolívar's voyage down the Magdalena River in 1830—from Mutis. García Márquez spent two years researching the subject, encompassing the extensive memoirs of Bolívar's Irish aide-de-camp, Daniel Florencio O'Leary, as well as numerous other historical documents and consultations with academics. (Full article...)
  • Image 13Night is a 1960 memoir by Elie Wiesel based on his Holocaust experiences with his father in the Nazi German concentration camps at Auschwitz and Buchenwald in 1944–1945, toward the end of the Second World War in Europe. In just over 100 pages of sparse and fragmented narrative, Wiesel writes about the death of God and his own increasing disgust with humanity, reflected in the inversion of the parent–child relationship as his father deteriorates to a helpless state and Wiesel becomes his resentful, teenage caregiver. "If only I could get rid of this dead weight ... Immediately I felt ashamed of myself, ashamed forever." In Night everything is inverted, every value destroyed. "Here there are no fathers, no brothers, no friends", a kapo tells him. "Everyone lives and dies for himself alone."Wiesel was 16 when Buchenwald was liberated by the United States Army in April 1945, too late for his father, who died after a beating while Wiesel lay silently on the bunk above for fear of being beaten too. He moved to Paris after the war and in 1954 completed an 862-page manuscript in Yiddish about his experiences, published in Argentina as the 245-page Un di velt hot geshvign ("And the World Remained Silent"). The novelist François Mauriac helped him find a French publisher. Les Éditions de Minuit published 178 pages as La Nuit in 1958, and in 1960 Hill & Wang in New York published a 116-page translation as Night. (Full article...)
    Night is a 1960 memoir by Elie Wiesel based on his Holocaust experiences with his father in the Nazi German concentration camps at Auschwitz and Buchenwald in 1944–1945, toward the end of the Second World War in Europe. In just over 100 pages of sparse and fragmented narrative, Wiesel writes about the death of God and his own increasing disgust with humanity, reflected in the inversion of the parent–child relationship as his father deteriorates to a helpless state and Wiesel becomes his resentful, teenage caregiver. "If only I could get rid of this dead weight ... Immediately I felt ashamed of myself, ashamed forever." In Night everything is inverted, every value destroyed. "Here there are no fathers, no brothers, no friends", a kapo tells him. "Everyone lives and dies for himself alone."

    Wiesel was 16 when Buchenwald was liberated by the United States Army in April 1945, too late for his father, who died after a beating while Wiesel lay silently on the bunk above for fear of being beaten too. He moved to Paris after the war and in 1954 completed an 862-page manuscript in Yiddish about his experiences, published in Argentina as the 245-page Un di velt hot geshvign ("And the World Remained Silent"). The novelist François Mauriac helped him find a French publisher. Les Éditions de Minuit published 178 pages as La Nuit in 1958, and in 1960 Hill & Wang in New York published a 116-page translation as Night. (Full article...)
  • Image 14The Playboy is a graphic novel by Canadian cartoonist Chester Brown, serialized in 1990 in Brown's comic book Yummy Fur and collected in different revised book editions in 1992 and 2013.  It deals with Brown's guilt and anxiety over his obsessive masturbation to Playboy Playmate models.The story begins with Brown's first purchase of an issue of Playboy as a teenager.  His obsessive masturbation gives him great guilt and anxiety, and out of fear of being caught he repeatedly rids himself of copies of the magazine, only to retrieve them later.  His conflicting emotions follow him into adulthood until he purges them by revealing himself through his comics.  The free, organic arrangement of odd-shaped panels of simple, expressive artwork contrasts with Brown's more detailed grid-like pages in his 1980s work, such as Ed the Happy Clown. (Full article...)
    The Playboy is a graphic novel by Canadian cartoonist Chester Brown, serialized in 1990 in Brown's comic book Yummy Fur and collected in different revised book editions in 1992 and 2013. It deals with Brown's guilt and anxiety over his obsessive masturbation to Playboy Playmate models.

    The story begins with Brown's first purchase of an issue of Playboy as a teenager. His obsessive masturbation gives him great guilt and anxiety, and out of fear of being caught he repeatedly rids himself of copies of the magazine, only to retrieve them later. His conflicting emotions follow him into adulthood until he purges them by revealing himself through his comics. The free, organic arrangement of odd-shaped panels of simple, expressive artwork contrasts with Brown's more detailed grid-like pages in his 1980s work, such as Ed the Happy Clown. (Full article...)
  • Image 15The title page of the 1877 editionof Fertilisation of OrchidsFertilisation of Orchids is a book by English naturalist Charles Darwin published on 15 May 1862 under the full explanatory title On the Various Contrivances by Which British and Foreign Orchids Are Fertilised by Insects, and On the Good Effects of Intercrossing. Darwin's previous book, On the Origin of Species, had briefly mentioned evolutionary interactions between insects and the plants they fertilised, and this new idea was explored in detail. Field studies and practical scientific investigations that were initially a recreation for Darwin—a relief from the drudgery of writing—developed into enjoyable and challenging experiments. Aided in his work by his family, friends, and a wide circle of correspondents across Britain and worldwide, Darwin tapped into the contemporary vogue for growing exotic orchids.The book was his first detailed demonstration of the power of natural selection, and explained how complex ecological relationships resulted in the coevolution of orchids and insects. The view has been expressed that the book led directly or indirectly to all modern work on coevolution and the evolution of extreme specialisation. It influenced botanists, and revived interest in the neglected idea that insects played a part in pollinating flowers. It opened up the new study areas of pollination research and reproductive ecology, directly related to Darwin's ideas on evolution, and supported his view that natural selection led to a variety of forms through the important benefits achieved by cross-fertilisation. Although the general public showed less interest and sales of the book were low, it established Darwin as a leading botanist. Orchids was the first in a series of books on his innovative investigations into plants. (Full article...)
    Fertilisation of Orchids 1877 edition title page.jpg
    The title page of the 1877 edition
    of Fertilisation of Orchids

    Fertilisation of Orchids is a book by English naturalist Charles Darwin published on 15 May 1862 under the full explanatory title On the Various Contrivances by Which British and Foreign Orchids Are Fertilised by Insects, and On the Good Effects of Intercrossing. Darwin's previous book, On the Origin of Species, had briefly mentioned evolutionary interactions between insects and the plants they fertilised, and this new idea was explored in detail. Field studies and practical scientific investigations that were initially a recreation for Darwin—a relief from the drudgery of writing—developed into enjoyable and challenging experiments. Aided in his work by his family, friends, and a wide circle of correspondents across Britain and worldwide, Darwin tapped into the contemporary vogue for growing exotic orchids.

    The book was his first detailed demonstration of the power of natural selection, and explained how complex ecological relationships resulted in the coevolution of orchids and insects. The view has been expressed that the book led directly or indirectly to all modern work on coevolution and the evolution of extreme specialisation. It influenced botanists, and revived interest in the neglected idea that insects played a part in pollinating flowers. It opened up the new study areas of pollination research and reproductive ecology, directly related to Darwin's ideas on evolution, and supported his view that natural selection led to a variety of forms through the important benefits achieved by cross-fertilisation. Although the general public showed less interest and sales of the book were low, it established Darwin as a leading botanist. Orchids was the first in a series of books on his innovative investigations into plants. (Full article...)

Selected picture

The Radcliffe Camera in Oxford, England as viewed from the tower of the Church of St Mary the Virgin.

Credit: Diliff

The Radcliffe Camera (colloquially, "Rad Cam" or "Radders") is a building in Oxford, England, designed by James Gibbs in the English Palladian style and built in 17371749 to house the Radcliffe Science Library.

More Did you know (auto generated)

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  • ... that German children's author Kirsten Boie has published more than 100 books?
  • ... that Robert Quackenbush wrote the Henry the Duck books to ease any taunting his son might receive because of his surname?
  • ... that Kanutus Johannis's ex libris is one of the oldest marks of book ownership from Sweden?
  • ... that in 1833, English magistrate John Peele Clapham edited a children's hymn book which had numerous editions and a wide circulation?
  • ... that New Zealand author Patricia Grace did not include a glossary for Māori terms in her book Potiki because she "didn't want the Māori language to be treated as a foreign language in its own country"?
  • ... that according to Modern Times, a San Francisco–based bookstore collective, if there was only one book that you read in 1975 it had to be Canadian author and activist Helen Potrebenko's Taxi!?

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  • Image 1Yash Chopra (known as Yash Chopra: Fifty Years in Indian Cinema in India) is a biography written by the British professor and author Rachel Dwyer, chronicling the life and career of the Indian filmmaker Yash Chopra. The book details Chopra's birth in 1932 in Lahore, his career both as a director and producer, and his 1970 marriage to the then-playback singer Pamela, with whom he had two sons Aditya and Uday. The British Film Institute published Yash Chopra on 29 April 2002 in the United Kingdom and Roli Books did so on 30 July in India.While writing All You Want is Money, All You Need is Love: Sexuality and Romance in Modern India (2000), Dwyer saw Chopra on a televised interview in 1993, which aired following the release of Darr. She watched the film and was impressed by it. She subsequently conceived a biography about the filmmaker and with some difficulty held meetings to interview him. Upon its release, the book received mixed reviews, with Dwyer's writing garnering the most appreciation, but her literal translation of Chopra's interviews from Hindi and Urdu to English generated critical negative responses. (Full article...)
    Yash Chopra (known as Yash Chopra: Fifty Years in Indian Cinema in India) is a biography written by the British professor and author Rachel Dwyer, chronicling the life and career of the Indian filmmaker Yash Chopra. The book details Chopra's birth in 1932 in Lahore, his career both as a director and producer, and his 1970 marriage to the then-playback singer Pamela, with whom he had two sons Aditya and Uday. The British Film Institute published Yash Chopra on 29 April 2002 in the United Kingdom and Roli Books did so on 30 July in India.

    While writing All You Want is Money, All You Need is Love: Sexuality and Romance in Modern India (2000), Dwyer saw Chopra on a televised interview in 1993, which aired following the release of Darr. She watched the film and was impressed by it. She subsequently conceived a biography about the filmmaker and with some difficulty held meetings to interview him. Upon its release, the book received mixed reviews, with Dwyer's writing garnering the most appreciation, but her literal translation of Chopra's interviews from Hindi and Urdu to English generated critical negative responses. (Full article...)
  • Image 2American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House is a 2008 biography of Andrew Jackson, the seventh President of the United States, written by Jon Meacham. It won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Biography, with the prize jury describing it as "an unflinching portrait of a not always admirable democrat but a pivotal president, written with an agile prose that brings the Jackson saga to life".Meacham wrote American Lion drawing in part on previously unavailable documents, including letters, diaries, memorabilia, and accounts from Jackson's intimate circle that had been largely privately owned for 175 years. Much of the correspondence was found in archives at The Hermitage, Jackson's estate in Nashville, Tennessee. American Lion is not a full-scale account of Jackson's entire life or political career, but rather focuses on his presidency and his domestic arrangements in the White House. (Full article...)
    American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House is a 2008 biography of Andrew Jackson, the seventh President of the United States, written by Jon Meacham. It won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Biography, with the prize jury describing it as "an unflinching portrait of a not always admirable democrat but a pivotal president, written with an agile prose that brings the Jackson saga to life".

    Meacham wrote American Lion drawing in part on previously unavailable documents, including letters, diaries, memorabilia, and accounts from Jackson's intimate circle that had been largely privately owned for 175 years. Much of the correspondence was found in archives at The Hermitage, Jackson's estate in Nashville, Tennessee. American Lion is not a full-scale account of Jackson's entire life or political career, but rather focuses on his presidency and his domestic arrangements in the White House. (Full article...)
  • Image 3Wooden Leg: A Warrior Who Fought Custer is a 1931 book by Thomas Bailey Marquis about the life of a Northern Cheyenne Indian, Wooden Leg, who fought in several historic battles between United States forces and the Plains Indians, including the Battle of the Little Bighorn, where he faced the troops of George Armstrong Custer.  The book is of great value to historians, not only for its eyewitness accounts of battles, but also for its detailed description of the way of life of 19th-century Plains Indians.The book was dictated to Marquis by Wooden Leg in Plains Indian Sign Language, their only common language.  Marquis gathered the stories for the book from Wooden Leg and others while he was physician at the agency in Montana from 1922.  They were reluctant to open up to him at first, but eventually Marquis gained their trust. (Full article...)
    Wooden Leg: A Warrior Who Fought Custer is a 1931 book by Thomas Bailey Marquis about the life of a Northern Cheyenne Indian, Wooden Leg, who fought in several historic battles between United States forces and the Plains Indians, including the Battle of the Little Bighorn, where he faced the troops of George Armstrong Custer. The book is of great value to historians, not only for its eyewitness accounts of battles, but also for its detailed description of the way of life of 19th-century Plains Indians.

    The book was dictated to Marquis by Wooden Leg in Plains Indian Sign Language, their only common language. Marquis gathered the stories for the book from Wooden Leg and others while he was physician at the agency in Montana from 1922. They were reluctant to open up to him at first, but eventually Marquis gained their trust. (Full article...)
  • Image 4This Is Not My Hat is a 2012 children's picture book by the author and illustrator Jon Klassen. The story is told through the unreliable narration of a little fish, who has stolen a hat from a big fish and how the big fish reacts to the theft. It is a thematic follow-up to I Want My Hat Back and was meant to be a more literal sequel until Klassen took a suggestion to change which animals were in the story. The book was well received by critics who praised its dark or ironic humor which could only be understood by comparing the words of the little fish's narration against the events of the illustrations. In addition to several positive reviews, Klassen won the 2013 Caldecott Medal and the 2014 Kate Greenaway Medal becoming the first book to win both awards. This is Not My Hat was also a commercial success. (Full article...)
    This Is Not My Hat is a 2012 children's picture book by the author and illustrator Jon Klassen. The story is told through the unreliable narration of a little fish, who has stolen a hat from a big fish and how the big fish reacts to the theft. It is a thematic follow-up to I Want My Hat Back and was meant to be a more literal sequel until Klassen took a suggestion to change which animals were in the story. The book was well received by critics who praised its dark or ironic humor which could only be understood by comparing the words of the little fish's narration against the events of the illustrations. In addition to several positive reviews, Klassen won the 2013 Caldecott Medal and the 2014 Kate Greenaway Medal becoming the first book to win both awards. This is Not My Hat was also a commercial success. (Full article...)
  • Image 5Nirmala is a Hindi fiction novel written by Indian writer Munshi Premchand. The melodramatic novel is centered on Nirmala, a young girl who was forced to marry a widower of her father's age. The plot unfolds to reveal her husband's suspicion of a relationship between her and his eldest son, a suspicion that leads to the son's death.A poignant novel first published between 1925 and 1926, Nirmala's reformist agenda is transparent in its theme which deals with the question of dowry, and consequently mismatched marriages and related issues. The story uses fiction to highlight an era of much needed social reform in 1920s Indian society. Nirmala was serialised in Chand, a women's magazine in which the novel's feminist character was represented. Nirmala is somewhat like Godaan (published in 1936) in that it deals with the exploitation of the village poor, and was translated by multiple scholarly translators. It was first translated in 1988 as The Second Wife by David Rubin, and in 1999 as Nirmala by Alok Rai, Premchand's grandson. (Full article...)
    Nirmala is a Hindi fiction novel written by Indian writer Munshi Premchand. The melodramatic novel is centered on Nirmala, a young girl who was forced to marry a widower of her father's age. The plot unfolds to reveal her husband's suspicion of a relationship between her and his eldest son, a suspicion that leads to the son's death.

    A poignant novel first published between 1925 and 1926, Nirmala's reformist agenda is transparent in its theme which deals with the question of dowry, and consequently mismatched marriages and related issues. The story uses fiction to highlight an era of much needed social reform in 1920s Indian society. Nirmala was serialised in Chand, a women's magazine in which the novel's feminist character was represented. Nirmala is somewhat like Godaan (published in 1936) in that it deals with the exploitation of the village poor, and was translated by multiple scholarly translators. It was first translated in 1988 as The Second Wife by David Rubin, and in 1999 as Nirmala by Alok Rai, Premchand's grandson. (Full article...)
  • 1955 edition
    1955 edition
  • Image 7Alexander Hamilton is a 2004 biography of American statesman Alexander Hamilton, written by historian and biographer Ron Chernow. Hamilton, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, was an instrumental promoter of the U.S. Constitution, founder of the nation's financial system, and its first Secretary of the Treasury.The book, which was met with mostly positive acclaim, went on to win the inaugural George Washington Book Prize for early American history and was a nominee for the 2005 National Book Critics Circle Award in biography. In 2015, the book was adapted into the musical Hamilton by playwright Lin-Manuel Miranda. The stage production went on to win numerous accolades, including 11 Tony Awards. (Full article...)
    Alexander Hamilton is a 2004 biography of American statesman Alexander Hamilton, written by historian and biographer Ron Chernow. Hamilton, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, was an instrumental promoter of the U.S. Constitution, founder of the nation's financial system, and its first Secretary of the Treasury.

    The book, which was met with mostly positive acclaim, went on to win the inaugural George Washington Book Prize for early American history and was a nominee for the 2005 National Book Critics Circle Award in biography. In 2015, the book was adapted into the musical Hamilton by playwright Lin-Manuel Miranda. The stage production went on to win numerous accolades, including 11 Tony Awards. (Full article...)
  • Image 8The Leges Henrici Primi or Laws of Henry I is a legal treatise, written in about 1115, that records the legal customs of medieval England in the reign of King Henry I of England. Although it is not an official document, it was written by someone apparently associated with the royal administration. It lists and explains the laws, and includes explanations of how to conduct legal proceedings. Although its title implies that these laws were issued by King Henry, it lists laws issued by earlier monarchs that were still in force in Henry's reign; the only law of Henry that is included is the coronation charter he issued at the start of his reign. It covers a diverse range of subjects, including ecclesiastical cases, treason, murder, theft, feuds, assessment of danegeld, and the amounts of judicial fines.The work survives in six manuscripts that range in date from about 1200 to around 1330, belonging to two different manuscript traditions. Besides the six surviving manuscripts, three others were known to scholars in the 17th and 18th centuries, but have not survived to the present day. Two other separate copies may also have existed. The complete work itself was first printed in 1644, but an earlier partial edition appeared in 1628. The Leges is the first legal treatise in English history, and has been credited with having the greatest effect on the views of English law before the reign of King Henry II than any other work of its kind. (Full article...)
    The Leges Henrici Primi or Laws of Henry I is a legal treatise, written in about 1115, that records the legal customs of medieval England in the reign of King Henry I of England. Although it is not an official document, it was written by someone apparently associated with the royal administration. It lists and explains the laws, and includes explanations of how to conduct legal proceedings. Although its title implies that these laws were issued by King Henry, it lists laws issued by earlier monarchs that were still in force in Henry's reign; the only law of Henry that is included is the coronation charter he issued at the start of his reign. It covers a diverse range of subjects, including ecclesiastical cases, treason, murder, theft, feuds, assessment of danegeld, and the amounts of judicial fines.

    The work survives in six manuscripts that range in date from about 1200 to around 1330, belonging to two different manuscript traditions. Besides the six surviving manuscripts, three others were known to scholars in the 17th and 18th centuries, but have not survived to the present day. Two other separate copies may also have existed. The complete work itself was first printed in 1644, but an earlier partial edition appeared in 1628. The Leges is the first legal treatise in English history, and has been credited with having the greatest effect on the views of English law before the reign of King Henry II than any other work of its kind. (Full article...)
  • Image 9Algonquian Indian Bible title page 1663The Eliot Indian Bible (Algonquin: Mamusse Wunneetupanatamwe Up-Biblum God; also known as the Algonquian Bible) was the first translation of the Christian Bible into an indigenous American language, as well as the first Bible published in British North America. It was prepared by English Puritan missionary John Eliot by translating the Geneva Bible into the Massachusett language.  Printed in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the work first appeared in 1661 with only the New Testament.  An edition including all 66 books of both the Old and New Testaments was printed in 1663.The inscription on the 1663 edition's cover page, beginning with Mamusse Wunneetupanatamwe Up Biblum God, corresponds in English to The Whole Holy His-Bible God, both Old Testament and also New Testament. This turned by the servant of Christ, who is called John Eliot.  The preparation and printing of Eliot's work was supported by the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in New England, whose governor was the eminent scientist Robert Boyle. (Full article...)
    Houghton AC6 Eℓ452 663m - John Eliot, 1663, title.jpg
    Algonquian Indian Bible title page 1663

    The Eliot Indian Bible (Algonquin: Mamusse Wunneetupanatamwe Up-Biblum God; also known as the Algonquian Bible) was the first translation of the Christian Bible into an indigenous American language, as well as the first Bible published in British North America. It was prepared by English Puritan missionary John Eliot by translating the Geneva Bible into the Massachusett language. Printed in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the work first appeared in 1661 with only the New Testament. An edition including all 66 books of both the Old and New Testaments was printed in 1663.

    The inscription on the 1663 edition's cover page, beginning with Mamusse Wunneetupanatamwe Up Biblum God, corresponds in English to The Whole Holy His-Bible God, both Old Testament and also New Testament. This turned by the servant of Christ, who is called John Eliot. The preparation and printing of Eliot's work was supported by the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in New England, whose governor was the eminent scientist Robert Boyle. (Full article...)
  • Image 10Terrorist Recognition Handbook: A Practitioner's Manual for Predicting and Identifying Terrorist Activities is a non-fiction book about counterterrorism strategies, written by U.S. Navy retired cryptology analyst Malcolm Nance. The book is intended to help law enforcement and intelligence officials with the professional practice of behavior analysis and criminal psychology of anticipating potential terrorists before they commit criminal acts. Nance draws from the field of traditional criminal analysis to posit that detecting domestic criminals is similar to determining which individuals are likely to commit acts of terrorism. The book provides resources for the law enforcement official including descriptions of devices used for possible bombs, a database of terrorist networks, and a list of references used. Nance gives the reader background on Al-Qaeda tactics, clandestine cell systems and sleeper agents, and terrorist communication methods.Terrorist Recognition Handbook received two separate book reviews in the academic journal Perspectives on Terrorism. The journal placed the book on its "Top 150 Books on Terrorism and Counterterrorism". Its second review of the book wrote that the Terrorist Recognition Handbook "provides a comprehensive and detailed treatment of terrorism and counter-terrorism." A review published by RSA Conference called it "required reading", and "a must-read for anyone tasked with or interested in anti-terrorism activities." Midwest Book Review rated it "highly recommended for those in charge of security and community library military collections." (Full article...)
    Terrorist Recognition Handbook: A Practitioner's Manual for Predicting and Identifying Terrorist Activities is a non-fiction book about counterterrorism strategies, written by U.S. Navy retired cryptology analyst Malcolm Nance. The book is intended to help law enforcement and intelligence officials with the professional practice of behavior analysis and criminal psychology of anticipating potential terrorists before they commit criminal acts. Nance draws from the field of traditional criminal analysis to posit that detecting domestic criminals is similar to determining which individuals are likely to commit acts of terrorism. The book provides resources for the law enforcement official including descriptions of devices used for possible bombs, a database of terrorist networks, and a list of references used. Nance gives the reader background on Al-Qaeda tactics, clandestine cell systems and sleeper agents, and terrorist communication methods.

    Terrorist Recognition Handbook received two separate book reviews in the academic journal Perspectives on Terrorism. The journal placed the book on its "Top 150 Books on Terrorism and Counterterrorism". Its second review of the book wrote that the Terrorist Recognition Handbook "provides a comprehensive and detailed treatment of terrorism and counter-terrorism." A review published by RSA Conference called it "required reading", and "a must-read for anyone tasked with or interested in anti-terrorism activities." Midwest Book Review rated it "highly recommended for those in charge of security and community library military collections." (Full article...)
  • Image 11The Life of Samuel Johnson or Life of Samuel Johnson, LL. D. was written by John Hawkins in 1787. It was the first full biography of Samuel Johnson—with Thomas Tyers's A Biographical Sketch of Dr Samuel Johnson being the first short postmortem biography. Hawkins was a friend of Johnson, but many in Johnson's circle did not like him. After Johnson's death, Hawkins was approached to produce a biography on Johnson and an edition of his works. His biography described Johnson's life, including previously unknown details about his writing career, but it was plagued by digressions into unrelated topics. Hawkins's Life of Samuel Johnson came under swift attack from critics, from friends of Johnson, and from his literary rival, James Boswell immediately after its publication. Many of the critics attacked Hawkins for his lack of strict focus on Johnson's life or for his unfavourable depiction of Johnson in various circumstances. (Full article...)
    The Life of Samuel Johnson or Life of Samuel Johnson, LL. D. was written by John Hawkins in 1787. It was the first full biography of Samuel Johnson—with Thomas Tyers's A Biographical Sketch of Dr Samuel Johnson being the first short postmortem biography. Hawkins was a friend of Johnson, but many in Johnson's circle did not like him. After Johnson's death, Hawkins was approached to produce a biography on Johnson and an edition of his works. His biography described Johnson's life, including previously unknown details about his writing career, but it was plagued by digressions into unrelated topics. Hawkins's Life of Samuel Johnson came under swift attack from critics, from friends of Johnson, and from his literary rival, James Boswell immediately after its publication. Many of the critics attacked Hawkins for his lack of strict focus on Johnson's life or for his unfavourable depiction of Johnson in various circumstances. (Full article...)
  • Image 12 Beyond the First Amendment: The Politics of Free Speech and Pluralism is a book about freedom of speech and the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, written by author Samuel Peter Nelson. It was published by Johns Hopkins University Press in 2005. In it, Nelson discusses how the more general notion of free speech differs from that specifically applied to the First Amendment in American law. The book was positively received in reviews from academic and legal journals. Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries recommended the book due to its thought-provoking propositions, and a review in The Journal of Politics described it as "a nice effort to explore free speech issues not covered by the First Amendment or constitutional law". A review in the journal Political Communication concluded of the author
  • Image 13Title page of 1813 editionA New System of Domestic Cookery, first published in 1806 by Maria Rundell (1745 – 16 December 1828), was the most popular English cookbook of the first half of the nineteenth century; it is often referred to simply as "Mrs Rundell", but its full title is A New System of Domestic Cookery: Formed Upon Principles of Economy; and Adapted to the Use of Private Families.Mrs Rundell has been called "the original domestic goddess" and her book "a publishing sensation" and "the most famous cookery book of its time". It ran to over 67 editions; the 1865 edition had grown to 644 pages, and earned two thousand guineas. (Full article...)
    Mrs Rundell New System of Domestic Cookery Title Page 1813.jpg
    Title page of 1813 edition

    A New System of Domestic Cookery, first published in 1806 by Maria Rundell (1745 – 16 December 1828), was the most popular English cookbook of the first half of the nineteenth century; it is often referred to simply as "Mrs Rundell", but its full title is A New System of Domestic Cookery: Formed Upon Principles of Economy; and Adapted to the Use of Private Families.

    Mrs Rundell has been called "the original domestic goddess" and her book "a publishing sensation" and "the most famous cookery book of its time". It ran to over 67 editions; the 1865 edition had grown to 644 pages, and earned two thousand guineas. (Full article...)
  • Image 14A Community of Witches: Contemporary Neo-Paganism and Witchcraft in the United States is a sociological study of the Wiccan and wider Pagan community in the Northeastern United States. It was written by American sociologist Helen A. Berger of the West Chester University of Pennsylvania and first published in 1999 by the University of South Carolina Press. It was released as a part of a series of academic books entitled Studies in Comparative Religion, edited by Frederick M. Denny, a religious studies scholar at the University of Chicago.Berger became interested in studying the Wiccan and Pagan movement in 1986, when she presented a lecture on the subject at the Boston Public Library. Subsequently becoming acquainted with members of the New England Pagan community, she undertook fieldwork in both a local Wiccan coven, the Circle of Light, and a wider Pagan organisation, the EarthSpirit Community (ESC). In total, Berger underwent 11 years of fieldwork among the Pagan community. Along with ESC founder Andras Corban Arthen, Berger also undertook a "Pagan Census" survey of the U.S. in the mid-1990s to obtain more data on the country's Pagan community. (Full article...)
    A Community of Witches: Contemporary Neo-Paganism and Witchcraft in the United States is a sociological study of the Wiccan and wider Pagan community in the Northeastern United States. It was written by American sociologist Helen A. Berger of the West Chester University of Pennsylvania and first published in 1999 by the University of South Carolina Press. It was released as a part of a series of academic books entitled Studies in Comparative Religion, edited by Frederick M. Denny, a religious studies scholar at the University of Chicago.

    Berger became interested in studying the Wiccan and Pagan movement in 1986, when she presented a lecture on the subject at the Boston Public Library. Subsequently becoming acquainted with members of the New England Pagan community, she undertook fieldwork in both a local Wiccan coven, the Circle of Light, and a wider Pagan organisation, the EarthSpirit Community (ESC). In total, Berger underwent 11 years of fieldwork among the Pagan community. Along with ESC founder Andras Corban Arthen, Berger also undertook a "Pagan Census" survey of the U.S. in the mid-1990s to obtain more data on the country's Pagan community. (Full article...)
  • Image 15A Short History of Progress is a non-fiction book and lecture series by Ronald Wright about societal collapse. The lectures were delivered as a series of five speeches, each taking place in different cities across Canada as part of the 2004 Massey Lectures which were broadcast on the CBC Radio program, Ideas. The book version was published by House of Anansi Press and released at the same time as the lectures. The book spent more than a year on Canadian best-seller lists, won the Canadian Book Association's Libris Award for Non-Fiction Book of the Year, and was nominated for the British Columbia's National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction. It has since been reprinted in a hardcover format with illustrations and also in Kindle and EPUBdigital formats.Wright, an author of fiction and non-fiction works, uses the fallen civilisations of Easter Island, Sumer, Rome, and Maya, as well as examples from the Stone Age, to see what conditions led to the downfall of those societies. He examines the meaning of progress and its implications for civilizations—past and present—arguing that the twentieth century was a time of runaway growth in human population, consumption, and technology that has now placed an unsustainable burden on all natural systems. (Full article...)
    A Short History of Progress is a non-fiction book and lecture series by Ronald Wright about societal collapse. The lectures were delivered as a series of five speeches, each taking place in different cities across Canada as part of the 2004 Massey Lectures which were broadcast on the CBC Radio program, Ideas. The book version was published by House of Anansi Press and released at the same time as the lectures. The book spent more than a year on Canadian best-seller lists, won the Canadian Book Association's Libris Award for Non-Fiction Book of the Year, and was nominated for the British Columbia's National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction. It has since been reprinted in a hardcover format with illustrations and also in Kindle and EPUB
    digital formats.

    Wright, an author of fiction and non-fiction works, uses the fallen civilisations of Easter Island, Sumer, Rome, and Maya, as well as examples from the Stone Age, to see what conditions led to the downfall of those societies. He examines the meaning of progress and its implications for civilizations—past and present—arguing that the twentieth century was a time of runaway growth in human population, consumption, and technology that has now placed an unsustainable burden on all natural systems. (Full article...)

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Augustine Birrell - Project Gutenberg eText 13220.png


Did you know

  • ...that in English language works the table of contents is at the beginning of a book, but in French and Spanish ones it is at the back, by the index?
  • ...that print space determines the effective area on the paper of a book, journal or other press work, and is limited by the surrounding borders?
  • ...that the craft of bookbinding may have originated around the 1st century A.D.?

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