ChooseWhy Choose This Program?
Why Study Book Studies at Goucher?
As an interdisciplinary minor, book studies complements majors in both the humanities and the sciences; e.g., the history of science invokes book studies by demonstrating how books promoted and shaped scientific discourse, while the conservation of books involves expertise in chemistry and biology. After graduation, Book Studies minors might apply their knowledge toward graduate studies in the humanities, an M.A. in library science, a career in the expanding field of digital media, or work in an historical society.
LearnWhat Will You Learn?
What Will You Learn?
Faculty and staff from the Center for Humanities currently teach a variety of courses on the history, design, and archaeology of the book; bibliography; reception studies; and the history of libraries. Book studies courses not only involve materials housed in Goucher's special collections, but also engage world-class collections housed in nearby libraries and museums. Through hands-on experience with books and archival materials, students not only explore books in their many forms, they gain a nuanced understanding of the cultural, social, political, visual, and literary dimensions of the book and its fundamental role in shaping the transmission of knowledge.
DoWhat Will You Do?
What Will You Do?
Students who minor in book studies learn to think critically about how the material aspects of the book communicate meaning, the changing technologies of the book (from the cuneiform tablet to digital media) and the transmission of knowledge, the humanistic nature of books, their production, and their reception, and the book as an agent of social, political, and cultural change. Given the rapid changes in the technology of the book and textual media, it is arguably more important than ever to engage books of the past—and of the future—as complex material objects and as sources of interpretable texts and images.
Major & Minor Program Contacts
Book Studies Minor: April Oettinger
Opportunities & Internships
There are innumerable opportunities for original research at Goucher. Peirce Center research grants have supported a number of student research projects based upon books and archival materials in Goucher's Special Collections.
Aside from Goucher's Special Collections and Archives, many museums and libraries in the mid-Atlantic and New England offer specialized internship programs in the area of book studies, conservation, and Special Collections librarianship. These institutions include:
- Library of Congress
- Folger Shakespeare Library
- Johns Hopkins University Special Collections
- Library Company of Philadelphia
- New York Public Library
- The Lewis Walpole Library (Yale Center for British Art)
- The Walters Art Museum Manuscript Room
- Goucher College Library Conservation Lab
- Goucher College Special Collections and Archives
- University of Pennsylvania Rare Books and Manuscript Library