Institutions of Reading The Social Life of Libraries in the United States

ISBN-10: 1558495916

ISBN-13: 9781558495913

Edition: 2007

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Description: Tracing the evolution of the library as a modern institution from the late eighteenth century to the digital era, this book explores the diverse practices by which Americans have shared reading matter for instruction, edification, and pleasure. Writing from a rich variety of perspectives, the contributors raise important questions about the material forms and social shapes of American culture. What is a library? How have libraries fostered communities of readers and influenced the practice of reading in particular communities? How did the development of modern libraries alter the boundaries of individual and social experience, and define new kinds of public culture? To what extent have libraries served as commercial enterprises, as centers of power, and as places of empowerment for African Americans, women, and immigrants? Institutions of Reading offers at once a social history of literacy and leisure, an intellectual history of institutional and technological innovations that facilitated the mass distribution and consumption of printed books and periodicals, and a cultural history of the symbolic meanings and practical uses of reading in American life. In addition to the editors, contributors include Elizabeth Amann, Michael Baenen, James Green, Elizabeth McHenry, Barbara Mitchell, Christine Pawley, Janice Radway, James Raven, Karin Roffman, and Roy Rosenzweig.

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Book details

List price: $29.95
Copyright year: 2007
Publisher: University of Massachusetts Press
Publication date: 7/2/2007
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 392
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.25" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.188

Kenneth Carpenter is the dinosaur paleontologist for the Denver Museum of Natural History. He is author of Eggs, Nests, and Baby Dinosaurs (IUP, 2000), editor of The Armored Dinosaurs (IUP, 2001), and co-editor of Mesozoic Vertebrate Life (with Darren H. Tanke, IUP, 2001). He is also co-editor of Dinosaur Systematics; Dinosaur Eggs and Babies; and The Upper Jurassic Morrison Formation.

List of Illustrations
Acknowledgments
Introduction
Social Libraries and Library Societies in Eighteenth-Century North America
Subscription Libraries and Commercial Circulating Libraries in Colonial Philadelphia and New York
A Great and Natural Enemy of Democracy? Politics and Culture in the Antebellum Portsmouth Athenaeum
"An Association of Kindred Spirits": Black Readers and Their Reading Rooms
Boston Library Catalogues, 1850-1875: Female Labor and Technological Change
Faith in Reading: Public Libraries, Liberalism, and the Civil Religion
Domesticating Spain: 1898 and the Hispanic Society of America
Women Writers and Their Libraries in the 1920s
The Library as Place, Collection, or Service: Promoting Book Circulation in Durham, North Carolina, and at the Book-of-the-Month Club, 1925-1945
Blood and Thunder on the Bookmobile: American Public Libraries and the Construction of "the Reader," 1950-1995
Toward a New Cultural Design: The American Council of Learned Societies, the Social Science Research Council, and Libraries in the 1930s
Scarcity or Abundance? Preserving the Past in a Digital Era
Notes on Contributors
Index
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