H-135v. Key Moments in the History of the Book in the Antebellum United States

James N. Green Michael Winship

Course Length: 6 hours
Format: Online

This course will explore the history of the antebellum American book by looking at three important events in the history of publishing in the United States: the first national book fair in 1802, the first book trade sale in 1824, and the publication of Uncle Tom’s Cabin in 1852. Each of these moments signals a major development in how books were produced, published, and distributed during the antebellum period. Each day of class will be spent on one of these events as a lens that brings into focus our understanding of the ways that the American book trade developed and grew before the Civil War. The course is designed for scholars, librarians, book collectors, and booksellers who have an interest in the antebellum period. Applicants, in their personal statements, should be specific in explaining their interest in the course and are encouraged to share relevant current research projects. 

Click here to view the course description for the in-person version of this course, “The History of the Book in Antebellum America.”

Course History

James N. Green and Michael Winship co-teach this virtual course, H-135v "Key Moments in the History of the Book in the Antebellum United States" (6 hours).
James N. Green & Michael Winship co-teach the in-person version of this course, "The History of the Book in Antebellum America."
This course is not currently being offered. Please do not list on any RBS fellowship or scholarship applications.

Course Resources

  • Advance Reading List
  • Evaluations for this course:

Related Courses


  • James N. Green
  • Michael Winship

James N. Green

James Green is Librarian Emeritus of the Library Company of Philadelphia, where he has worked for more than 30 years. He contributed three long essays on American printing and publishing to the first two volumes of the collaborative History of the Book in America, published under the auspices of the American Antiquarian Society, and he is the author, with Peter Stallybrass, of Benjamin Franklin, Writer and Printer (Oak Knoll, 2006).

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Michael Winship

Michael Winship is Iris Howard Regents Professor of English II (emeritus) at the University of Texas at Austin and edited the final three volumes of the nine-volume Bibliography of American Literature. He is the author of American Literary Publishing in the Mid-Nineteenth Century: The Business of Ticknor and Fields (1995) and has published widely on the nineteenth-century American book and publishing trades. He was an editor of and contributor to The Industrial Book, 1840–1880 and contributor to Print in Motion: The Expansion of Publishing and Reading in the United States, 1880–1940 (volumes 3 and 4 of A History of the Book in America), and served on that series’ editorial board. He has taught annually at RBS since 1983.

Courses Formerly Offered

  • Descriptive Bibliography, 1820–1914 (1989–1993)
  • History of the American Book (1987–1988, with Edwin Wolf 2d)
  • Bibliography of 19th-Century American Books (1986)
  • Publishers’ Bindings, 1780–1910 (1984–1985, with Sue Allen)
  • The 19th-Century Book (1983); The 19th-Century English & American Book (1984); Sources for the Study of the 19th-Century English & American Book (1985) | co-taught with Michael Turner
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