Start Date
Place
Notes
Source
11 May 2011
Canada
Canada is to have a new $60,000 prize for non-
fiction writing beginning this fall, the Writers Trust
of Canada announced Wednesday.
http://www.cbc.ca/news/arts/story/2011/05/11
/writers-trust-award.html May 2011
04 Jan 2011
US
Delegate David Englin of Northern Virginia has
announced legislation he says will ensure
students learn accurate textbooks. His Virginia
Textbook Accountability Act aims to institute a
textbook review process to eliminate what he
calls "egregiously inaccurate information" in
classrooms. Englin represents portions of Fairfax
and Arlington counties, and part of the City of
Alexandria. "I was shocked and appalled to
discover that some of the textbooks used to
teach our children are rife with basic factual
errors," Englin said in a press release. "It's clear
that the state's process for reviewing textbooks is
broken."
http://www.vagazette.com/articles/2011/01/0
7/news/doc4d21dbde8b38a944926144.txt
March 2011
21 Mar 2010
Ethiopia
Ethiopia's ministry of education has awarded
Indian media house Laxmi Publications a
contract to print and distribute textbooks and
teacher training guides. The ministry had issued
a tender for the publication of civics and ethical
education textbooks and guides for high school
students, which attracted nine international and
local companies. Laxmi Publications was
selected for its offer of $1.44 million, as this was
the lowest offer that met all the criteria, officials
said.
http://nazret.com/blog/index.php/2010/03/21/i
ndian_publishing_firm_wins_textbook_con
May 2011
2010
Canada
Harlequin Enterprises has digitized nearly 10,
000 romance titles dating back to 2002.
Edmonton Journal 12 December 2010
Nov 2009
Canada
Students of the private Canadian secondary
school, Blyth Academy, are supplied with Sony
Readers loaded with their textbooks. It is the first
school in the world to do this.
http://goodereader.com/blog/electronic-
readers/a-brief-history-of-ebooks/ December
2010
2009
US
More than 9,000 titles were published and
romance fiction generated $1.36 billion US in
sales, giving it the largest share of the overall
trade-book market, according to the Romance
Writers of America, which compiles statistics on
romance books.
Edmonton Journal 12 December 2010
23 Apr 2008
Germany
German publisher Bertelsmann said it planned to
publish the world's first reference book based on
entries from Wikipedia, the popular online
encyclopaedia. The single volume, 992-page
tome would contain about 50,000 condensed
entries and sell for about $31.80.
http://timelines.ws August 2010
21 Sep 2007
Canada
Harlequin Enterprises, the Canadian-based
romance publisher, said it will make all its new
titles available online for downloading. [roughly
120 titles a month] Harlequin Enterprises, owned
by Torstar Corp., publisher of the Toronto Star, is
the world's largest publisher of romance and
women's literature. The Toronto-based company
sold more than 131 million books in 26
languages in 2006.
http://www.cbc.ca August 2010
2007
North America
According to an Ipsos Reid survey
commissioned by CanWest News Service and
Global Television, nearly a third of adults (31
percent) didn't read a single book for pleasure in
all of 2007. The discouraging figure puts
Canadians four points behind the U.S., where an
identical poll in August showed 27 percent of
Americans hadn't picked up a book in the
previous 12 months. The good news is that the
69 percent of Canadians who were reading in
2007 did so voraciously, with the average person
in that group having dug into 20 books over the
course of the year.”
Edmonton Journal 2 January 2008)
2007
International
Joanne Kathleen Rowling's "Harry Potter" books
have sold over 300 million copies worldwide.
http://www.scaruffi.com January 2009
2007
China
An edition in modern Chinese of "The Analects of
Confucius" becomes the all-time best-selling
book in China.
http://www.scaruffi.com January 2009
Aug 2006
China
Queues form at bookstores around China as The
Selected Works of Jiang Zemin by China's
former President, go on sale. Branches of the
government-run Xinhua Bookstore chain truck in
tens of thousands of copies to fill their shelves on
the first day of its publication.
http://www.danwei.org/internet/china_media_
timeline_danwei_wo.php June 2009
2006
US
Of the more than 75,000 members of InsightOut
Book Club, only 20 percent of them are women
according to InsightOut's director Michael Connor
and they buy fewer titles than their male
counterparts. Male book club members buy on
average 2 books every three months while
women buy only one book every three months.
http://www.afterellen.com/archive/ellen/Print/2
006/7/publishing2.html February 2011
2006
Germany
In 2006, more than 11,000 journalists from 66
countries reported on the fair which brought
together 7,272 individual exhibitors from 113
countries, and more than 183,000 trade visitors.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frankfurt_Book_
Fair January 2008
2005
US
In fiscal 2005, HarperCollins [owned by News
Corp] had more than 100 New York Times best
sellers; 15 hit number 1.”
Time Magazine 9 July 2007
Jan 2004
France
The French government lifted the ban on
television advertising of books, imposed in 1992
to protect the interests of smaller publishers. The
book trade agreed to advertise only on cable and
satellite channels. A similar ban on advertising of
newspapers and supermarkets (to protect niche
magazines and small shops) was also removed.
http://www.terramedia.co.uk October 2007
Dec 2003
China
Menbox, China's first openly gay glossy
magazine, starts distributing to newsstands. The
magazine is produced in partnership with the
prestigious Chinese Academy of Social
Sciences.
http://www.danwei.org/internet/china_media_
timeline_danwei_wo.php January 2010
2003
US
One-third of books bought in U.S. are romance
novels.
http://www.mediahistory.umn.edu September
2010
2003
UK
Among a study of 6000 people aged over 16 in
England in 2003 commissioned by Arts Council
England into involvement in the arts in the
previous twelve months, reading for pleasure was
the most commonly reported activity. 55 percent
had read works of fiction, including novels, plays
and short stories (with the majority doing so at
least once a week), 25 percent had read
biographies and 6.5 percent had read poetry.
Half the sample had bought a novel, play or
poetry for themselves in the previous year, while
4 percent had written poetry. Other evidence
suggests that nearly half the adults in the UK read
five books or more per year, while almost one in
five claim to read more than twenty books a year.
http://www.ahrc.ac.uk/About/Policy/Document
s/leadingtheworld.pdf November 2010
2003
International
Amazon.com scans texts of 120,000 books for
Internet users.
http://www.mediahistory.umn.edu June 2006
2002
US
Rick Warren publishes The Purpose-Driven Life,
which sells one million copies a month for two
years, becoming the best-selling nonfiction book
in the history of publishing.
http://www.scaruffi.com August 2006
2002
International
Amazon.com stocked more than 350,000 titles.
http://www.mediahistory.umn.edu June 2008
2000
US
Stephen King's horror novel, Ride the Bullet, is
released only as an eBook (at first).
http://goodereader.com/blog/electronic-
readers/a-brief-history-of-ebooks/ December
2010
2000
Japan
In 2000, Japanese Society for History Textbook
Reform, a group of conservative scholars,
published New History Textbook (Atarashii
Rekishi Kyokasho) that was intended to promote
a revised view of Japan. The textbook downplays
or whitewashes the nature of Japan's military
aggression in the First Sino-Japanese War, in
Japan's annexation of Korea in 1910, in the
Second Sino-Japanese War, and in World War II.
The textbook was approved by the Ministry of
Education in 2001, and caused a huge
controversy in Japan, China and Korea. A large
number of Japanese historians and educators
protested against the content of New History
Textbook and its treatment of Japanese wartime
activities. China Radio International reported that
the PRC government and people were "strongly
indignant about and dissatisfied with the new
Japanese history textbook for the year 2002
compiled by right-wing Japanese scholars".
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_history
_textbook_controversies#Major_controversi
es November 2010
1999
US
Americans were buying an average of 8 books a
year, 3 times pre-WWII.
http://www.mediahistory.umn.edu August
2006
1999
International
Whether the buoyancy of the book printed and
bound is an expression of the nostalgia all of us
who have grown up with it feel for it, or an
indication of deeper levels of satisfaction we
derive from words permanently affixed to pages -
Digital McLuhan will examine both factors, and I
suspect both are at work here - the currents of
change swirling around books and newspapers
are all headed in one overall direction: a washing
away, an overwhelming, of traditional gate
keeping in media. When means of dissemination
were handwritten and thus at their scarcest, the
Church served as gatekeeper for sacred and
lesser-blessed but still worthy text. The printing
press took down this gate, but installed in its
stead the government and soon commercial
enterprises to regulate the new flow of
information. In the twentieth century, the
broadcast media of radio and television radically
increased the flow of information again, yet
government and commercial gate keeping
continued unabated - indeed even increased in
authority, since publishing a book is considerably
less expensive than producing a television
program, which until the advent of cable provided
only a handful of possibilities for appearing on
television screens in any case.
Levinson, Digital McLuhan, P. 11-12 (1999)
1999
International
Critics of the online age such as Sven Birkerts
and Neil Postman are hence not wrong to notice
that computers have changed the nature of
reading and writing. Surely those activities on
paper, in magazine and books, are different than
when conducted on screens. But McLuhan's
notion of prior media becoming visible,
discernible, as the content of new media
suggests that one of the differences of 'outing' of
writing on the Internet is that the written word is
becoming more publicly explicable. And surely
the movement of writing into the light, completely
out of the monastic shadows from which it had
been emerging ever since the introduction of the
printing press in Europe, is a good thing - not at
all inimical to literacy and its values, as Birkerts
et al. claim.
Levinson, Digital, P. 38 (1999)
1999
India
It is estimated that there were 300,000,000
Indians who were illiterate when India's
population reached one billion in August 1999.
Harper's Index
Oct 1998
US
A 10th-century manuscript of a work by the
mathematician Archimedes is sold at Christies
for $2 million. The text is the oldest surviving copy
of a work by Archimedes.
Avasthi, Nineties, P. 10085
1998
US
The book publishing industry annual sales” 1998 -
$23.01 billion 1999 - $24 billion 2000 - $25.32
billion.
http://www.activemedia-
guide.com/publishing_industry.htm June
2008
29 Aug 1997
Japan
In Japan the Supreme Court upheld the
government's right to control the nation's
textbooks but not to tamper with the truth. Japan's
Supreme Court ruled that the country's Education
Ministry broke the law by removing mention of a
Japanese World War II atrocity from historian
Saburo Ienaga's high school textbook. Novelist
Ryotaro Shiba was quoted: "A country whose
textbooks lie ... will inevitably collapse."
http://timelines.ws February 2008
Mar 1997
Canada
Outlooks Magazine first appeared on the scene
in March 1997. Since that time the publication
has grown in leaps and bounds and is now
available at approximately 600 locations from
coast to coast-and has virtually become a
household name in the GLBT community.
http://outlooks.ca/about_us.html January
2011
1997
International
Amazon.com is launched on the web as the
"world's largest bookstore", except that it is not a
bookstore, it is a website. [Note: The website
provided access to the inventory of Baker and
Taylor book wholesalers. - SM]
http://www.scaruffi.com September 2010
1997
Canada
The Canadian federal government reduced the
budgets of the Publications Distribution
Assistance Program and the Book Publishing
Industry Development Program by 61 per cent.
http://www.media-awareness.ca August
2006
22 Aug 1995
Australia
Helen Darville, the 1995 winner of Australia's top
literary prize, the Miles Franklin Award, reveals
that she had asssumed a false name, ethnic
identity and cultural background when she wrote
the prize-winning book that depicts Ukraine
during World War II. Observers claim that her
misrepresentations may have deceptively
influenced judges.
Avasthi, Nineties, P. 771
1994
US
For the first time in history, chain bookstores
outsold independent stores, signalling what could
be the death of smaller booksellers at the hands
of superstores.
http://www.infoplease.com June 2008
1994
International
Audio books … are a billion dollar a year
industry. According to the 1994 edition of Word
on Cassette, more than 55,000 audio titles are
available from roughly 1,400 publishers. We are
in the first stages of a phenomenon that may
prove as socially transformational as the
paperback revolution of the 1960s.
Birkerts, Gutenberg, P. 142
1991
Italy
In Italy Silvio Berlusconi's Fininvest group bribed
a judge to win control of Mondadori, the country's
largest publishing house. In 2007 Cesare Previti
was convicted of buying this judgment. In 2009 a
Milan judge ruled that Fininvest should pay
damages of $1.1 billion.
http://timelines.ws February 2009
1990
International
It was during the 1990's that paranormal
romances made its debut and vampire romances
were born. Romance fiction with supernatural
elements took the genre to new levels. Twilight by
Stephenie Meyer was written for young adults
and J.R. Ward wrote novels about the Black
Dagger Brotherhood; a group of butt-kicking
vampires who listen to rap use curse words and
win over the hearts of their life mates.
http://www.suite101.com/content/romance-
fiction-history---the-golden-age-a263124
December 2010
1987
Japan
Haruki Murakami authored "Norwegian Wood."
The novel experimented with reality and sold 2
million copies. An English translation was made
in 1997.
http://timelines.ws February 2008
1980
US
About 70 percent of the books sold in the US
were paperbacks.
http://www.infoplease.com January 2008
1979
Canada
The Canadian Book Publishing Industry
Development Program was established in order
to provide financial assistance to Canadian
publishing enterprises.
http://www.media-awareness.ca August
2006
1978
Canada
Coles bookstores bought by Southam.
MacSkimming, Perilous, P. 410
1977
US
Michael Dennen;y serves as a founding editor of
Christopher Street, a gay literary magazine. The
first openly gay book editor in New York City
Denneny loses his job at Macmillan as a result
and moves to St. Martin's where he publishes a
range of gay authors whose books are rejected
elsewhere.
http://www.ncsu.edu/stud_affairs/glbt/pdfs/Ti
meline omplete-Updated.pdf
January 2011
1976
US
In 1976 Anne Rice published Interview With the
Vampire, and within a decade the book became
the best-known vampire novel since Bram
Stoker's Dracula. She has written several novels
exploring sexual and romantic desire and the
spiritual world, and is a famous New Orleans
resident with a devoted fan base.
http://www.answers.com/topic/anne-
rice#ixzz1GKq07YjL March 2011
Oct 1973
Australia
Tony and Maureen Wheeler produced the first
Lonely Planet travel book, "Across Asia on the
Cheap," from a kitchen table in Australia. By
2002 it had 600 titles in print.
http://timelines.ws January 2008
1972
US
The first romance fiction that introduced sex was
The Flame and The Flower by Kathleen E.
Woodiwiss in 1972. The story consisted of
murder, robberies, pregnancy out of marriage ,
and plenty of fights however it was the convoluted
tale of a rape victim who fell in love with her
assailant that made the book unforgettable. Sex
in romance novels was born.
http://www.suite101.com/content/romance-
fiction-history---the-golden-age-a263124
December 2010
1972
Canada
The Canadian government created that Federal
Book Publishing Policy to provide financial
assistance to the Canadian book publishing
industry. The policy was administered by the
Canada Council under its mandate to "foster the
production and enjoyment of the arts in Canada.
http://www.media-awareness.ca August
2006
1971
US
The American Library Association begins
awarding an annual Gay Book Award. The first
goes to Isabel Miller for her novel Patience and
Sarah.
http://www.ncsu.edu/stud_affairs/glbt/pdfs/Ti
melineomplete-Updated.pdf
January 2011
1969
US
The IRS eliminated author donations of their
papers as a tax break.
http://timelines.ws January 2009
1969
US
Judy Grahn starts a mimeograph press in
Oakland that becomes the Women’s Press,
Collective. A participant in early gay rights
protests, with the publication 10 years later of
Another Mother Tongue: Gay Words Grahn
emerges as a key lesbian theorist theorist with
the publication 10 years later of Another Mother
Tongue: Gay Words, Gay Worlds.
http://www.ncsu.edu/stud_affairs/glbt/pdfs/Ti
melineomplete-Updated.pdf
January 2011
1969
UK
In this year 32,393 books [titles] are produced in
the United Kingdom.
http://www.historyofscience.com/
G2I/timeline/index.php?era=1960 August
2009
1967
US
In New York, Craig Rodwell opens the Oscar
Wilde Memorial Bookstore, the first gay
bookstore in the country.
http://www.ncsu.edu/stud_affairs/glbt/pdfs/Ti
melineomplete-Updated.pdf
January 2011
1967
US
Dick Michaels, Bill Rand, and Same Winston
found The Advocate in Los Angeles. At first an
offshoot of a newsletter, the magazine goes
national within three years.
http://www.ncsu.edu/stud_affairs/glbt/pdfs/Ti
melineomplete-Updated.pdf
January 2011
1965
Japan
Saburo Ienaga began a crusade for truth in the
nation's textbooks. He was vindicated in a 1997
ruling by the Supreme Court.
http://timelines.ws January 2008
1965
Ghana
In 1965, the Ghana Publishing Corporation
(GPC) was established with the objective of
publishing educational and scholarly works, while
promoting and interpreting Ghanaian culture.
http://www.bellagiopublishingnetwork.com/ne
wsletter31/darko-ampem.htm May 2011
1962
Russia
To encourage anti-Stalin sentiment, Premier
Nikita Khrushchev personally allowed publication
of One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, a devastating account of
Soviet concentration camps.
http://www.infoplease.com June 2008
1962
International
Let us return to the space question as affected by
Gutenberg. Everybody is familiar with the phrase,
'the voices of silence.' It is the traditional word for
sculpture. And if an entire year of any college
program were spent in understanding the phrase,
the world might soon have an adequate supply of
competent minds. As the Gutenberg typography
filled the world, the human voice closed down.
People began to read silently and passively as
consumers. Architecture and sculpture dried up
too. In literature only people from backward oral
areas had any resonance to inject in the
language - the Yeats, the Synges, the Joyces,
Faulkners, and Dylan Thomases.
McLuhan, Gutenberg Galaxy, P. 250 (1962)
1961
Ghana
Since textbooks and instructional materials have
direct impact on what is taught in schools and
how it is taught, the government of Ghana in 1961
introduced the free textbook scheme, in an
attempt to supply every school pupil with basic
textbooks.
http://dspace.knust.edu.gh/dspace/bitstream/
123456789/1772/2/ABA.pdf May
2011
16 Apr 1960
US
The merger of Alfred A. Knopf Publishing
Company and Random House Incorporated is
announced in New York; the two companies to
remain editorially separate.
Nelson and Parker, The Sixties
24 Mar 1960
China
Chinese Nationalists ban the export of pirated
editions of foreign-language books. The action
follows protests by American and other book
publishers.
Nelson and Parker, The Sixties
1959
Canada
Canada Council made responsible for Governor
General's Literary Awards; French-language
awards added.
MacSkimming, Perilous, P. 207
1958
Germany
Marcel Reich-Ranicki, Polish-born Holocaust
survivor, defected to West Germany. He was
soon drawn into "Gruppe 47," the literary circle of
Walter Jens and Heinrich Boll. In 1960 he joined
Die Zeit as a literary critic.
http://timelines.ws October 2008
1956
Zimbabwe
The first Shona novel was published in 1956 and
the first Ndebele one in 1957. Since that time
especially after independence there has been a
burgeoning of Shona and Ndebele literature.
http://www.everyculture.com/To-
Z/Zimbabwe.html May 2011
13 Feb 1955
Israel
Israeli Government purchases four Dead Sea
Scrolls, the oldest known biblical manuscripts,
from the Syrian Archbishop Metropolitan in
Jerusalem at a cost of $250,000.
Merritt, The Fifties
17 Jan 1955
US
Republic Pictures buys film, radio and TV rights
to Sax Rohmer's Fu Manchu stories for $4
million.
Merritt, The Fifties
1955
Canada
Canadian Writer's Conference, Queen's
Univeristy, Kingston.
MacSkimming, Perilous, P. 407
03 Jun 1952
US
Kathleen Winsor won a $26,358 tax refund the
US Court of Claims in Washington rules that
movie rights to her book Forever Amber should
have been taxed as capital gains not personal
income.
Merritt, The Fifties
1952
US
Texas the great single market for textbooks in the
United States as students supplied with books by
state. Texas apt to set standards for books in
other states."
Innis, Idea File, 15-27 (1952)
1952
US
Printers in Chicago concentrate on commercial
printing - time-tables, etc., and consequent high
cost of printing leads books to be published in
New York.
Innis, Idea File, 16-13 (1952)
1952
US
Absence of copyright meant emphasis on speed
of manufacturing - printing books from England
rapidly and building of technical plant with neglect
of native writing. Probably explains difficulties of
Harpers after copyright act - had neglected
American writing.
Innis, Idea File, 15-40 (1952)
1952
UK
Were long novels of Dickens result of small type,
i.e. newspapers and stamp taxes?
Innis, Idea File, 17-3- (1952)
1952
UK
How far booksellers interested in magazines as
means of advertising books, i.e. Gentleman's
Magazine 1731 started partly to compete with
Wilford's Catalogue and London Magazine
started 1732 by bookseller to carry Wilford's
notices of books i.e. rise of magazine from
bookseller's catalogue? Significance of
advertising to improvements in communication -
large-scale technological changes undertaken at
a loss because of advertising value of the change
in itself and cumulative increase in business with
advertising for the sake of association with
change [Note: the idea that being involved in
change is a form of advertising is interesting. -
SM]
Innis, Idea File, 26-22 (1952)
1952
International
Publishers have low view of knowledge of
reviewers and place in their hands either by an
elaborate jacket or detailed information the views
which they expect the viewer to accept.
Innis, Idea File, 8-27 (1952)
1952
International
Publisher interprets price or decides on price at
which books will sell which determines character
of requests to printer, i.e. publishers [are] part of
price system. Significance of paper cover and
uncut pages in Europe - makes possible system
of sending out books for sale or return to
bookseller - English books affected by library.
Innis, Idea File, 27-30 (1952)
1952
International
Printing industry sucks everything out of past, i.e.
Romantic movement in Germany - particularly
after long periods of stagnation - pumps up
material from the bottom.
Innis, Idea File, 16-75 (1952)
1952
International
How far clash of written language with oral
creates symbolism? Cassirer claims Akkadian
attempt to understand Sumerian written
characters led to understanding of meaning of
abstract symbolism and a discovery of symbolic
algebra by Babylonians - was this also true of
Greece and Mycenae, Rome and Etruscans,
French and Normans?
Innis, Idea File, 5-8 (1952)
1951
Italy
The attack of Savonarola was based on the book
and it was symbolic of an end of a period that
Michelangelo should have designed the Vatican
library.
Innis, Bias of Communication, P. 127 (1951)
17 Jun 1950
Germany
17th June, 1950 marked the start of a small
revolution in German publishing. Publisher Ernst
Rowohlt began mass production of paperbacks,
a novelty in a market where literature was
synonymous with expensive and intricately-bound
hardcover books. "We've got to get something
back in the hands of German readers," said
Rowohlt's son Heinrich Maria Ledig-Rowohlt,
who introduced his father to the idea of
publishing serious literature at reasonable prices,
without sacrificing the books' aesthetic appeal.
Their strategy was a hit in the post-war market,
where money was scarce and many basics like
books had been destroyed in the war. At the
price of 1.5 German marks, a million books with
Rowohlt's 'rororo' insignia had been sold by
1951. Among the first editions were Hans
Fallada's Little Man, What Now?, Graham
Green's The End of the Affair, Rudyard Kipling's
Jungle Book and Kurt Tucholsky's Gripsholm
Castle.
http://www.german-
info.com/press_shownews.php?pid=2718
December 2010
1949
Canada
Harlequin was founded in 1949 by Richard
Bonnycastle and immediately set about
publishing books in a wide array of genres
popular in the day - such as mysteries and
Westerns. It was not until the late 1950s when
Harlequin acquired Mills & Boon - a British
romance publisher - that Harlequin made its first
foray into the romance novel industry. But by the
mid-1960s Harlequin had made a decision to
focus solely on the publication of the Harlequin
romance fiction novel - based on the enormous
popularity of the books (and a not-so-gentle
nudging from Bonnycastle's wife Mary).
http://www.articlesbase.com/womens-issues-
articles/the-history-of-the-harlequin-romance-
novel-123403.html December 2010
1948
US
In 1948 Kurt Enoch finally bought out Lane and
renamed American Penguin The New American
Library of World Literature or NAL for short. To
distribute the new line Enoch turned to pulp
magazine publisher Fawcett, whose fame was in
Popular Science, Popular Mechanics. He
insisted on a non-compete agreement---that is,
Fawcett had to promise not to issue its own
paperbacks as long it distributed NAL
paperbacks.
http://paperbarn.www1.50megs.com/Paperb
acks/msg7.htm December 2010
1944
US
In 1944, Marshall Field III purchased Simon and
Schuster and Pocket Books. This gave him a first
edition hardback publisher and the leading
reprint paperback publisher. To have a vertical
monopoly, he needed only one of the cheap
hardback reprint houses, and he had the money
to go after its leader, Grosset and Dunlap.
Bennett Cerf at Random House, seeing the
publishing power Field would hold, moved quickly
to block the purchase of G&D. Lacking the funds
himself, he organized other mainstream
publishers, Little, Brown, Harpers, Scribners,
World Book Encyclopedia, and Book-of-the-
Month Club, to pool enough money to make a
higher offer to G&D. Donald Grosset (who had
turned down Robert Fair deGraff out of fear of
losing control of his family business), accepted
the offer immediately without giving Field a
chance to counter.
http://paperbarn.www1.50megs.com/Paperb
acks/msg7.htm December 2010
1944
International
Stefannson claimed sale of enormous numbers
of Forever Amber weakened Macmillans as in
ration period very little paper was left for other
publications and list neglected. [Note: Forever
Amber was a romance novel published in 1944
by Kathleen Winsor set in 17th-century England. It
was made into a film by 20th Century Fox in
1947.]
Innis, Idea File, 15-71 (1952)
1943
US
Armed Services Editions of books published for
American troops.
http://www.mediahistory.umn.edu September
2007
1942
US
The New York Times Book Review did not get
around to publishing its own bestseller list as a
regular, weekly feature until 1942.
Korda, Making, P. xvii
1942
US
Jim Kepner begins collecting gay-themed books
that will become the basis of the International Gay
and Lesbian Archives. A pioneer in gay historical
scholarship, Kepner becomes a major figure in
the fledgling Mattachine Society and One Inc.
during the 1950s.
http://www.ncsu.edu/stud_affairs/glbt/pdfs/Ti
melineomplete-Updated.pdf
January 2011
1939
Martinique
With the publication of Return to My Native Land
(1939) Aimé Cesaire explained négritude (black
consciousness of Africa and its West Indian
diaspora) to the rest of the world.
http://www.everyculture.com/Ma-
Ni/Martinique.html May 2011
1937
UK
In 1937 Penguin moved to new offices and a
warehouse at Harmondsworth, near the future
Heathrow Airport, and began to expand. 1937
also saw the launch of the Penguin Shakespeare
series and the Pelican imprint - original non-
fiction books on contemporary issues - and the
appearance of a book-dispensing machine at
Charing Cross called the Penguincubator.
http://www.penguin.co.uk/static/cs/uk/0/about
us/aboutpenguin_companyhistory.html
December 2010
1936
UK
Penguin became a separate company in 1936
and set up premises in the Crypt of the Holy
Trinity Church on Marylebone Road, using a
fairground slide to receive deliveries from the
street above. Within twelve months, it had sold a
staggering 3 million paperbacks. Traditional
publishers tended to view Penguin with suspicion
and uncertainty, as did some authors.
http://www.penguin.co.uk/static/cs/uk/0/about
us/aboutpenguin_companyhistory.html
December 2010
30 Jul 1935
UK
The first Penguin book was published in England
and started the paperback revolution. The
sixpenny books [same price as a packet of
cigarettes at the time] made a first blow to the
library system. [Note: library system implies very
high prices. In the first year, Penguin sold 3 million
paperbacks. They were sold in railways stations
and tobacconists as well as bookstores. - SM]
http://timelines.ws October 2008
1935
Germany
Paperbacks found a new niche in the German
market of the 50s, but the idea to produce
portable, inexpensive literature began nearly two
decades earlier with German entrepreneur Kurt
Enoch. His idea to expand the market by
publishing paperbacks was cut short by the rise
of Nazism, and he fled the country for France in
1935. {Note: and then to the US. - SM]
http://nfo.com/press_shownews.php?
pid=2718 December
1934
Russia
At the First Congress of Soviet Writers, held in
1934, the official Soviet aesthetic was declared
binding and normative. The Party's
representative, Andrey Zhdanov, declared that
socialist realism was now the common aesthetic
of all Soviet writers.
Maes, History, P. 255
1930
US
The Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook sells
the first of 15,000,000 copies.
http://www.mediahistory.umn.edu June 2008
1930
International
The Objectivist poets were a loose-knit group of
second-generation Modernists who emerged in
the 1930s. They were mainly American and were
influenced by Ezra Pound, William Carlos
Williams, and Gertrude Stein. The core group
consisted of Louis Zukofsky, Charles Reznikoff,
George Oppen and Carl Rakosi. The British poet
Basil Bunting was also associated with the group,
and later Lorine Niedecker became involved. The
basic tenets of Objectivist poetics were to treat
the poem as an object and to emphasize sincerity,
intelligence, and the poet's ability to look clearly at
the world. The first appearance of the group was
in a special issue of Poetry magazine edited by
Zukofsky in February 1931. This was followed by
An Objectivist Anthology in 1932. It appears that
the term Objectivist may have been used because
Harriet Monroe, the editor of Poetry, insisted on a
group name. Zukofsky, Reznikoff, and Oppen went
on to form the Objectivist Press to publish books
by themselves and by Williams. Although
neglected by the critics until the 1960s, the
Objectivists were to prove highly influential.
http://www.fact-
index.com/o/ob/objectivist_poets.html
December 2010
1930
China
In the 1930s 80 percent of the Chinese
publishing industry was in Shanghai, and there
were over 200 publishers.
http://www.shanghaiguide.org/Shanghai-
History-in-Spirit-1618.html March 2011
1929
US
New York publisher Covici-Friede is convicted of
obscenity for publishing Radclyffe Hall's lesbian
novel The well of Loneliness. The conviction is
later appealed and overturned.
http://www.ncsu.edu/stud_affairs/glbt/pdfs/Ti
melineomplete-Updated.pdf
January 2011
1925
Russia
Romani (Gypsy) writers union is founded in
Soviet Union then is suppressed.
http://www.mediahistory.umn.edu May 2009
1923
Germany
Bärenreiter is a German music publisher which
was founded in Augsburg in 1923 but was based
in Kassel since 1927.
Oxford Companion to Music
1920
Japan
Japan became the world's second largest book-
publishing nation.
http://www.mediahistory.umn.edu April 2007
16 Jan 1914
Russia
Maxim Gorky was authorized to return to Russia
after an eight year exile for political dissidence.
http://timelines.ws November 2008
1913
Germany
In Germany some 30,000 new books are
published -- a number not reached again until
1967 in the Federal Republic of Germany
http://www. missouriwestern.edu/
orgs/germanclub/timeline.htm July 2007
1910
France
Le Divan bookstore was founded in the Left Bank
of Paris. It was put up for sale in 1996 by its
owners, the Gallimard publishing house.
http://timelines.ws November 2006
1906
Germany
The first gay periodical Der Eigene was
published.
http://timelines.ws January 2007
1886
US
One-third of all books published in the US were
cheap paperbacks.
http://www.mediahistory.umn.edu May 2009
1874
US
Beadle Dime Novels began a steady decline in
popularity around 1874, considered bankruptcy
several times in the 1880's and 1890's, changed
ownership at least three times but managed to
continuing publishing in one form or another until
1937.
http://paperbarn.www1.50megs.com/Paperb
acks/msg2.htm December 2010
1873
US
In 1873 the "New York Tribune" revived the
practice of the late 1830's of offering paperbound
quarto-sized books as "extras" for ten cents and
full-length novels by foreign authors---to avoid
having to pay royalties---in a 7x5 magazine
format for twenty cents each. And as had
happened in the 1830's the books found an
enthusiastic market. Soon not only newspapers
but mainstream publishers followed suit.
http://paperbarn.www1.50megs.com/Paperb
acks/msg2.htm December 2010
1869
France
The Durand firm of music publishers was
founded in Paris.
Oxford Companion to Music.
1865
Kazan
In the year of the opening of the Kazan Public
Library (1865), various presses in Kazan city
printed 34 Tatar books.
http://aboutkazan.com/tatar-people-book-
printing-history.shtml
1860
US
In late 1860 the Beadle Brothers issued in an
unusually small, 4 3/8 x 6 1/2, 96 page format a
paper bound novel reprinted from a magazine
serial titled Malaeska: Indian Wife of the White
Hunter by Mrs. Ann S. Stephens. The subject
matter was almost identical to that of the more
popular chapbooks. Other magazine reprints in
the same Beadle Brothers style soon followed.
Identified as "dime novels" because of their price
they were intended for travellers but with the
outbreak of the Civil War the books found a new
market among soldiers.
http://paperbarn.www1.50megs.com/Paperb
acks/msg2.htm December 2010
1843
US
Regular book publishers alarmed by the obvious
threat to the traditional book [presented by
paperback books] appealed to Congress for
legislation to outlaw paperbound books. They
were joined by preachers and citizens concerned
with the ever more sensational content. In 1843
Congress responded by increasing postal rates
for all publications with book inserts and for
paperbound books.
http://paperbarn.www1.50megs.com/Paperb
acks/msg2.htm December 2010
1841
Germany
The first paperbacks published by Tauchnitz
Verlag Germany.
http://www.ciolek.com/GLOBAL/1800.html#1
800s August 2010
Jun 1840
US
Park Benjamin issued a full length novel. Charles
O'Malley is technically speaking, the first
paperbound full-length novel published in
America. Again, Benjamin proved the midas
touch; he received over 15,000 orders.
http://paperbarn.www1.50megs.com/Paperb
acks/msg2.htm December 2010
1839
Mexico
Juan Pablos set up the first movable type printer
in Mexico.
New Columbia Encyclopedia.
1839
France
Stendhal, Marie-Henri Beyle, wrote his novel
"Charterhouse of Parma" in 52 days. A first
edition from the library of Marie Louise, 2nd wife
of Napoleon, sold for $157,310 in 1999.
Timelines.ws October 2008
1836
UK
With the success of Pickwick Papers, first
published in 1836 as a serial, it became clear
that the market for books could be increased
when they were sold in monthly installments. The
greater demand, coupled with the reduction in
printing costs meant that it was possible to
supply the new market at a lower per-book cost.
http://vichist.blogspot.com/2008/11/penny-
dreadfuls.html December 2010
1835
Germany
Karl Baedeker (1801-1859), German publisher,
published "Travel on the Rhine." It was later
widely considered as the first modern guidebook.
Timelines.ws September 2007
1835
Germany
Carl Bertelsmann founded the Bertelsmann firm
in Germany. In 2004 it was Europe's largest
media company. Reinhard Mohn, his great, great,
grandson, built it into a global media company
after the Second World War.
Timelines.ws October 2007
08 Feb 1828
France
French author Jules Verne (d.1905) was born. He
is considered the father of science fiction.
http://timelines.ws October 2007
1825
France
Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin (1755-1826),
French lawyer and professor, invented the genre
of food writing with his book "The Physiology of
Taste."
Timelines.ws September 2007
1808
Brazil
The printing of books only began in 1808 when
the Portuguese royal family on the run from
Napoleon, established court in Rio de Janeiro,
bringing with them their own printing press.
http://www.emeraldinsight.com/librarians/ma
nagement/viewpoints/brazil.htm June 2011
1801
Germany
Friedrich von Hardenberg (b.1772), German poet
(Novalis), died. He was later known as the father
of German romantic nationalism.
http://timelines.ws September 2007
1800
UK
Wordsworth's Lyrical Ballads will be the
manifesto of the Romantic Movement.
http://www.mediahistory.umn.edu July 2007
1800
Kazan
In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Kazan
city was one of the most important centers of
publishing in the world. The works of Tatar
authors which were published in Kazan city in
Arabic, Turkish and Farsi were distributed widely
in Central Asia, and could be found in India,
Chinese Turkistan, Turkey, Persia, Afghanistan
and the Near East.
aboutkazan.com/tatar-people-book-printing-
history.shtml July 2010
1800
Japan
In Japan, haiku verse form gains popularity.
http://www.mediahistory.umn.edu July 2007
1800
International
Publishing of music, complete with notation,
became an industry by about 1800 when a
number of firms in both America and Europe
rolled out their presses to print both serious and
popular music. This explosion was probably a
direct result of the Industrial Revolution that gave
rise to the middle class and allowed individuals
more leisure time and money to spend on pianos
for their homes, instruments for the town band,
and attendance at the symphony. Composers
were motivated to create when, during the
nineteenth century, musicians began to pay for
the privilege of performing the writer's music.
http://www.madehow.com/Volume-5/Sheet-
Music.html December 2010
1800
International
Heavy cost of cloth-bound library book -
monopoly choking spread of information and
consequently exploited by paper covered books.
[1800s]
Innis, Idea File, 27-89 (1952)
1800
Africa
In West Africa, the emir of Gwandu writes
religious poetry.
http://www.mediahistory.umn.edu July 2007
Jun 1797
UK
Hatchards bookstore on Piccadilly was founded.
Timelines.ws September 2007
1797
UK
Victorian England brought about publishing
companies targeting women for marketing for the
first time. In 1797 Jane Austen wrote Pride and
Prejudice and turned the tide of romance fiction.
Now there were smaller sub-genres in the greater
romance fiction genre. Jane Austen brought
regency romance into the mix, with her witty
female protagonists, tales following the
quintessential romance formula and plotlines set
in the social circles of regency England.
http://www.suite101.com/content/the-history-
of-romance-fiction-a263130#ixzz1889FjIlx
December 2010
1795
UK
James Boswell (54), friend and biographer of
Samuel Johnson, died. His 1791 biography, the
Life of Samuel Johnson,” changed the way
biographies were written by its emphasis on
character and careful research.
Timelines.ws August 2006
1794
UK
In 1794 Anne Radcliffe brought gothic romances
alive. Men and women alike read romances by
this great author. The Mysteries of Udolpho,
perhaps her most famous tale, had a brief cameo
in Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey.
http://www.suite101.com/content/the-history-
of-romance-fiction-a263130#ixzz1889FjIlx
December 2010
1786
France
Nicolas-Edme Restif de la Bretonne began
writing in a new genre, the night-time prowl. His
"Les Nuits de Paris ou Le Spectateur nocturne"
was a rambling account of 1,001 nights
wandering the streets of Paris.
Timelines.ws August 2006
1783
US
One book they apparently always had time for
was Noah Webster's American Spelling Book,
for it sold 24 million copies between 1783 and
1843.
Postman, Amusing ourselves to death, P. 37
1776
US
Where such a keen taste for books prevailed
among the general population, we need not be
surprised that Thomas Paine's Common Sense,
published on January 10 1776 sold more than
100,000 copies by March.
Postman, Amusing Ourselves to death, P. 34
1776
Canada
Between the American Revolution of 1776 and
the rebellion of 1837, however, booksellers
appeared in all the major towns of the eastern
provinces, often supporting themselves by selling
stationary and dry goods.
Encyclopedia of Literature in Canada, P. 906
Sep 1765
France
Printing of Diderot's complete Encyclopedie was
finished despite unauthorized edits by Le Breton,
his chief publisher. The French government
prohibited distribution in Paris or near Versailles.
Timelines.ws April 2007
1764
UK
The term 'horror' first comes into play with Horace
Walpole's 1764 novel The Castle of Otranto full of
supernatural shocks and mysterious melodrama.
Although rather a stilted tale it started a craze,
spawning many imitators in what we today call
the gothic mode of writing.
http://www.horrorfilmhistory.com/index.php?
pageID=early December 2010
23 Oct 1760
US
The first Jewish prayer books were printed in US.
http://timelines.ws May 2011
28 Nov 1757
UK
William Blake (1757-1827), English artist-printer,
was born in London. His last book was
"Jerusalem," of which he made only five copies.
Timelines.ws April 2007
28 Jul 1751
France
In France the first volume of the Encyclopedie,
edited by Diderot and D'Alembert, was published
with a print run of 1,625.
Timelines.ws April 2007
1751
France
Voltaire published "Micromegas" in which he
mentioned "aliens from outer space." This is
believed to be the first mention of such aliens in
literature.
http://timelines.ws April 2007
1750
Germany
The book fair at Frankfurt fails. The catalogue
lists only 42 German, 23 Latin and 7 French titles,
while 1,350 titles are published in the Germanic
provinces alone.
http://www.csulb.edu April 2007
1719
Germany
Breitkopf & Härtel, a Ferman firm of music
printers and publishers was founded in Leipzig
by the printer Bernhard Christoph Breitkopf.
Oxford Companion to Music
20 Aug 1667
UK
John Milton's Paradise Lost. He is paid Ł10.
http://www.mediahistory.umn.edu April 2007
1632
Germany
The Leipzig Book Fair became the largest book
fair in Germany in 1632 when it topped the fair in
Frankfurt am Main in the number of books
presented. It remained on top until 1945 when
Frankfurt surpassed it to regain the number one
spot.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leipzig_Book_F
air August 2010
09 Aug 1631
UK
John Dryden, the first official poet laureate of
Great Britain (1668-1700), was born.
http://timelines.ws April 2007
1600
Spain
Around 18,000 editions were printed in Spain in
the course of the sixteenth century. Despite this
the book-reading communities of Spain
remained heavily dependent on import for works
in scholarly languages.
Pettegree, Book, P. 261
1600
France
French printers turned out over 250 editions of
Plutarch's writing in various combination during
the sixteenth century.
Pettegree, Book, P. 227
1595
UK
Bookseller and bibliographer Andrew Maunsell
publishes The First Part [the Seconde Parte] of
the Catalogue of English printed Bookes.
http://www.historyofscience.com/G2I/timeline
July 2009
1593
Philippines
Need and urgency made them use the
xylographic method to produce the first printed
book in the Philippines in 1593, the Doctrina
Christiana. Printing skills were borrowed largely
from China, and the first printer was a Chinese
convert named Juan de Vera.
http://archive.ifla.org/IV/ifla65/papers/039-
138e.htm June 2012
22 Jan 1575
UK
English Queen Elizabeth I granted Thomas Tallis
and William Byrd a music press monopoly.
http://timelines.ws September 2006
1569
France
In 1569 angry Parisians had ransacked the
bookshops of known Protestant sympathisers.
Pettegree, Book, P. 253
1565
Italy
Gabriel Giolito [of Venice] had [branch]
bookstores in Ferrara, Bologna and Naples in
1565.
Pettegree, Book, P. 254
1564
Germany
Georg Willer, a bookseller in Augsburg, issues
the first catalogue of the Frankfurt Book Fair. This
is the first comprehensive book catalogue issued
in Germany. The quarto pamphlet of 10 leaves
lists 256 books under the title of Novorum
Librorum quos Nundinae Atumnales, Francoforti
Anno 1564 celebratae, Venales Exhibuerent.
http://www.historyofscience.com/G2I/timeline
August 2009
1557
UK
Richard Tottel edited "Songes and Sonnettes,"
later referred to as "Tottle's Miscellany." This
came to be regarded as the first important
anthology of English verse.
http://timelines.ws September 2006
1556
Mexico
Brother Juan Diez The Sumario Compendioso
was the earliest treatise on mathematics
published in the western hemisphere a
companion of Hernando Cortčs (Hernán) in the
conquest of New Spain, publishes the Sumario
Compendioso in Mexico City at the press of Juan
Pablos. and also the first textbook on any subject
besides religious instruction to be printed outside
of Europe.
http://www.historyofscience.com/G2I/timeline
August 2010
1550
Germany
Even though Luther died in 1546, in the second
half of the sixteenth century, Wittenberg retained
its position as the largest centre of production of
books in the German Empire.
Pettegree, Book, P. 91
1546
UK
The first Welsh book, "Yny Lhyvyr Mwnn," was
printed.
http://timelines.ws April 2007
1542
Germany
Preaching activity left a considerable footprint in
published texts. Between 1542 and 1565 the
minister of Joachimstal, Johannes Mathesius, is
reckoned to have preached 5,000 sermons; of
these 1,500 were published.
Pettegree, Book, P. 223
1539
France
In Lyon printers went on strike against long hours,
poor conditions and excessive profits by
masters.
http://timelines.ws April 2007
1538
UK
Henry VIII (1491-1547) and his successors
issued more and more proclamations against
heretical or seditious books. The most important
was issued in 1538 against “naughty printed
books,” which made it necessary to secure a
license from the Privy Council or 'the Star
Chamber' of the King before printing or
distributing any book.
http://www.culturaleconomics. atfreeweb
June 2008
1520
Germany
All told, Germany's printing presses published
around 2,000 hymn editions between 1520 and
1600, a total os some two million copies.
Pettegree, Book, P. 224
1508
Scotland
When two Edinburgh tradesmen, Walter
Chapman and Andrew Myller, undertook to bring
print to the Scottish capital in 1508 they found the
necessary equipment and technical expertise in
Rouen in Normandy.
Pettegree, Book, P. 263
1502
Germany
The first printing press was established in 1502
in Wittenberg, shortly after the inauguration of the
new university.
Pettegree, Book, P. 92
1500
Russia
The first Russian book printed was the 15th
century "Apostle."
http://timelines.ws April 2007
1500
Italy
In the fifteenth century Venice published three
times as many books as Rome, and five times as
many as in Florence.
Pettegree, Book, P. 254
1500
Europe
By year 1500 estimated 30,000 titles were
printed (250-1000 copies each) since
Gutenberg's first printed book in 1455.
http://www.ciolek.com/GLOBAL/1000.html#1
000s June 2008
1500
Europe
By 1500, there are around 1,000 printers'
workshops in Europe. Output to that point had
been 20m copies of 35,000 titles.
http://www.terramedia.co.uk July 2008
1490
International
Effect of movies on books - apparently more
books sold up to time of appearance of movie
but after appearance of movie sales fall off
sharply - people no longer interested.
Innis, Idea File, 5-31 (1952
1475
Poland
In 1475 Kasper Elyan of Glogau (G?ogów) set up
a printing shop in Breslau (Wroc?aw), Silesia.
Twenty years later, the first Cyrillic printing house
was founded at Kraków by Schweipolt Fiol for
Eastern Orthodox Church hierarchs.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polish_literature
May 2011
1473
UK
The book "Recuyell of the Historyes of Troye"
was translated and printed from the French by
William Caxton. A copy sold in 1998 for $1.2
million. [1473-74]
http://timelines.ws April 2007
1473
France
In 1473-74 French publishers opened up a
market in abridged bibles, concentrating on the
exciting stories and leaving out the more knotty
doctrinal passages, and this remained a
profitable enterprise until the mid-sixteenth
century.
MacCullooch, Reformation, P. 73
1470
Poland
In the early 1470s one of the first printing houses
in Poland was set up by Kasper Straube in
Kraków.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polish_literature
May 2011
1470
France
The first book printed in France was an ornate
ninth-century transcript produced for the
grandson of Charlemagne. It is held by the
Bibliothčque Nationale de France.
http://timelines.ws March 2007
1466
Europe
Between 1466 and 1522 there were twenty-two
editions of the Bible in High or Low German; it
reached Italian in 1471, Dutch in 1477, Spanish
in 1478, Czech around the same time and
Catalan in 1492.
MacCullooch, Reformation, P. 73
1450
Europe
During the first half century of printing 1450-1500,
the majority of printed books were renderings of
Greek and Latin works, previously available only
in manuscripts... From this point on, published
works in the national languages... were in the
majority.
http://timelines.ws September 2009
1400
Malta
The earliest known written literary work in
Maltese is a poem entitled Cantilena which was
composed in the fifteenth century.
http://www.everyculture.com/Ma-Ni/Malta.html
May 2011
14 Sep 1321
Italy
Dante Alighieri, author of the "Divine Comedy,"
died of malaria just hours after finishing writing
"Paradiso." The poem was completed in Italian
rather than Latin. It helped make Italian the
dominant linguistic force in European literature
for the next few centuries.
http://timelines.ws August 2009
1300
Belarus
The origins of Belarusian literature may be traced
to the times of The Kievan Rus. Its formative
period was during the fourteenth and fifteenth
centuries, and culminated in the sixteenth century
when Francisk Skaryna, a publisher, humanist,
scientist, and writer, published the first book-the
Bible-in Belarusian.
http://www.everyculture.com/A-
Bo/Belarus.html May 2011
08 Dec 1275
France
Date of the earliest surviving statute concerning
the regulation of the book trade in Paris by the
University. "Libraires [bookstores] represented a
serious potential danger to the university,
because they controlled the supply of books
without which the university would be crippled.
Therefore, the university's regulations of Libraires
concentrated first and foremost on the selling of
'used' university texts, attempting by a variety of
means to ensure that the Libraires did not
swindle either the seller or the buyer, and that he
took only a modest commission. The Libraires
had to guarantee their compliance by posting a
bond. . . "In addition to regulating the sale of
existing books, the university also regulated the
rental of exemplars from which students and
masters could copy, or hire someone to copy,
new manuscripts of their own. In this the university
initially must simply have put its stamp of
approval on a process already informally in
operation. To judge from the wording of surviving
regulations through the years, the university
evinced concern primarily with rental price and
correct texts. In 1323 the stationers were
forbidden to withdraw an exemplar from
circulation with first informing the university . . .
Richard A. Rouse and Mary A. Rouse,
Manuscripts and their Makers.Commercial
Book Producers in Medieval Paris 1200-
1500 [2000] 76-77.
(www.historyofscience.com/G2I/timeline/inde
x.php? category=Book+Trade November
2008)
1275
France
Universities demanded textbooks on a large
scale and by the end of the thirteenth century
monastic began to be replaced by lay scribes. In
1275 the University of Paris made provisions for
a group of copyists and calligraphy became the
concern of a corporation of copyists. Dialectical
discussion in class characteristic of a book age
declined with the increasing importance of the
authority of the textbook. The universities
favoured dictation and the preparation of a
number of copies in a short period. The effect of
textbooks on lectures was evident in a statute of
the University of Paris in 1355 against the
abuses of dictating word for word. The University
of Paris controlled the sale of parchment, fixed
the number of booksellers and copyists, and
regulated their activities in making, renting, and
selling books. The demands of universities and
lawyers were met by the development of a book
trade in theology, medicine, and law. It was
estimated that Paris had 10,000 copyists by the
middle of the fifteenth century.
Innis, Empire and Communication, P. 161
(1950)
1234
Korea
The transition from wood type to movable metal
type occurred in Korea during the Goryeo
Dynasty, sometime in the thirteenth century, to
meet the heavy demand for both religious and
secular books. A set of ritual books, Sangjeong
Gogeum Yemun were printed with movable metal
type in 1234.[31][page needed] The credit for the
first metal movable type may go to Choe Yun-ui
of the Goryeo Dynasty in 1234.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_typogr
aphy_in_East_Asia#Movable_type_in_Kore
a May 2011
1229
Bohemia
The Codex Gigas is completed by Herman the
Recluse in the Benedictine monastery of
Podlazice near Chrudim.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_religi
on Feb 2012
04 Apr 1228
Italy
The earliest dated evidence of the pecia system
of providing "certified texts" of manuscripts in
university bookstores is the Vercelli contract of
1228:
http://www.historyofscience.com/G2I/timeline
June 2010
1200
Thailand
The earliest Thai literature is that of the Sukhothai
period (13th to mid-14th century) survives chiefly
in inscriptions, which provide vivid accounts of
contemporary life. The first literary work must be
the Stone Inscription of King Ramkhamhaeng.
http://www.thailanguage.org/thai/literature.as
p March 2011
1200
Europe
Beginning around the year 1200 European
monasteries no longer remained the exclusive
purchasers of books, and manuscript book
production started moving from the exclusive
domain of monastic scriptoria to the secular
community. Intellectual life began to be
increasingly centered outside the monasteries at
the universities. There scholars, teachers and
students, in cooperation with artisans and
craftsmen, organized an active manuscript book
trade. By the second quarter of the 13th century a
much increased demand for books for individual
use encouraged the production of increasing
numbers of picture books. Illustrated accounts of
the lives of popular saints and other historical
characters were typical productions.
http://www.historyofscience.com/G2I/timeline/
index.php June 2010
1143
UK
Robert of Chester translates the Koran into Latin,
apparently the first to ever do this.
http://www.mediahistory.umn.edu June 2007
1100
Europe
In the 1100's the medieval French courts became
obsessed for the first time with the idea of what
we call courtly love. Instead of looking at
marriage as a business contract, people began
encouraging love in a relationship and focusing
more on passion, purity and the beauty of love.
Our first romances come from this period.
Wandering balladeers traveled the country side
spreading tales of courtly love and the idea
spread like wildfire throughout all Europe.
http://content/the-history-of-romance-fiction-
a263130#ixzz1889FjIlx December 2010
1067
China
The poet Wang An-shih campaigns to stem
widespread corruption in the administration and
the army. [Role of poet in creating moral
structure]
http://timelines.ws August 2006
1040
China
The world's first known movable type system for
printing was created in China around 1040 AD
by Bi Sheng (990–1051) [Note: role of the poet is
in part to influence behavior - moral arbiter. - SM]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Movable_type
August 2010
1000
Bulgaria
Bulgarian literature begins with the advent of
literacy in Old Church Slavonic (Old Bulgarian) in
the late-ninth century CE.
http://www.everyculture.com/Bo-
Co/Bulgaria.html May 2011
0990
Switzerland
A set of instructions on chess, the Versus de
Scachis (Poem about Chess), emerged in
Switzerland.
http://timelines.ws August 2006
0822
Germany
The Church, naturally, opposed the old heathen
songs and strove to supplant them by Christian
poems. Thus arose the Old Saxon epic, the
"Heliand," which was composed between 822
and 840 by an unknown poet, at the suggestion
of King Louis the Pious. It is written in Low
German and is the last great poem in alliterative
verse. The story of the Redeemer is here told
from a thoroughly German point of view, Christ
being conceived as a mild but powerful chief, and
His disciples as vassals or thanes.
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/06517a.ht
m March 2011
0768
Japan
In AD 768 in devoutly Buddhist Nara the empress
commissions a huge edition of a lucky charm or
prayer. It is said that the project takes six years to
complete and that the number of copies printed
for distribution to pilgrims is a million.
http://www.historyworld.net/wrldhis/PlainText
Histories.asp?historyid=ab78 May 2011
0720
Turkey
Turkish literature was the joint product of the
Turkish clans and was mostly oral. The oldest
known examples of Turkish writings are on
obelisks dating from the late 7th and early 8th
centuries. The Orhun monumental inscriptions
written in 720 for Tonyukuk, in 732 for Kültigin
and in 735 for Bilge Kagan are masterpieces of
Turkish literature with their subject matter and
perfect style. Turkish epics dating from those
times include the Yaratilis, Saka, Oguz-Kagan,
Göktürk, Uygur and Manas.
http://www.turkishculture.org/literature/literatur
e-473.htm March 2011
0650
Middle East
The verses of the Qur'an are compiled in the form
of a book in the era of Uthman RA, the third
Caliph of Islam.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_religi
on Feb 2012
0386
Israel
When Damasus died in 384, Jerome had to
leave Rome, because his outspoken, often harsh
criticism of Roman society created enemies. His
travels returned him to Antioch, then to
Alexandria, and finally to Bethlehem in 386,
where he settled in a monastery. There he
translated the Old and New Testaments into
Latin. This translation was recognized eleven
centuries later by the Council of Trent as the
official version of the Bible: the Vulgate.
http://www.tihof.org/honors/jerome.htm Feb
2012
0250
Mesopotamia
Some of the oldest parts of the Ginza Rba, a
core text of Mandaean Gnosticism, are written.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_religi
on Feb 2012
0180
Greece
Pausanius, traveler and geographer, wrote a
description of Greece which we have and it is, so
to speak, the first guide book known.
http://timelines.ws August 2006
0050 BCE
Roman Empire
Titus Pomponius Atticus (110-32 BCE), Roman
historian and a friend of Cicero, founds a
business by getting slaves to make copies of
books
http://www.ciolek.com/GLOBAL/early.html#1
st century BCE August 2010
0061 BCE
Roman Empire
The character of the book trade is illustrated in
the interests of Atticus, a friend of Cicero's, who
accumulated a large library from books collected
in Greece and became a publisher. In 61 BCE he
was criticizing a collection of Cicero's orations
which had been put in book form and by 56 BCE
apparently controlled Cicero's publications.
Slaves were trained as copyists, readers, and
librarians, and in 55 BCE he had a copying
establishment. The strihoi, a measurement of
fifteen or sixteen syllables, was apparently used
as a device for paying copyists as well as
making citation and in protecting purchasers.
Stichometry facilitated counting of the number of
lines and establishing of market prices for
manuscripts. The average rate of production for
copyists was 250 strihoi per hour. Private
libraries emerged and Vitruvuius advised that
'the sleeping rooms and libraries should face
towards the east for their utilization demands the
morning light; also the books in the library will not
decay.'
Innis, Empire, P. 120-21
0500 BCE
International
But there was still a basic problem: everything still
had to be copied. As McLuhan later put it, from
the fifth century BC to the fifteenth century AD the
book was a scribal product. Secular copyists
supplemented and even supplanted the monks,
but they were well organized in guilds: in France
their monopoly meant high prices, stimulating
attempts to produce at a lower cost, but in feudal
Germany they had less power. The answer was
printing. Again as Mumford showed before Innis
wrote, its origins were in the East: China not only
invented paper, but experimented with block
printing and movable type; Japan produced the
first known block prints; Korea first printed with
metal type cast from mould; India provided the
language and religion of the first block prints, and
from the Middle East people it reached the Near
East. The printing press and movable type were
finally perfected by Gutenberg and his assistants
in Mainz in the 1440s; within fifty years there were
over a thousand public printing presses in
Germany alone, and the art had spread - despite
all attempts at secrecy and monopoly - to Venice,
Florence, Paris, London, Lyons, Leipzig and
Frankfurt. As Innis pointed out, the alphabet-
based European languages lent themselves to
printing in small shops - a contrast with China
Hall, Cities, P. 509 (1998)
0800 BCE
India
Early Brahmanas are composed.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_religi
on Feb 2012
0950 BCE
Middle East
The Torah begins to be written, the core texts of
Judaism and foundation of later Abrahamic
religions.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_religi
on Feb 2012
2150 BCE
Sumer
The earliest surviving versions of the Sumerian
Epic of Gilgamesh (originally titled "He who Saw
the Deep" (Sha naqba imuru) or "Surpassing All
Other Kings" (Shutur eli sharri.) were written.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_religi
on Feb 2012
2400 BCE
India
In India, engraved seals identify the writer.
http://www.mediahistory.umn.edu August
2010
2494 BCE
Egypt
The first of the oldest surviving religious texts, the
Pyramid Texts, are composed in Ancient Egypt
(2494-2345 BCE)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_religi
on Feb 2012
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