The Yale Program in the History of the Book brings together an interdisciplinary community of scholars to explore the materiality of the written word over time and across cultures. Co-sponsored by Yale’s Department of English and Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, the Program hosts a series of discussions and events relating to the many fields of book history, and co-organizes the annual Harvard-Yale Graduate Conference in Book History. We also organize the Book History Seminar Series, a workshop and reading group for Yale graduate students.

The Program is convened by Kathryn James (Curator for Early Modern Books & Manuscripts and the Osborn Collection, Beinecke Library) and David Scott Kastan (George M. Bodman Professor of English, Yale Department of English).   This year, we are happy to welcome Ben Card, Alana Edmondson, Caitlin Hubbard, and Colton Valentine from the Yale English Department as the Program’s graduate organizers.  

Due to the pandemic, the 2020-2021 program will be held online.  For this year’s schedule, please see Events

Questions?  Please contact  Kathryn James. You can also find us on Twitter, where we post updates and sometimes live tweet our events (@yalebookhistory), and you can listen to podcasts of some of our lectures on iTunes and SoundCloud.


October 1, 2020
Learn to read early modern English manuscripts with this online introduction, drawing on a 17th-century student’s penmanship notebook.  “Secretary hand” is the name for...
October 1, 2020
This detail of “Yellows, organic,” shows green buckthorn berries above three examples of their use in yellow lake pigments.   This detailed examination of the sources of...
October 1, 2020
Medieval and early modern books are also herds and flocks, bound in and written or printed on the processed skins of goats, sheep, cows, pigs, and other animals.  In this...