An Alternative History of Print: Women Printers in Europe and America
This presentation is part of a virtual series hosted by the Friends of the Library and initiated by the Library Board of Advocates to share the wonders of the University Library at Illinois.
A Special Presentation by
Dr. Cait Coker
Curator of Rare Books and Manuscripts
Women have been printing alongside men since the invention of the printing press, but their stories have been comparatively neglected in narratives that focus on Gutenberg, Caxton, and Franklin. This presentation will look at books printed by women from the 15th through the 20th centuries: each volume tells a story of its era, while each of the women who created it likewise illustrates the state of the trades during her time period. By examining the material conditions of the book’s creation as well as the social history of how that book came to be, we can recover alternate histories of economic, technological, and literary production.
Dr. Cait Coker, associate professor and curator of Rare Books and Manuscripts at The Rare Book & Manuscript Library, is co-editor of the Women in Book History Bibliography (womensbookhistory.org) and the author of numerous articles and essays on the history of women in publishing and reading.