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College of Professional and Global Education · School of Information

Seminar in Archives and Records Management - History of Books
INFO 284

  • Spring 2023
  • Sections 02, 14
  • 2 Unit(s)
  • 01/25/2023 to 03/22/2023
  • Modified 05/22/2023

Canvas Information: Courses will be available January 25th, 6 am PT.

You will be enrolled in the Canvas site automatically.

Contact Information

Dr. Linda Main
Office Hours: Contact by email

Course Information

This 2-unit class runs from January 25th-March 22nd 2023.

Course Description and Requisites

This class examines the role of the book and the library in expressing and fostering culture throughout history. It traces the development of the book through its many stages--cuneiform fragments, illuminated manuscripts, printed books, and electronic journals-and explores how the creation, use, and storage of information are affected by social and technological change. The development of early libraries and librarianship and how they have accommodated themselves to the changing form of the book will also be considered.


INFO 200, INFO 202, INFO 204, other prerequisites may be added depending on content.

Classroom Protocols


Students are expected to participate fully in all class activities. It is expected that students will be open-minded and participate fully in discussions in class and debate in a mature and respectful manner. Use of derogatory, condescending, or offensive language including profanity is prohibited. Disagreement is healthy and perfectly acceptable. Expressing disagreement should always include an explanation of your reasoning and, whenever possible, evidence to support your position. In accordance with San José State University's Policies, the Student Code of Conduct, and applicable state and federal laws, discrimination based on gender, gender identity, gender expression, race, nationality, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, or disability is prohibited in any form.

Program Information

Course Workload

Success in this course is based on the expectation that students will spend, for each unit of credit, a minimum of forty-five hours over the length of the course (normally 3 hours per unit per week with 1 of the hours used for lecture) for instruction or preparation/studying or course related activities including but not limited to internships, labs, clinical practica. Other course structures will have equivalent workload expectations as described in the syllabus.

Instructional time may include but is not limited to:
Working on posted modules or lessons prepared by the instructor; discussion forum interactions with the instructor and/or other students; making presentations and getting feedback from the instructor; attending office hours or other synchronous sessions with the instructor.

Student time outside of class:
In any seven-day period, a student is expected to be academically engaged through submitting an academic assignment; taking an exam or an interactive tutorial, or computer-assisted instruction; building websites, blogs, databases, social media presentations; attending a study group;contributing to an academic online discussion; writing papers; reading articles; conducting research; engaging in small group work.

Course Goals

Core Competencies (Program Learning Outcomes) Supported

INFO 284 supports the following core competencies:

  1. C Articulate the importance of designing programs and services supportive of diversity, inclusion, and equity for clientele and employees.
  2. F Use the basic concepts and principles related to the selection, evaluation, organization, and preservation of physical and digital information items.

Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs)

Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to:

  1. Describe the evolution of graphic communication symbols, and identify alphabetic and ideographic systems in use in various parts of the world.
  2. Exhibit familiarity with the materials and methods of book production in various parts of the world from the manuscript era to the present.
  3. Analyze aspects of external forces—social, economic, political, religious, and artistic—that have affected the content and appearance of books in several specific parts of the world.
  4. Identify and discuss economic problems that have shaped methods of publishing and distributing books.
  5. Attribute major technical and artistic developments in typography, book design, and book production to persons and nations originating these developments.

Course Materials


No Textbooks For This Course.

Course Requirements and Assignments

Note: All work will be of graduate standard. This means:

  • No assignments submitted after the due date and time
  • Spelling, grammatical, and syntactical errors will not be allowed

Late assignments will not be accepted. If you have an illness (medical certificate supplied) or a family tragedy, please contact the instructor.

  • Manuscript Study. Each student will select a manuscript to research and study. Criteria will be provided to guide the research. The results of the study will be presented via a Web site built on a WordPress blog dedicated to the class. It is due by 4 pm on the 15th February Pacific time. CLOs 1-5
  • Printed Book Study. Each student will select a printed book (pre-1900) to research and study. Criteria will be provided to guide the research. The results of the study will be presented via a Web site built on a WordPress blog dedicated to the class. It is due by 4 pm on the 8th March Pacific time. CLOs 1-5
  • Exhibit Presentation. Students will be given a list of items/objects drawn from each period covered in the course. They will locate examples of the items and build a small exhibit. It is due by 4 pm on the 22nd of March Pacific time CLOs 1-5
  • Weekly Activities You will be assigned six weekly activities using Quia web to illustrate your ability to present information in different formats. CLOs 1-5


No rounding up of points

MSS Project 30 points
Printed Book Project 30 points
Exhibit 28 points
Weekly Activities 12 points

Grading Information

The standard SJSU School of Information Grading Scale is utilized for all iSchool courses:

97 to 100A
94 to 96A minus
91 to 93B plus
88 to 90B
85 to 87B minus
82 to 84C plus
79 to 81C
76 to 78C minus
73 to 75D plus
70 to 72D
67 to 69D minus
Below 67F


In order to provide consistent guidelines for assessment for graduate level work in the School, these terms are applied to letter grades:

  • C represents Adequate work; a grade of "C" counts for credit for the course;
  • B represents Good work; a grade of "B" clearly meets the standards for graduate level work or undergraduate (for BS-ISDA);
    For core courses in the MLIS program (not MARA, Informatics, BS-ISDA) — INFO 200, INFO 202, INFO 204 — the iSchool requires that students earn a B in the course. If the grade is less than B (B- or lower) after the first attempt you will be placed on administrative probation. You must repeat the class if you wish to stay in the program. If - on the second attempt - you do not pass the class with a grade of B or better (not B- but B) you will be disqualified.
  • A represents Exceptional work; a grade of "A" will be assigned for outstanding work only.

Graduate Students are advised that it is their responsibility to maintain a 3.0 Grade Point Average (GPA). Undergraduates must maintain a 2.0 Grade Point Average (GPA).

University Policies

Per University Policy S16-9 (PDF), relevant university policy concerning all courses, such as student responsibilities, academic integrity, accommodations, dropping and adding, consent for recording of class, etc. and available student services (e.g. learning assistance, counseling, and other resources) are listed on the Syllabus Information web page. Make sure to visit this page to review and be aware of these university policies and resources.

Course Schedule

(All times are Pacific)

  • First Weekly Activity set 25th January; due 1st February by 4 pm
  • Second Weekly Activity set 1st February due 8th February by 4 pm
  • Third Weekly Activity set 8th February; due 15th February by 4 pm
  • Manuscript Project due by 4 pm on 15th February
  • Fourth Weekly Activity set 15th February due 22nd February by 4 pm
  • Fifth Weekly Activity set 22nd February due 1st March by 4 pm
  • Sixth Weekly Activity set 1st March; due 8th March by 4 pm
  • Printed book project due by 4 pm on 8th March
  • Exhibit Presentation due by 4 pm on 22nd March