Tuesday, September 23, 4:10pm, Scheler Humanities Forum (Linderman 200)
Profiting from Learning: Selling Reference Books in Nineteenth-Century America
Today, Noah Webster is chiefly remembered as the compiler of America's most famous dictionary. But it was Webster's publishers, George and Charles Merriam, who took his over-priced, academic tome and turned it into a best seller. While early nineteenth-century dictionaries and encyclopedias were, for the most part, literary works designed for a learned audience, by the late nineteenth century, these books embraced popular culture and a wide readership. Publishers like the Merriams created a mass market for reference books, and in so doing, changed the way Americans thought about the pursuit of knowledge and information.
Presented by Annie Johnson, (Ph.D. in History, University of Southern California, 2014). Johnson is the new LTS CLIR Postdoctoral Fellow in the Humanities.
Light refreshments will be provided.
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