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Learning by the book: manuals and handbooks in the history of science

Creager, ANH; Grote, M; Leong, E; (2020) Learning by the book: manuals and handbooks in the history of science. BJHS Themes , 5 pp. 1-13. 10.1017/bjt.2020.1. Green open access

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Abstract

<jats:title>Abstract</jats:title><jats:p>This essay offers an overview of how manuals and handbooks have contributed to the standardization, codification, transmission and revision of knowledge. These instructional and reference texts are distinct from related educational genres such as textbooks and editions due to their focus on practical knowledge. They are also notable for their appearance in diverse times and places, such as ancient Greece, early and medieval China and early modern Europe, as well as modern contexts worldwide. We are especially interested in the role of these often mundane texts in maintaining and resituating old knowledge, whose importance is discounted when scholars focus on innovation. Modern notions of authorship fit poorly with handbooks and manuals, which are generally derivative of other literature, though they often result in more commercially successful texts than their sources. This introduction draws on book history as well as history of science to offer a framework for the volume.</jats:p>

Type: Article
Title: Learning by the book: manuals and handbooks in the history of science
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1017/bjt.2020.1
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/bjt.2020.1
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author(s), 2020. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of British Society for the History of Science This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is unaltered and is properly cited. The written permission of Cambridge University Press must be obtained for commercial re-use or in order to create a derivative work.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of History
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10126299
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