Virginia Reinburg teaches courses on the Reformation, witch beliefs and witch trials, and early printed books and their readers.

Since 2014 she has taught a course at the John J. Burns Library at Boston College called “Early Printed Books: History and Craft.” The topic of the course is the revolution in ideas, culture, and technology spurred by the expansion of the European printing industry beginning around 1450.

Throughout the course, students read about early modern printing, bookselling, and reading practices and apply their knowledge inside the classroom. They examine a variety of pre-1800 books housed in university archives and special collections. They also work with Barbara Adams Hebard in her book conservation lab, learning about tools, paper, leather, and vellum. Student curators arrange exhibits of materials created in the course for display in the O’Neill Library.

By the end of the semester, the class understands early printed books better for having reproduced some of the early book arts and technologies. The course culminates in an independent research project consisting of a research paper and blog post about one or more books from the Burns Library collections. 

For a photo gallery from the course, click here.