4406 entries. 94 themes. Last updated December 26, 2016.

Timeline Outline ViewEra: All Eras   |   Theme: Book Trade / Bookselling


Circa 1,550 BCE – 50 BCE
Detail from the Papyrus of Ani, showing Ani and his wife entering at left.  Please click to see complete image.
In Ancient Egypt Only the "Book of the Dead" Papyri Were Commercially Produced
Circa 450 BCEThe Beginnings of the Book Trade in Greece Circa 410 BCEPossible Libraries in Ancient Greece 399 BCE
A bust of Xenophon. (View Larger)
Export of Papyrus Rolls from Greece to the Euxine Coast
Circa 70 BCE
Marcus Tullius Cicero. (View Larger)
The Book Trade in Cicero's Rome
Circa 70 BCE – 100 CEDetails of the Roman Book Trade Circa 30 BCEBook Trade and Libraries in the Roman Empire Circa 150 CEA Door-to-Door Bookseller in Egypt, Second Century CE Circa 150 CECommercial and Private Book Trade in 2nd Century Egypt Circa 170 CELucian's Diatribe on the "Ignorant Book Collector" 330 CE – 1453The Decline of Literacy in the Byzantine Empire 330 CE – 1453The Limitations of Book Production and Book Trade in the Byzantine Empire Circa 350 CE – 825The Earliest Surviving Document of the Christian Book Trade and Stichometry Circa 380 CE
Vergilius Vaticanus
Herald of Christianity and Magus: One of the Oldest Surviving Illustrated…
Circa 400 CE
Page 215 of MS G.67, depicting the acts of the apostles. (View Larger)
"The Earliest Evidence for Tooling on a Leather Bookbinding"
Circa 400 CE – 600At the Beginning of the Dark Ages Production of New Manuscripts Essentially Ceased Circa 450 CE – 650The Church Assumes Role of Educator and Civil Service for the Tribal Kingdoms Circa 450 CE – 650The Church Replaces the Roman State as the Source of Order and Stability 529
St. Benedict. (Click to view larger.)
St. Benedict Founds the Abbey at Monte Cassino and Later Formulates his…
Circa 550
Several pages from te Codex Climaci Rescriptus. (View Larger)
The Earliest Manuscript of the New Testament in Christian Palestinian Aramaic
Circa 580 – 620
A folio from the Ashburnham Pentateuch depicting Cane and Abel. (View larger)
The Ashburnham Pentateuch
Circa 610 – 1200During the Middle Ages Book Production is Concentrated in Monasteries Circa 775
A page fromt he 'Canones concillorum,' written in both unical and miniscule.(View Larger)
"The Oldest Western European Codex in Private Hands" (As of 2009)
800 – 860"Mass Production" of Bibles at Tours: A "New" Development in Medieval Book Production Circa 830 – 860The "Moutier-Grandval Bible," a Masterpiece from the Scriptorium at Tours Circa 850
The frontispiece of a 1709 edition of De re coquinaria. (View Larger)
Apicius's De Re Coquinaria, the Earliest Surviving Cookbook
891Over 100 Booksellers and 30 Public Libraries in Baghdad Circa 950The Earliest Recorded Book Auction Circa 950The Archimedes Palimpsest: Recovering the Lost Mathematics of Archimedes Circa 961 – 976
A map of the Caliphate of Cordoba circa 1000CE. (View Larger)
A Vast Library at Cordoba in Al-Andalus
988 – 990The Earliest Universal Bibliography Circa 1170Origins of the Paris Book Trade Circa 1200
Detail of image depicting a monk at work in a medieval scriptorium (Lacroix).  Please click to view entire image.
Beginnings of an Active Book Trade in Europe Outside of Monasteries
April 4, 1228Introduction of the Pecia System Circa 1250The Most Extensive Medieval Encyclopedia December 8, 1275The Earliest Surviving Statute Regulating the Paris Book Trade Circa 1300Lay Readers and Book Owners by the End of the 14th Century Circa 1304 – 1340
Folio 323r of Codex Manesse: a portrait of Reinmar dictating poetry scribes, one of which bears a wax tablet. (View Larger)
The Use of Manuscript Rolls in the Middle Ages
1317 – 1342Prices that Booksellers Should Charge for Manuscripts Circa 1340The Oldest Known English Public Advertisement 1403
The seal of the Guild of Stationers.
The Guild of Stationers is Founded
Circa 1404 – 1438
Several pages from the indecipherable Voynich Manuscript. (View Larger)
The Voynich Manuscript: Uncrackable Code or Great Written Hoax? Progress…
Circa 1410 – 1430The Bedford Hours and its History Circa 1420 – 1470
An image of Moses from the Book of Leviticus: folio 141v of a manuscript bible produced in the workshop of the scribe Diebold Lauber. (View Larger)
Serial Workshop Production of Medieval Manuscripts
1440Vespasiano da Bisticci, Leading Bookseller of Florence Before the Era of Print March 12, 1455
An image of Pope Pius II in blessing, from a biographical fresco in the Cathedral Library of Siena. (View Larger)
"The Sale of a Printed Bible"
The Latin Bible printed by Johannes Mentelin in Strassbourg before 27 June 1466. ISTC No.: ib00624000.
Johannes Mentelin Issues the Second Printed Edition of the Bible
Circa 1463
Page from the first book printed in Italy. Click on the image to see the entire image.
"Passione di Cristo", the First Book Printed in Italy
June 1469 – September 1470
A portrait of Peter Schoffer.
Peter Schöffer Issues the Earliest Surviving Book List Issued by a Printer
September 1469
Portrait of Andrea Navagero Beazzano and Augustine by Raphael, 1516. (Click on image to view larger.)
Johannes de Spira Becomes the First Printer in Venice
1472Printers Sweynheym and Pannartz Request Financial Assistance from Pope Sixtus VI 1473 – 1474William Caxton Issues the First Book Printed in English 1476 – 1477Caxton Prints the First Book Advertisement in the English Language Circa 1485 – 1525Law Books Are the Leading Subject in Venetian Publishing April 22, 1488The First Complete Printed Hebrew Bible December 19 – December 29, 1488Gershom Soncino Sells the First Copy of His First Book February 15, 1493Columbus's Description of the New World: the First Eyewitness Report to Become a Bestseller; in 2016, Reports of a Theft and Forgery of a Copy of the Third Edition June 12 – December 23, 1493The Nuremberg Chronicle February 18, 1499The First Illustration of a Printing Office & Bookshop in a Printed Book Circa 1500 – 1520The Rothschild Prayerbook is Illuminated 1519 – 1523Daniel van Bomberghen, a Devout Christian, Issues the First Printed Edition of the Complete Babylonian Talmud 1522 – 1524Ludovico Vicentino degli Arrighi Issues the First Manual on Humanistic Cursive 1542
 Robert Estienne, 16th Century Parisian scholar and printer, issued the first book-form publisher's catalog of which any copies survive in 1542.
Robert Estienne Issues the First Surviving Publisher's Catalogue in Book…
Engraved portrait of Hernan Cortes by W. Holl and published by Charles Knight.
Brother Juan Diaz Publishes the First Treatise on Mathematics Published in the Western Hemisphere and the First Textbook on Any Subject Besides Religion Printed Outside of Europe
May 4, 1557Queen Mary & King Philip Concentrate the Entire Printing Business in the Members of the Stationers Company 1564Georg Willer Issues the First Catalogue of the Frankfurt Book Fair 1570Francisco Bravo Issues the First Medical Book Printed in the Western Hemisphere with the Earliest Illustrations of Plants Printed in the Western Hemisphere 1575 – 1578Discovering the Autograph Manuscript of William Bourne's Book on Military Inventions and Naval Tactics 1595Andrew Maunsell Issues the First "Books in Print" July 6, 1599Christophorus Guyot Issues the Earliest Surviving Catalogue of a Book Auction 1602Matteo Ricci Issues the First European-Style World Map in Chinese & the First Chinese Map to Show the Americas November 1609 – March 13, 1610Galileo Issues Images of Revolutionary Discoveries Concerning the Universe; and the Story of a Remarkable Forgery 1628Adriaan Vlacq Issues the First Complete Set of Modern Logarithms 1640Stephen Daye Issues the First Book Written & Printed in North America, North of Mexico 1664The Earliest Bibliography of Bibliographies 1674The World's Oldest Auction House is Founded 1675Laws of Book Production and the Book Trade 1676The First Bibliography of Rare Books October 31, 1676The First Book Auction in England 1688The First Attempt to Collect and Organize the Literature of Early Printing 1693The First Book Catalogue Published in America July – December 1706The Bigot Sale, the First Book Auction Conducted in Paris for Which a Catalogue was Printed 1709The Statute of Anne: The First Copyright Statute 1737 – 1738Thomas Osborne Issues "The British Librarian", the First Periodical Published in English on Rare Books & Manuscripts 1738Johan Adam Schmid Issues the First "Full-Fledged Antiquarian Bookseller's Catalogue" April 11, 1744Benjamin Franklin Issues the First American Trade Catalogues 1763 – 1782Bookseller Guillaume François de Bure Begins "Modern" Rare Book Cataloguing 1769 – 1794The French Book Trade in Enlightenment Europe 1777The Earliest Directory of the Book Trade? 1785John Pendred Issues the Earliest Directory of the Book Trade in England 1788The Beginnings of Papyrology 1790 – 1802André-Charles Caillot Issues a Bibliographical Guide to Antiquarian Bookselling and Collecting, with a Pioneering Exposition on Rarity 1793The "First Printer of National Liberty" Issues the Printing Manual for the French Revolution 1804 – 1805The First Practical Manual on Antiquarian Bookselling 1810 – 1865Brunet Compiles "Manuel du libraire," "The Best and Last of the General Rare Book Bibliographies" January 1815Congress Buys Thomas Jefferson's Library 1829The First Illustrated Antiquarian Bookseller's Catalogue 1836The First Comprehensive Guide to Collecting Autographs 1837 – 1871Sir Thomas Phillipps, the Greatest Private Collector of Manuscripts in the 19th Century, and Maybe Ever 1843 – 1865Possibly the First Book Written During Hand Typesetting Rather than on Paper 1845The First Annotated Bibliography of the History of Economics November 1, 1848The Railroad also Becomes an Information Distribution Network 1858Perhaps the Earliest Australian Type Specimen and Trade Catalogue February 4, 1859Constantin von Tischendorf Discovers and Acquires the Codex Sinaiticus: Controversial and Disputed November 24, 1859
The title page of On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin
Charles Darwin's "On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection"
1860 – 1861The Autograph Manuscript of Mill's "Considerations on Representative Government" 1867Imprimerie Alfred Mame's Spectacular Portrayal of Large Scale Book Manufacturing 1868Joel Munsell Produces a Sale Catalogue of His Collection of Rare Books on Printing and Related Topics July 25 – November 29, 1872Henry Stevens Calls for a Central Bibliographical Bureau Which Would Also Store Images 1878Morgand & Fatout Issue Perhaps the Earliest Antiquarian Bookseller's Catalogue Illustrated with Plates Printed in Color January 23, 1884Foundation of The Grolier Club 1900The American Booksellers Association is Founded 1916 – 1924Napoleon's Penis, and Other Napoleon Memorabilia 1917Foundation of Barnes & Noble 1929A Portion of a 15th Century Medical Library for Sale in 1929 1930 – 1931Bob Brown: Visionary of New Reading Machines and Changes in the Process of Reading July 30, 1935Allen Lane & Penguin Books Invent the Mass-Market Paperback May 6 – May 16, 1940
Detail of cover of catalogue for An Exhibition of Printing at the Fitzwilliam Museum.  Please click to view entire cover of catalogue.
The Fitzwilliam Museum Exhibition of Printing: Precursor to "Printing and the Mind of Man"
1946Humphrey Bogart and Dorothy Malone Appear in Probably the Most Famous Bookstore Scene in Movie History 1947The International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB) is Founded 1949The Antiquarian Booksellers Association of American (ABAA) is Founded 195011,638 New Books Are Published in the U.K. 1952Probably the Best "Book Store" Film Noir March 9, 1953"Once the government can demand of a publisher the names of the purchasers of his publications, the free press as we know it disappears." 1968 – 1981NUC: The Largest Printed Bibliography, Complete in 754 Folio Volumes 1975Barnes & Noble Becomes the First American Bookseller to Discount New Books 1988The First Operational Online Antiquarian Bookselling Site 1992Precursor to Amazon.com's Online Bookstore 1993 – 1997"The First Successful Online Bookseller Service" July 1994 – July 1995Amazon.com is Founded 1996Abebooks.com is Launched 1998"You've Got Mail", a Movie about Love, Email, and the Book Trade 2000
Third generation Amazon Kindle, showing text from the eBook version of the novel Moby Dick
3,200,000 Books Are In Print in the U.S.
June 5, 2000 – March 2009eBook Distributor is Acquired by Barnes & Noble May 3, 2001
The logo for the Women's National Book Association 
Somewhat Accelerated Prediction of the Future of eBooks
2003859,000 New Book Titles Are Published Worldwide in 2003 October 23, 2003
Gary Wolf
Amazon Introduces "Search Inside" 120,000 Books
20041,200,000 Unique Book Titles are Sold 2004 – 2014How Employment in Bookselling and Newspaper and Magazine Publishing in the U.S. Declined Since the "Great Recession" October 2004
Chris Anderson
"The Long Tail"
October 5, 2005
J.K. Rowling
300,000,000 Printed Copies of Harry Potter
April 2006
The Espresso Book Machine
The Espresso "On Demand" Book Machine
Circa December 2006U.S. Publishers Sell 3.1 Billion Books 2007
The Book Industry Study Group logo
Sales of Books in America in 2007
Robert Darnton
976,000 New Book Titles Published in 2007
November 19, 2007
The Amazon logo
The Amazon Kindle is Introduced
October 2008 – March 2012The Largest Atlas Ever Published as a Printed Book October 28, 2008Authors, Publishers and Google Reach "Landmark Settlement" May 31, 2009Google Will Sell eBooks July 16, 2009Amazon Sends Orwell eBooks Down the "Memory Hole" July 22, 2009USA Today Adds eBook Sales to its Bestsellers List September 14, 2009Darnton's Case for Books: Past, Present and Future October 7, 2009eBook Sales Represent 1.6% of Book Sales February 22, 2010The First Superman Comic Book sells for $1,000,000. April 7, 2010U.S. Book Sales in 2009: $23.9 Billion May 6, 2010General Statistics on the U.S. Book Publishing Industry July 19, 2010For the First Time E-books Outsell Digital Books on Amazon.com September 8, 2010eBook Edition Released Prior to Hardcover Edition December 6, 2010The Google eBookstore Opens December 11, 2010U.S. E-Book Sales are Predicted to Reach $1,000,000,000 in 2010 December 23, 2010eBooks Represent 9-10% of Trade-Book Sales February 11, 2011The New York Times Begins Ranking eBook Best Sellers February 16 – September 18, 2011Borders Files Chapter 11 Bankruptcy & Closes the Last of its Bookstores February 25, 2011The Second Best-Selling Book in America Priced Like an App (99 Cents) March 2011The Environmental Impacts of eBooks and eBook Readers March 2, 2011In its First Year Apple's iBookstore Sold 100,000,000 Books May 19, 2011Ebooks Outsell Physical Books on Amazon.com October 18, 2011What Would an Infinite Digital Bookcase Look Like? November 11 – November 30, 2011Action Comics #1 Superman sells for $2.16 Million December 1, 2011Statistics on European and U.S. eBook Sales 2012Surprisingly Active 21st Century Trade in Medieval Manuscript Books of Hours January 5, 2012Sales of eBook Readers in 2011 January 23, 2012Discovery of the Afghan Genizah February 8, 2012Creative Destruction of the Book Trade by Amazon? April 12, 2012U.S. Justice Department Sues Major Publishers Over the Pricing of eBooks; Amazon Wins April 19, 2012Massive Thefts from the Girolamini Library in Naples; Auction Aborted April 30, 2012Microsoft Invests in Barnes & Noble's Nook eBook Reader Division May 29, 2012Growing Adoption of the eBook Format in the U. S. October 29, 2012Penguin to Merge with Random House November 5, 2012eBooks Accounted for 22% of All Book Spending in Second Quarter of 2012 November 20, 2012The CEO of Barnes & Noble No Longer Reads Physical Books December 19, 2012"How the antiquarian book market has evolved for life on the web" December 27, 2012With the Decline of Brick & Mortar Bookstores Public Libraries are Becoming More Commercial January 20, 2013Online Reviews Used as Attack Weapons to Kill Sales of a Book May 2013Flash Marketing of E-Books May 15, 2013E-Books Account for About 20% of Trade Book Sales July 5, 2013Amazon Sells More than 25% of New Books in the U.S. July 19, 2013Sixty Percent of Book Sales, Print & Digital, Now Occur Online January 4, 2014The Burning of Two-Thirds of an Historic Antiquarian Bookshop in Tripoli, Lebanon January 4, 2014Trends in Reading, Book Reviewing, Publishing and Writing as of the Beginning of 2014 January 21, 2014My First Purchase of a Hardcover Book for One Cent on the Internet February 17, 2014"Cheap Words. Amazon is good for consumers but is it good for books?" May 8, 2014Amazon May Control "More than a Third" of the U.S. Book Trade July 29, 2014Amazon States its Economic Position on the Sale of E-Books in the "Amazon/Hachette Business Interruption" July 30, 2014As E-Books Gain Market Share Traditional Roles of Publisher and Bookseller Change August 14, 2014What Would George Orwell Think About the Amazon versus Hachette Dispute? December 10, 2014eBooks May Track Reading Habits November 2, 2015Amazon.com Opens its First Physical Bookshop, "Amazon Books", in Seattle