Courtauld Books Online - The Courtauld Institute of Art

Courtauld Books Online

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Courtauld Books Online

Open access scholarly books


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Courtauld Books Online is a series of online scholarly books published by The Courtauld Institute of Art. The series includes research publications that emerge from Courtauld Research Forum events and Courtauld projects involving an array of outstanding scholars from art history and conservation across the world. The series consists of discrete books, shaped by a rigorous academic peer-review process. It is an open-access series, freely available to read online and to download without charge. The series has been developed in the context of research priorities of The Courtauld which emphasise the extension of knowledge in the fields of art history and conservation, and the development of new patterns of explanation.
Series Editor: Alixe Bovey
Managing Editor: Maria Mileeva

Courtauld Books Online Advisory Board:
Paul Binski (University of Cambridge)
Thomas Crow (Institute of Fine Arts, New York University)
Michael Ann Holly (Starr Director Emeritus of the Research and Academic Program, Clark Art Institute)

If you are interested in proposing a title for this series, please contact

Continuous Page: Scrolls and Scrolling from Papyrus to Hypertext

Cover Book Continuous Pageedited by Jack Hartnell

Scrolls encompass in one sweep the oldest and the most contemporary ideas about images and image-making. On the one hand, some of the most enduring artefacts of the ancient world adopt the scroll form, evoking long-standing associations with the Classical tradition, Eastern and Middle Eastern cultures, theatrical oration, and the word of the law. Yet today, scrolling is also the single most common interaction between people and their digital media: fingers routinely swipe across trackpads and touch-screens through reams of infinite hypertext. In between these two extremes too, we find a plethora of different artists and craftsmen turning and returning to the medium, from medieval medical treatises and Japanese emakimono to 19th-century wallpaper or Jack Kerouac’s continuously-typewritten draft of On The Road.

This group of 14 essays constitutes the first systematic attempt to approach the subject of the scroll from an interdisciplinary standpoint. Incorporating contributions from an internationally renowned group of scholars, the scope of its chapters is testimony to the enduring nature of the scroll form, addressing material from the ancient world to the twenty-first century, and from Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Europe, and the Americas.

Importantly too, this book will not only use the unique format of Courtauld Books Online to present scholarly contributions to this emergent field in a fresh and dynamic way. It also seeks to use the continuous page of the online publication to present a group of digitised scroll objects related to the book’s essays—either within chapters or as interludes from them—in complete, scrollable form for the reader, along with commentary, annotations, and translations written by book’s contributors. In so doing, this book represents an innovative direction in the study of material culture, interlacing scholarship and digitised historical artworks in a single, accessible volume.

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