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How easy it is to handle a book!

Grab it – open it – turn the pages. No elaborate skills are required to handle this kind of object. Of course, you should be able to decipher the combinations of characters. But even this process is completely intuitive and automated, provided you learned to read and write in early school years. Something like this […]

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How to establish a new book genre; or, are how-to books literature?

  We tend to think of the how-to book as a straightforward, unadorned text type. Brevity is its hallmark and plain language its virtue, all in the service of practical implementation. How-to texts are functional texts, they do not lay claim to artistic brilliance. Or do they? When we talk of the how-to book as […]

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Colourful Spots in Small Books

Complex procedures, countless trial and error attempts, characterised the production and use of colours in earlier eras. Existing knowledge was passed on primarily orally, but also in writing, and was used again and again in different ways. The basic colour materials were constantly upgraded and sensitively adapted to changing needs and areas of application. It […]

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How-to Everywhere! At an Arward Ceremony in Wolfenbüttel.

The Take Me and Make It Happen-project draws much of its humus from the innovative research of Pamela H. Smith. Yesterday, the historian of knowledge on the early modern period from New York was awarded the research prize of the Herzog August Library and the Hans and Helga Eckensberger Foundation in Wolfenbüttel. For her, knowledge […]

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New Book _ How Theory Becomes Practice

  At the end of July 2024, Brill (Leiden) will publish the volume “Tracts of Action Material, Visual and Practical Dimensions of the How-to Book in the Early Modern Era,” which emerged from a workshop held at the Herzog August Library in Wolfenbüttel at the end of September 2021. The underlying idea is to take […]

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How to Behave in Pandemics. Has Little changed?

The workshop in Wolfenbüttel on how-to books was embedded in how-to formulas of a special kind. After all, 18 months after the outbreak of the pandemic, vaccines were available and vaccinated people could already enjoy more freedom than unvaccinated people. But everyone who attended the Wolfenbüttel conference in person had to be trained to put […]

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How to Use the Special Collections, Or: From the Top of a Tower into the Depths of the Sources.

The fact that Glasgow is a hotspot of contrasts is also evident from the fact that the old, valuable written holdings are housed in a modern tower block, the architectural success of which is certainly debatable. At least everything here is obviously subordinate to functionality, which works. After presenting your ID card, you are quickly […]

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Hello World!

Let’s start by using a universally understandable pictogram that also represents our project: When Cooking Spoon and Hammer Cross and Both are Wrapped Around by a Question Mark…. Hammer and sickle are out. Hammer and spoon as well? Not at all! Our emblematic sign stands for practical knowledge, for the problems of everyday life and, […]

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