Visit the Hale Library recovery website for fire-related updates.

Wisdom of the Ages - The Remnant Trust at Kansas State University Libraries

This guide describes the materials on exhibit in from the Remnant Trust's "Wisdom of the Ages" collection. We also provide information about handling materials and the history of written communication, books, printing, and publishing.

History of Books and Printing

Explore the history of books, written communication, and publishing with these resources.

Books About Books

K-State Libraries owns many books exploring the history of books, printing, written communication, and publishing. The titles below are being held at Hale Library Help for use alongside the Remnant Trust "Wisdom of the Ages" exhibit. You can check these titles out, just ask for them at Hale Library Help!

Locate more titles in the collection by following these links:

Bookbinding -- History

Books -- History

Books -- History -- 400-1450

Books -- History -- 1450-1600

Books -- Owners' marks -- Handbooks, manuals, etc;

Papermaking -- History

Printing -- History

Book Design

These resources describe the book as a physical object. Learn about the parts of a book and how a book is designed and printed.

These videos describe the physical book. Click on the image to open the video in a new window.

AbeBooks Explains the Parts of a Book

Screenshot of video AbeBooks Explains the Parts of a Book

AbeBooks - How to Use a Colonial Era Printing Press

Screenshot from video How to Use a Colonial Era Printing Press

Key Terms in Book History -- Centre for the History of the Book -- The University of Edinburgh

Screenshot from video Key Terms in Book History


Palegoraphy (or palaeography, if you are British) is the study of handwriting. As some of the materials in the Remnant Trust and our special collections are handwritten, these sources can help you learn to read handwriting and scripts through the ages. 


As visitors and researchers visit the collection, we are frequently asked questions about the books. We will attempt to answer some of those questions here. We will add more information to this section as we gather questions and answers, so check back.

F or S?

We get a lot of questions about the funny looking "f" that appears where there really should be an "s." This is actually a character called the "long s." The "s" that we are accustomed to is the "short s."

You can see both the long and short s in this image from the United States Bill of Rights. 

Image of an italicized long s used in the word "Congress" in the United States Bill of Rights

Learn more about the use of the long and short s through these resources:

Current K-State students, faculty, and staff, or visitors to Hale Library, can learn more by reading this article:

Fens-De Zeeuw, L., & Straaijer, R. (2012). Long- s in Late Modern English manuscripts.English Language and Linguistics,16(2) pp.319-338.