Book ownership
(1,173 words)

1. Definition

Book ownership means holding print media as property, without regard to the material nature of the book and regardless of how ownership came about (gift, exchange, purchase, or inheritance) [2]. These modes of acquisition were all present in the 16th and 17th centuries, but inheritance and purchase later became the most commonplace. Establishing book ownership does not necessarily show that the owner read the book. Rather, it provides …

Cite this page
Weyrauch, Erdmann, “Book ownership”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Executive editor of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy. Consulted online on 19 March 2018 <>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20160907

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