The Incunabula of Telecommunications

In the latest Communication Booknotes Quarterly Christopher Sterling has put together something very cool, a bibliography of books called “Who’s on First? Pioneering Books on Telegraph, Telephone, Wireless, Radio, Television, and Facsimile.” The list includes both the first books that appear on a subject and the most important early books, “indeed,” according to Sterling, “some of these titles represent the ‘incunabula’ of telecommunications–at least in English.” The bibliography includes such firsts as: the first book on the transatlantic cable, first English monograph on the telegraph, first book on the microphone, first English language book devoted to the wireless, first scholarly history of U.S. broadcasting, first book about the radio audience based on social science, first book on broadcasting law published in English, first college text on broadcasting, first college textbook on television, first book devoted to radio drama, first book on educational radio, first general interest book in America on broadcasting, first American book to discuss the impact of television on society, first book on educational television, first English language book devoted to television, first history of television, and first book about policy aspects of the television business in the U.S. There are 56 titles in the bibliography.

Communication Booknotes Quarterly is available online from the main Library webpage. The quarterly reviews books, reports, and electronic publications on all aspects of mass communications, telecommunication, and the information industry.

Leave a comment