I saw a couple of interesting papers at the Newberry Graduate Conference this past week. Actually, I saw many interesting papers, but I was only going to mention two of them in this posts. One was about printing in Manila from 1593 through 1800. Controlled by Spanish missionaries some of the earliest works were printed in local vernaculars, as part of their mission. One of the most prevalent publications, however, was accounts of local public festivals that were part of the attempt to spread Spanish culture through the Philippines. The second paper with a history of the book aspect that I wanted to mention focused on 17th century French printed maps (in books and as documents) of the city of Cartagena in what is now Colombia. Cartagena was contested territory between Spain and France at the time and the author suggested that is represented in the maps themselves.
If you’re interested in typography or early Twentieth century printing, here is an interesting link: Hipster Typefaces of the 20s and 30s