What kind of knowledge gets deposited in textbooks?

Bernadette Longo

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


This paper explores how technical writing participates in estimates of value, based on its historical roots in mining and metallurgy going back to T. A. Rickard's first technical writing textbook published in 1908. The paper extends this exploration to include influences on Rickard's understanding of technical writing's social function, such as classical encyclopedic traditions, books of Hermetic secrets, and the first textbook developed by Comenius in the early 17th century. Throughout this history, the works of Francis Bacon provide a backdrop against which to understand how technical writing came to stabilize a scientific knowledge system and how this knowledge system was represented in textbooks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages6
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Communication
  • General Engineering


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