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Biblioclasm: The Assault on Ideas from Homer to Harry Potter: Home

The USC Libraries present a selection of resources to help you explore the topics of banned books and censorship in the history of ideas.


Friday, September 26, 2008, 5:30p.m.

Thursday, November 6, 2008, 5:00p.m.

Biblioclasm Links

About the Exhibition

Biblioclasm presents items from the USC Libraries special collections that survived hysteria and outrage incited by the ideas they contain. Book burnings in ancient China, Medieval Europe, and Nazi Germany—and acts of censorship in American public schools—are a spectacular reminder of the persistent suppression of ideas. The exhibition sets the library’s mission to support the discovery and preservation of knowledge against this ageless urge to censor.

Further Reading about Censorship

Margaret Bald, Banned Books: Literature Suppressed on Religious Grounds. New York: Facts on File, 2006.

Haig Bosmajian, Burning Books. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Co., 2006.

Herbert N. Foerstel, Banned in the U.S.A.: A Reference Guide to Book Censorship in Schools and Public Libraries. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 2002.

Chandler B. Grannis and Anne L. Haight, Banned Books, 387 B. C. to 1978 A. D. New York: R. R. Bowker, 1978.

Nicholas J. Karolides, Banned Books: Literature Suppressed on Political Grounds. New York: Facts on File, 2006.

Nicholas J. Karolides, Margaret Bald, and Dawn B. Sova, 120 Banned Books: Censorship Histories of World Literature. New York: Checkmark Books, 2005.

Rebecca Knuth, Burning Books and Leveling Libraries: Extremist Violence and Cultural Destruction. Westport, Conn.: Praeger, 2006.

Rebecca Knuth, Libricide: The Regime-Sponsored Destruction of Books and Libraries in the Twentieth Century. Westport, Conn.: Praeger, 2003.

Lucien X. Polastron, Books on Fire: The Destruction of Libraries throughout History. Rochester, Vt.: Inner Traditions, 2007.

Jonathan Rose, The Holocaust and the Book: Destruction and Preservation. Amherst: Univ. of Massachusetts Press, 2001

Dawn B. Sova, Banned Books: Literature Suppressed on Sexual Grounds. New York: Facts on File, 2006.

Dawn B. Sova, Banned Books: Literature Suppressed on Social Grounds. New York: Facts on File, 2006.


For research help, contact Ross Scimeca, head of the Hoose Library of Philosophy at