A History of Academic Peer Review
Although peer review is now a fundamental quality control measure implemented during the publishing process, the practice as we know it today is quite different from how it was envisioned almost two centuries ago.
PDF version available here: A Succinct History of Academic Peer Review
Csiszar, A. (2016) Peer review: Troubled from the start. Nature 532:306-8 doi:10.1038/532306a
Spier, R. (2002) The history of the peer-review process. Trends in Biotechnology 20(8):357-8 doi: 10.1016/S0167-7799(02)01985-6