Early Modern Europe Thurs October 7th
"Invention" of Printing
2) Books, Audiences, & Printers
3) Cultural Consquences
printing begins around 1450 in the city of Mainz, the first person to do so
being Johannes Gutenburg (1395 - 1468)
This is the first case of a print method involving movable metal type.
Before this all manuscripts where produced by hand, one of the jobs of
monks in the middle ages, and one of the reasons monastic libraries were the
best location to find texts.
The way the monastery would get a new manuscript would be to find
where a text was (such as another monastic library) and then ask to be
loaned it, so that their monks could copy it by hand. This loan could last
months or years. Or they may pay to have to done for them.
Book sellers at the time will borrow a manuscript and set up some
copyists - which could take an extremely long time. This lead to the model of
the university classroom. There would be a professor sitting at a chair at the
front of the room, and students would write his words verbatim throughout
the course, thereby ending with their 'textbook' as opposed to starting with it.
By copying this method book sellers could make multiple copies at once.
This resulted in books being extremely expensive, and was part of the
reason that few people ever learned to read. There was little need, many
successful people never learned to read.
the Gutenburg press was the result of multiple advances and
The development of type, coming from the idea of block printing
from China, there used around the 8th century and in Europe around
12th century, (made from wood) - carving out the image in reverse,
leaving raised lines, and rolling it with paint then pressing it with
paper. This technique was mainly used for images, pictures of paints
etc. Sometimes books were done using this method, but it took a
long time to carve the wood, and the wood degraded fairly quickly.