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Lec 6 - Printing Culture Revolution

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University of Toronto St. George
Nicholas Terpstra

HIS243 H – Lec. 6  Printing Culture Revolution o “Invention” of printing o Books and their audiences o Printers and print  Printing is a cultural and technological revolution; before printing – manuscripts  Middle of the 15 c. – Johannes Gutenberg cs. 1450  Only way to reproduce a book was to copy it by hand – this is what monasteries did  Very capital intense and main activity of monks until Medieval ages – room + scriptorium  Somewhat of a loan system – if a copy existed in another monastary, they requested it by letters  Florence 1450s – man comes up with a system of reciting a book and a group of people copied it out – same in universities because students copied textbooks  With print, there were 3 issues > type, ink, paper o Type comes from Chinese examples (Chinese block printing) – works with illustrations o Needed moveable letters to printer an entire page – tried with wood, but it wears down, so they had to cast in metal o Gutenberg had advantage – trained as a goldsmith so comes up with moveable metal type o Problem: old water based ink doesnt work with metal, so we use oil based (painters used it in the North) o Needed cheep materials to print on – previously used velum and parchment (expensive) o 12 , 13 c., linen paper and papyrus being used (1/6 of the cost of parchment)  Books and audience – books had to look like manuscripts to appeal to the rich  First works were religious texts (bibles, prayer b
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