early printing

The Getty Presents “Blurring the Line: Manuscripts in the Age of Print”

Los Angeles — Throughout the Middle Ages (about 500-1500), texts and images were disseminated primarily through handwritten and hand-drawn materials. In the 15th century, with the invention of new printing technologies, a revolution swept through Europe giving rise to a rich cross-fertilization between mechanical innovation and painterly tradition.

<i>William Caxton and the Birth of English Printing</i> Opens May 29 at the Morgan Library

New York, NY, May 7, 2015—Around 1474 in Belgium something never seen in print before rolled off the press—the English language. William Caxton (ca. 1422-1491/1492), an English merchant and diplomat, had recently learned of the new technology of print invented by Johannes Gutenberg twenty years before, and he capitalized on the commercial opportunity offered by this revolutionary invention.

As biblio-fiction goes, reaching back to the birth of printing in medieval Germany is pretty ambitious, but so little is known about the "real" Gutenberg that Alix Christie landed a perfect topic for her fiction debut, Gutenberg's Apprentice (Harper, $27.99). She was able to explore his vibrant and changing world by focusing the narrative on the printer's young apprentice, Peter Schoeffer, a former scribe whose world is upturned by the advent of moveable type.   

Treasures from the Archives of the Imprimerie Nationale at the Grolier

In December 2011 the Grolier Club of New York will host an exhibition on the history of the French national printing establishment, the Imprimerie Nationale, arguably the most important printing house in Europe.  Drawn from the vast and comprehensive archives of the Imprimerie Nationale, Printing for Kingdom, Empire, and Republic will document the significant influence of the press, not only on printing and the book arts, but on French — and therefore European — literary culture from the mid-sixteenth century to the present day.  The exhibition is being organized by the Grolier Club and the In