Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Printing, hand-copying: who cares? Just deliver the texts!

the invention of printing did not immediately destroy the manuscript trade. On the contrary, the two modes of book production coexisted happily for at least two generations.

What scholars and collectors wanted was texts. It was the huge demand for texts that had helped fuel the search for a new means of mechanical reproduction. The traditional purchasers of manuscripts were among the greatest enthusiasts for the new experimental printed books. . . . [M]ost fifteenth-century purchasers were not so particular: the collected manuscripts and printed items indifferently, and often bound them together int he same volume.
Andrew Pettegree, "The Renaissance Library and the Challenge of Print," in Alice Crawford, ed., The Meaning of the Library (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton Univ. Press, 2015), p. 74

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