Commercial Books Before Gutenberg: Re-Assessing the Early Modern Print Revolution

  • Erik Kwakkel, iSchool, UBC
    Coach House, Green College, UBC

    Tuesday, November 13, 5-6:30 pm, with reception to follow
    in the series
    Green College Special Lecture
  • When Johannes Gutenberg introduced the printed book in Europe, in the middle of the fifteenth century, he did so in a society where books were already produced and sold for profit. In fact, such a commercial enterprise had existed for over two centuries by the time the first book came off Gutenberg’s press. This lecture recreates the medieval world of commercial book production and draws attention to some striking parallels between manuscript and print culture, including the availability of cheaper books, the presence of highly specialized labour and competition, and the use of advertisements and spam. In arguing that the medieval book trade was not so dissimilar from that of the “emerging”or “early modern” book trade in Gutenberg’s time, Erik Kwakkel question the common assumption that the coming of print presents a clear break in the long development of the book.
  • Unless otherwise noted, all of our lectures are free to attend and do not require registration.


November 13th, 2018 5:00 PM   through   6:30 PM
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Speaker (new) Erik Kwakkel, iSchool, UBC
Short Speaker Erik Kwakkel
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