Friday, September 12, 2014

Strange Medieval Books

From Medieval Books:
Written by hand, medieval manuscripts are very different from printed books, which started to appear after Gutenberg’s mid-fifteenth-century invention of moving type. One difference in particular is important for our understanding of manuscripts. While printed books were produced in batches of a thousand or more, handwritten copies were made one at the time. In fact, medieval books, especially those made commercially, came to be after a detailed conversation between scribe and reader, a talk that covered all aspects of the manuscript’s production. This is the only way the scribe could ensure the expensive product he was about to make was in sync with what the reader wanted. Consequently, while printed books were shaped generically and according to the printer’s perception of what the (anonymous) “market” preferred, the medieval scribe designed a book according to the explicit instructions  of its user. (Read more.)
More strange old books, HERE. (Strange but not medieval, in spite of what the article says.)


1 comment:

julygirl said...

When I think of what a nuisance it was to make a typo back in the day of using carbon paper to produce multiple copies....