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Houghton Library

Evidence for the Earliest Export of Printing from Mainz, 1454-1467

Monday, April 10, 2023, 5:30pm - 7:00pm
Houghton Library
Open to the public, Presentation,
Registration has closed.

Houghton Library-Medieval Studies Lecture in Early Book History presents Eric White on “Evidence for the Earliest Export of Printing from Mainz.”

By 1450, Johannes Gutenberg was operating the first movable-type printing press in Mainz, Germany. In this lecture, White explores the available evidence for the long-distance export of printed materials in Europe prior to the pivotal dispersion of printers from Mainz in 1462. It includes, for purposes of comparison, examples from Italian editions from the mid-1460s that represent Italy’s earliest upstream marketing of printed books across northern Europe. Whereas many editions produced during the earliest period of the typographic revolution were never intended for export abroad, the first “international best-sellers” spread awareness of the new technology across Europe and accelerated its expansion and impact.

Reception to follow. Registration is encouraged but not required.

In conjunction with his lecture, White will also be leading two hands-on workshops at Houghton on Thursday, April 13 on "Looking at 15th-Century Printing Here and Now, but in Terms of There and Then." Register here for either the morning or afternoon sessions.

About the speaker: Eric Marshall White, PhD, is the Scheide Librarian and Assistant University Librarian for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts at Princeton University Library. He specializes in the study of early European printed books and the material and historical evidence of their use and survival. His publications include Editio princeps: A History of the Gutenberg Bible (2017), which won SHARP’s DeLong Prize as the year’s outstanding book in the field of book history.

Image: Biblia Latina, v. 1, f. 1. Mainz: Johannes Gutenberg, around 1454. Harry Elkins Widener Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard University.

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The lecture will take place in the Edison and Newman Room in Houghton Library. 

Persons with disabilities who would like to request accommodations or have questions about physical access may contact Houghton Library's Administrative Coordinator Le Huong Huynh by email or at 617-495-2443 in advance of the workshop.

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