Among the Earliest Printed Books: Incunabula

Interesting article by Kristen Twardowski 😃

Kristen Twardowski

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When people think of the early days of book printing, they often remember Johannes Gutenberg and his first complete book, The Gutenberg Bible (1455). However other books were also published around this time.

Before the year 1500, using a printing press to create books was still a very experimental process. As a result, printed books made during this period have their own special name: Incunabula*. Originally the name did not reference printing. In fact, it had nothing to do with books at all. In Latin, incunabula indicated swaddling clothes or a cradle. The term therefore was intended to indicate that these books were in their infancy and were still developing.

During this early period, two different styles of book printing competed with one another: wood block and movable type. Wood block pages were created by using a carved piece of wood. To create a 300 page book, the printer would need…

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