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Ingenious Impressions: The Coming of the Book

The University of Glasgow holds one of the UK's most important collections of early printed books, or ‘incunabula’, published over the fifty years from the invention of printing in the mid-15th century.

The collection is the largest in Scotland and more than half comes from the library of Hunterian founder Dr William Hunter (1718-83).

Showcasing the University’s rich collections and the results of new research from the Glasgow Incunabula Project, this major exhibition charts the development of the early printed book in Europe, exploring the transition from manuscript to print and its impact on late medieval society.

The invention of mechanical movable type printing revolutionised book making in Europe and was instrumental in the emergence of the Renaissance and the spread of learning more generally.

Ingenious Impressions features a number of key themes, including the transition from scribal to print culture, the design, decoration and illustration of the earliest printed books, the technology and challenges of printing, and finally 500 years of book ownership and collecting.

The exhibition also features demonstrations on a replica 15th century printing press, on loan from the University of Reading.
Relevant research areas: Western Europe, Medieval, Renassiance, Book arts

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