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Reconstructing Gutenberg’s Press: The IES’ Term-Long Celebration of Gutenberg for ‘Gutenberg Year 2018’

Johannes Gutenberg printed the first book, the Gutenberg Bible, around 1455. Over 500 years later, his invention still shapes how we communicate. But what did his press look like? And how did it work? This term-long portfolio of events participates in an international initiative to commemorate the 550th anniversary of Gutenberg’s death and celebrates the relaunch of the IES Annual Lecture in the History of the Book. It is part of the international 2018 Gutenberg Year,

The event portfolio includes:

"IES Annual Lecture in the History of the Book + Keepsake Printing"
This event gives participants the rare opportunity to learn how Alan May and Martin Andrews reverse-engineered and rebuilt Gutenberg’s invention, and then stand in Gutenberg’s footsteps to print a take-away keepsake themselves on the replica Gutenberg Press. Raphaële Mouren (Warburg) will respond. The event is free, including keepsake printing and wine reception, with a recommended donation of £10 to benefit St Bride Library.

"Masterclass (graduate students/ECRs)"
This three-part, hands-on masterclass offers graduate students, postdocs, early career researchers the unique opportunity to learn about the history of the printing press itself by examining historical relief printing presses and reconstructions covering the hand-press period, 1450-1830. Participants must commit to attending all sessions and writing a blog post about the training. Eligibility: current PhD students and early career researchers (up to 10 years post-PhD)

"A Selection of Incunabula at Senate House Library"
The reception coincides with a private view of SHL's earliest printed books. Highlighting some of its rarest holdings allows SHL to promote its collections to a wider public and new user constituency and advocate IES's object-based teaching philosophy.

"School Visit"
Fifteen Year 12 History students (ages 16-17) from St Marylebone School will learn about the history of printing. They will have a hands-on workshop at the Dürer Press, print a keepsake, and visit the Durning-Lawrence Library to explore early printed travel accounts from Senate House Library Special Collections.

Relevant research areas: Western Europe, Renaissance, Letterpress

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