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Book, Manuscript and Printing History

  1. Book Art (7)
  2. Illumination (10)
  3. Book of Kells (8)
  4. Books of Hours (5)
  5. Online Books & Images (15)

Philobiblon
The 14th-century cleric Richard de Bury collected books and wrote a book about his love of books.

A Brief History of the Scriptoria
Well-written examination of how scribes accomplished their work, with hyperlinks to term definitions, at the Monastery of Christ in the Desert.

Catholic Encyclopedia: SCRIPTORIUM
Interesting information about the rooms, tools, and general rules governing the scribes of the monastery in an article by G. Roger Hudleston.

Chronological Timetable of Book History
From 3500 BC to 1514, snippets of info in table format by Cor Knops at the Book Information Website.

An Introduction to Blockbooks
Clear explanation of an alternative printing method from the fifteenth century at Marianne Hansen's site, The Planets and Their Children.

Manuscripts, Books, and Maps...
8-chapter article traces the history of printing from the seventh through seventeenth centuries with marvelous images. Presented by Bruce Jones from a lecture by Chandra Mukerji.

Matteo Ricci: The Art of Printing
Observations of the sixteenth-century scientist on the advanced technology of Chinese printing, provided by Paul Halsall.

Medieval Manuscript Manual
A wealth of information is available here on the uses and construction of manuscripts in the Middle Ages, nicely presented by the Department of Medieval Studies at Central European University, Budapest.

Medieval & Renaissance Book Production
Thorough article by Richard W. Clement at the Online Reference Book for Medieval Studies explores the history and development of manuscript books.

Medieval & Renaissance Book Production: Printed Books
A follow-up to the article on manuscript books, also by Richard W. Clement at the ORB, explores the history of the printed book during the middle ages.

Missionaries and mandarins
Very nice online exhibit of works brought to China from the west and those brought back in return, at the Vatican Library.

Paper, Leather, Clay & Stone
Intriguing exhibit at the Cornell University Library focuses on "the visual and tactile aspects of the written word."

Parchment
A very clear explanation of how parchment was made is provided by Octavia Randolph.

Philotheou History -- Manuscript Acquisitions
Paper by Robert W. Allison focusing on the growth of the Philotheou Monastery library includes tables and a general historiographical introduction.

The World of the Renaissance Print Shop
This transcript of a lecture by Merry Wiesner-Hanks is an enlightening look at the development of both the printed book and the printing profession.

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