3.115 paper and print, cont. (80)

Mon, 12 Jun 89 21:03:45 EDT

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 3, No. 115. Monday, 12 Jun 1989.

(1) Date: Sun, 11 Jun 89 21:19:25 EDT (39 lines)
From: "Patrick W. Conner" <U47C2@WVNVM.bitnet>
Subject: Historial development of print

(2) Date: Mon, 12 Jun 89 10:19:24 EDT (21 lines)
Subject: History of the use of paper & print

(1) --------------------------------------------------------------------
Date: Sun, 11 Jun 89 21:19:25 EDT
From: "Patrick W. Conner" <U47C2@WVNVM.bitnet>
Subject: Historial development of print

Re Robert Amsler on documenting historical development of print products:
Many of the conventions you mention were in use in manuscripts long before
printed books came on the scene. Before there were modern tables of contents
some manuscripts contained an elenchus, or list of works contained in the
codex. Other books, e.g., collections of saints' lives, were arranged
according to the Church kalendar, which must have aided a reader in finding
a desired text. Gospel Books contained canon tables, which concorded the
events in Christ's life as presented in the four gospels, so that you could
easly examine the same event from the point of view of each writer who included
it. Display scripts and various sorts of headlines helped separate, define,
and mark the status of segments of many manuscripts. Most of the techniques
in use in early printed books were imitated from manuscripts, for the reason
that moveable type was not thought to produce a *new* product, but merely to
provide a new technology for producing an old product. Some of the Gutenberg
Bibles and other early books were printed on parchment, and Leon Gilissen
has shown that the process of folding sheets into gatherings after they are
printed was adapted from a similar process already in use (but not exclusively
in use) for manuscript production.
I would suggest that you get Laurel Nicholas Braswell's *Western
Manuscripts from Classical Antiquity to the Renaissance: A Handbook* (Garland,
1981) for a bibliography on the conventions you're interested in within their
manuscript context, and from there go to Fredson Bowers' *Principles of
Bibliographic Description* to begin to assemble a list of your
conventions which seem to show up first in printed contexts.
A decent thumbnail sketch of the discipline is to be found in
William Proctor Williams & Craig S. Abbott's *An Introduction to
Bibliographical and Textual Studies* (MLA 1985) There may be a better
source for what you're looking for in printed books than Bowers, but
I don't do enough work with early printed books to know what it would be.
If you ever find yourself in the Jefferson Building at the Library
of Congress, compare the Gutenberg Bible on display with the manuscript
Bible of Mainz. It is a most dramatic demonstration of the unbroken lineage
from manuscript design to book design. Caxton's works similarly imitate,
to the degree he could do so, 15th century English manuscripts.
--Pat Conner
(2) --------------------------------------------------------------24----
Date: Mon, 12 Jun 89 10:19:24 EDT
Subject: History of the use of paper & print

In answer to Robert Amsler's request for information on the history of the use
of paper:

If I understand the request, your interest concerns the use of paper in
*print* literacy, as opposed to other types of literacies (about which there
is a large body of literature in several disciplines). While browsing in a
Paris bookstore last week, I came across a very recent volume which addresses
your interests. I like what I have read in it so far, and the reference might
be of interest to several Humanists:

Henri-Jean Martin. 1989. _Histoire et pouvoirs de l'ecrit_. (Collection
Histoire et Decadence.) Paris: Librairie Academique Perrin.

Niko Besnier
Department of Anthropology
Yale University