In addition to their unusual beauty and appearance, the earliest printed books often present a mystery. They lack basic facts like the printer’s identity, place of publication, and even the date. So how do we know anything about their historical significance or value? In 2012, a fifteenth-century book at the Newberry divulged a surprising secret. This led to a new theory about a bit of printing history. Could it happen to you, too? Find out in this illustrated lecture on the history of the book.
Lawrence Ludlow provides marketing and technical writing services to corporate clients, and his essays appeared in newspapers, magazines, and on websites for the past 25 years. He holds an M.A. in medieval studies from the University of Toronto’s Centre for Medieval Studies. His essays on early printing include the web-based “Johann Gutenberg: Genuine Inventor and Benefactor of Mankind.”