Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Printed Book in the Post-Incunabula Age, 1500-1540
Reformation Studies Institute University of St Andrews
3-5 September 2008

The period 1500-1540 is the least well studied in the in the early history of printing. The surviving books of the 15th century, the incunabula age, have been subjected to minute investigation, and now a comprehensive composite study (the I-STC). The later 16th century is the subject of numerous specialist bibliographies. The forty years between represent the awkward age: the period of adolescence when the printed book was approaching but had not reached full maturity; and when the industry experienced a period of stagnation, before the vast expansion of the reading public in the later 16th century. The book had not yet fully evolved as the mature artefact, with title-page, date and place of printing that we associate with the printing of the Hand Press Book era. This itself introduces elements of difficulty for the book specialist, since so many of the books published are undated, necessitating complex bibliographical analysis to place them correctly. The experience of this period was also very different in different parts of Europe, as the Reformation reshaped the industry in Germany, but not elsewhere. This conference, by drawing together leading specialists in book culture from different parts of Europe, will compare these diverse experiences of print, and examine how the book industry faced the challenge of the re-structuring that followed the first exuberant age of experimentation. It will also chart the growth of a pan-European book market, as print groped its way towards the robust business model that would underpin its later spectacular success. This conference will take place from the 3rd to the 5th of September and is sponsored by the British Historical Society and Brill publishing. Speakers will include:

Professor Marie-Luce Demonet
(Directrice, Centre d'Études Supérieures de la Renaissance, Tours)

Professor Andrew Pettegree
(St Andrews, Head of the School of History)

Dr Neil Harris
(Insegna Bibliologia all'Università degli Studi di Udine)

Dr David Shaw
(Secretary, Consortium of European Research Libraries/British Library)

Dr Malcolm Walsby
(St Andrews, Project Manager, U-STC project)

Dr Hanno Wijsman
(Faculteit der Letteren, University of Leiden)

Dr Alexander Wilkinson
(Director, Centre for the History of the Media, University College, Dublin)

Magali Vène
(Paris, BNF, Réserve des livres rares)

Dr. Hans-Jörg Künast
(Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg Buchwissenschaft)