Paper, Pen and Print

David McKitterick


How far is it possible to understand the penetration of books in any society, by using statistical methods? How far are the existing short-title catalogues helpful in this respect? More specifically, if we measure the output of printing and of printed books, are we likely to arrive at a useful conclusion about the circulation of knowledge and opinion? The continuing circulation of manuscripts long after the invention of printing, even down to the twentieth century, is a reminder of the importance of alternatives to print.

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