The arrival of print in the middle of the fifteenth century has long been celebrated as the beginning of the modern age. But it did not put an end to manuscript culture. Indeed, manuscript culture continued and even thrived across the early modern period, above all in places and regions where print was well-established. To name just two examples, handwritten newsletters kept men and women informed about the wider world, even as the periodical press grew in size and scale, and more chronicles from the 16th and 17th centuries have survived in manuscript than in print, as evident to anyone who ever had the chance to take a backstage look at European archival holdings. Through manuscripts, authors could keep deeply personal texts away from prying eyes and avoid the glare of the censor. Yet despite their best efforts, these works still ended up being printed, often as a result of eager booksellers or careless friends.
This conference will explore the relationships between print and manuscript in the early modern period (c. 1450-1700), a subject that has not yet before been addressed systematically. It will look at both instances of co-existence and conflict between these two forms of communication. In doing so it will highlight the connections between two cultures that, all too often, have been kept separate from one another.
DatesCo-organised by Falk Eisermann and Jacob Baxter, and reflecting our determination to preserve the inclusivity of our successful conference on Gender and the Book Trades in 2021, Print and Manuscript will consist of both: An in person conference, which will take place in St Andrews between 7-9th July 2022. Sessions from this conference will also be made available online to registered attendees of both meetings. An online workshop on 29th June 2022 for those who would prefer to give their papers virtually.