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From Manuscript to Bound Book: How the Printing Press Revolutionized 15th Century Literature

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From Manuscript to Bound Book: How the Printing Press Revolutionized 15th Century Literature
“The invention of printing broadcast the printed language and gave to print a degree of authority that it has never lost.”- A. Lloyd James Before the days of automated printers and wireless communication, manuscripts represented the primary but inefficient and costly way to record, obtain and share knowledge. It was not until the 15th century when Johannes Gutenberg’s printing press revolutionized the way information was stored and disseminated. The printing press quickly changed the way in which written works were manufactured and which works could be produced by allowing private citizens to publish books and other written texts at a marketable rate. Illustrated through the invention of Gutenberg’s machine, society as a whole was impacted by the way in which information was produced, and through the press’ impact on academia and on the political and religious groups of the 15th and 16th centuries. Exemplified by the restricted writing methods at the time and the constraints transcription raised on the production of manuscripts, the printing press had a significant impact on universities and the methods of medieval education. Through readily available literature, the resulting increase of literacy had a large effect on the scientific community and a shift in power for the ruling parties of the time. Ultimately, the easy dissemination of political ideas in medieval Europe led to upheavals such as the Protestant Revolution.
The written word is a powerful tool. It can evoke the deepest emotions, bring insight to the most complex ideas, and it can entertain with stories, free from the constraints of reality. Though at its root, the written word is a carrier of information and it is the speed and flexibility of the printing press creating information that make it such a...

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