European Renaissance and Reformation 1350-1600: Science, Technology, Health Research Article from World Eras

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Printing Press. Few technological innovations have had as profound an impact on intellectual culture as did the introduction of mechanical printing with movable type—the printing press. The medieval university had created an immense appetite for books, which grew along with literacy in the late Middle Ages. However, prior to the press, these tomes were copied out by hand, either by the individual student or by professional scribes and stationers hired for the task. Early manuscripts were written on parchment, or vellum, made by carefully removing the hair from the skin of a sheep, goat, or calf and scraping, drying, and trimming it to produce a medium that excels even modern papers in strength and durability.

Papermaking. Both parchment and hand copying were labor intensive and therefore expensive, and this fact limited book production and consumption to ecclesiastical and state institutions and wealthy individuals. When the...

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This section contains 1,191 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the European Renaissance and Reformation 1350-1600: Science, Technology, Health Encyclopedia Article
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World Eras
European Renaissance and Reformation 1350-1600: Science, Technology, Health from World Eras. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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