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Monday, July 8, 2013

Gutenberg and the Rise of the Printed Word

The Gutenberg Printing Press
Bent over their desks, the monks of Europe busily transcribed manuscripts for centuries. To own a book was simply beyond the means or reality of the majority of the world. Then, something remarkable happened. Johannes Gutenberg created a machine that could transcribe books- the printing press. No longer dependent on hand-copying alone, books multiplied and became more accessible. With them, the spread of ideas could more rapidly take place as well.

If you happen to be in Mainz, Germany, there is a museum detailing Gutenberg and the procession of the written to the printed word that is very interesting to visit. You can also visit via the website Gutenberg Museum 

Today, books and ideas are continuing to be spread through the name of Gutenberg. The website Project Gutenberg has made 42,000 ebooks available for free download or for viewing online. Classics such as Shakespeare, Dickens and Austen are available as well as historical documentation and diaries. Even if you prefer to read paper versions of classics, there are reams of research material available that may be difficult or impossible to find in other places.

Happy reading!

My best to you all,
Megan

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