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Medieval manuscripts poster. 2 February to 30 April 2005, Central City Library - Level 2

For most of the medieval period, from the 6th till the mid 15th century, books were copied out and decorated by hand. These are the books we call medieval manuscripts. The invention of printing in about 1455 changed the way books were made, but initially at least it did not radically change their appearance. The metal typefaces were based on handwritten models, and the new printed books were often decorated by hand in the same way as manuscripts. Only slowly did the printed book evolve the conventions and techniques which we recognise as normal in books of today, while manuscripts continued to be made well into the 16th century.

This exhibition explores the evolution from manuscript to print, and the transitional phase where manuscripts and printed books continued to look very similar. The early printed books from this phase are known as incunabula from the Latin word which means “cradle”.

Georgia Prince

Kate de Courcy

 

Auckland Libraries Auckland Council