"In Principio: The Beginning of Europe's Printed-Book Trade," a symposium on Nov. 15

Catholicon, 1460. Bridwell Library Special Collections, Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University.

In Principio: The Beginning of Europe's Printed-Book Trade

Friday, November 15, 2019
399 Ruehl Family Room, Rabinowitz Building

This symposium brings together five perspectives on the exhibition “Gutenberg & After: Europe’s First Printers 1450–1470.” Leading specialists in printing history and book collecting will explore the development of the first European printing types, the publication of church indulgences in the 1450s, the earliest efforts to decorate multiple printed books by hand, the rediscovery of the origins of European printing in the 18th century, and the contributions of American collectors, including the Scheide family, to the study of the typographic achievements of the 15th century.

This symposium is free and open to the public. Registration is required. 
Registration form


9:30 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.
Check-in; coffee and pastries

10:00 a.m. - 10:05 a.m.
Robert H. Taylor 1930 University Librarian Anne Jarvis

10:10 a.m. - 10:40 a.m.
"The Earliest European Printing Types"
Paul Needham

10:45 a.m. - 11:15 a.m.
"In the Beginning, There Also Were Broadsides: How the 1450s Prepared the Public for the Ephemeral Revolution"
Falk Eisermann

11:15 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
Comfort break

11:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
"The Earliest Printing and American Collectors"
Richard Linenthal

12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Lunch break (Please note that lunch will not be provided.) 

1:30 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.
"How to Decorate Printed Books: The Case of Fust & Schöffer's Rationale divinorum officiorum (1459)"
Mayumi Ikeda

2:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.
"The Eighteenth-Century Rediscovery of Europe's Earliest Printing"
Eric White


Paul Needham
Scheide Librarian, Princeton University Library

Paul Needham is Scheide Librarian at Princeton University Library. He previously worked at the Huntington Library, Morgan Library, and Sotheby's. He has published extensively on many aspects of early printing.

Falk Eisermann
Curator, Incunable Collection, and Director, Gesamtkatalog der Wiegendrucke (Union Catalogue of Incunabula), Berlin State Library

Falk Eisermann has been head and editor-in-chief of the Gesamtkatalog der Wiegendrucke (Union Catalogue of Incunabula) at the Berlin State Library since 2007. After receiving his PhD in Mediaeval German Literature at Göttingen University in 1995, he held a post-doc position at the University of Münster, where he worked on a three-volume bibliography of fifteenth-century broadsides, published in 2004 and known as "VE15". From 2000 to 2002, he held a post-doc position at the Dutch Rijksuniversiteit Groningen with the project "Printing and Power in Late-Medieval Germany." From 2002 to 2007 he catalogued German Medieval manuscripts at Leipzig University Library. He has published on the transmission of vernacular texts in the later Middle Ages, on manuscripts, incunabula and early printing.

Richard Linenthal
Richard Linenthal Ltd. London

Richard Linenthal has been an antiquarian bookseller resident in London for the past forty years. He specializes in medieval manuscripts and early printing.

Mayumi Ikeda
Assistant Professor, Keio University, Tokyo

As an art historian, Dr. Ikeda specializes in decoration and illustration of books and manuscripts in the age of incunabula. Her current focus is on Peter Schöffer's publications, particularly his early works published in collaboration with Johann Fust, and his (their) creative solutions to providing decoration to their products. Her latest publication (in English) is: "The Fust and Schöffer Office and the Printing of the Two-Colour Initials in the 1457 Mainz Psalter," in Printing Colour 1400-1700: History,Techniques, Functions and Receptions, A. Stijnman and E. Savage (eds.), Leiden/Boston: Brill, 2015.

Eric White
Curator of Rare Books, Princeton University Library

Eric White, PhD, became Curator of Rare Books at Princeton University’s Firestone Library in Fall 2015, after 18 years as Curator of Special Collections at Southern Methodist University’s Bridwell Library. His book, Editio princeps: A History of the Gutenberg Bible (Harvey Miller Publishers, 2017), won SHARP’s 2018 DeLong Book History Prize.