The transition from manuscript to printed book
MetadataShow full item record
The occasion of an inaugural lecture is, in a sense, a return to the Middle Ages, since the medieval student, having satisfied his examiners in regard to his academic attainments, was required to give a specimen lecture and demonstrate his ability to transmit his knowledge to others. He was not granted the licentia docendi and transferred from the corporation of students to that of the professors until he had given proof of his qualities as a teacher. In medieval times, therefore, the inaugural lecture was just as much a part of academic life as it is today. I propose to take as my topic this evening the replacement of the manuscript by the book printed with the use of movable metal type, to describe the transition from one to the other, and to attempt to discern some of the consequences of this change more especially as it affected the universities.