20 April 2016

University Library puts early Utrecht printers and publishers on the map

In collaboration with external partners Utrecht University Library has put the Utrecht printers and publishers from the period between 1450-1800 literally on the digital map. On a geographical interface the locations of the former printers and publishers are displayed. By clicking on the locations, short biographies, publishers’ lists and images appear on your screen.

Utrechtse drukkers op de kaart

Use in education and research

It is now easy for Book History students and researchers to learn more about the production of the Utrecht booksellers in question.

Dr. Jeroen Salman: “Within the Faculty of Humanities there is an increasing interest in the meaning of the book in historical and modern society. The arrival of social media makes it even more important that students and researchers realise that printed books were bound by place and context. Through this beautifully designed tool the library combines modern techniques from the Digital Humanities with research of historical sources It really puts Utrecht as a book city on the map.”

The web application makes it possible for geographers to analyse the spatial developments within Utrecht and its book trade.

It really puts Utrecht as a book city on the map.
Dr. Jeroen Salman

Utrecht and the art of book printing

In the 15th century Utrecht was at the cradle of the art of book printing. In 1473 the first  printed book that was dated was published in the Nortern Netherlands. And presumably books had been published before but without mentioning the year of publication. A large part of the Utrecht book production is housed in Utrecht University Library. A digital exhibition has been created, containing the most special incunables – printed books from before 1501 printed with individual type cast letters. All digitized incunables come with an explanation, can be downloaded as PDFs and can be consulted and browsed online.