Thursday, February 19, 2009

Libraries, Erasmus, and Gutenberg

Speaking of the wonderment of libraries, as many are today, I remember one of my favorite quotations:
When I get a little money I buy books; and if any is left I buy food and clothes.
--Desiderius Erasmus, 1466-1536
And remember, when he said this books were as new and revolutionary as the Internet is to us today.

So today especially, let us salute Johannes Gutenberg who made all these books possible by inventing movable type and the printing press. (Wikipedia's entry on Gutenberg gives a brief, fascinating look at his life and his influence on the Renaissance, in the context of that amazing time.)

On the other hand, his inventions probably cost the jobs of many scribes who had been painstakingly copying every book by hand until then. I wonder if their guild transitioned them into making movable type and running the new printing presses.

Gutenberg. The first union buster?


  1. How in the heck did Erasmus steal my quote? ;^)

  2. i (heart) project gutenberg!

    thanks for playing theme thursday!