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Related to incunabula: Gutenberg


(ĭn'kyo͝onăb`yo͝olə), plural of


[Late Lat.,=cradle (books); i.e., books of the cradle days of printing], books printed in the 15th cent. The known incunabula represent about 40,000 editions. The books include products of more than 1,000 presses, including such famous printers as Gutenberg, Jenson, Caxton, and Aldus Manutius and give evidence as to the development of typography in its formative period. These books were generally large quarto size, bound in calf over boards of wood, decorated with red initials (rubricated) and ornamental borders, and carrying a colophoncolophon
[Gr.,=finishing stroke]. Before the use of printing in Western Europe a manuscript often ended with a statement about the author, the scribe, or the illuminator.
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 but no title page. Notable European collections of incunabula are in Paris, London (British Museum), Oxford (Bodleian Library), Vienna, Rome, Milan, Brussels, and The Hague. Notable American collections are in Washington, D.C. (Library of Congress), New York City (Morgan Library and others), Providence (John Carter Brown Library and Annmary Brown Memorial), San Marino, Calif. (Henry E. Huntington Library), and in the libraries of Harvard and Yale Univ. For an introduction to incunabula and a guide to further study, see Margaret B. Stillwell, Incunabula and Americana 1450–1800 (2d ed. 1961).
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



the earliest printed books, prepared from typesetting forms prior to 1501. In external appearance they resemble manuscript books. The type is most commonly Gothic; there are no indentations in incunabula. Their editions usually numbered from 100 to 300 copies. About 40,000 different editions were published; nearly one-half million copies are in existence. There are no incunabula of Russian origin, since the first printed books appeared in Russia only in the middle of the 16th century. The largest collections of incunabula in the USSR are in the Lenin State Library, the M. E. Saltykov-Shchedrin State Public Library, and the Library of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The Collection of Incunabula of the National Library of Colombia: Tracks and Silences in its Formation
(25) Colwell notes that the images of the incunabula printed in Lyon were closely modeled on the woodcuts of Richel's edition, but they are in fact derived from the exact same woodblocks.
One artificial barrier that remains, probably for good reason, is the modern bibliographic distinction between incunabula and sixteenth-century books.
Books published before 1501, called incunabula ("swaddling clothes" in Latin, indicating their arrival during the "infancy of the art of printing"), tell a lot about the cultural history of their countries of origin.
The result of these collations and researches, then, is that Zimmerman puts greater faith in readings in Class I manuscripts, [phi], and also the incunabula, which she has convincingly demonstrated may preserve genuine readings.
The poetic version of the novella of Gismonda and Guiscardo on which the present transcription is based is found in the Rare Book Collection at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Incunabula 469.5).2 The book, in 4, is bound in red cardboard and contains 4 unnumbered folios, or leaves, no title or title page, and no colophon.
In the end, in her book, Stoppino achieves at least two results: she underscores some of Orlando Furioso's lesser known sources, and she does so through the direct study of manuscripts and incunabula currently available only in a small number of libraries whose distance renders consultation outside the reach of many scholars.
The project, funded with a grant from the London-based Polonsky Foundation, will digitally reproduce a total of 1.5 million pages of manuscripts and ancient books from the Vatican Library and the Bodleian Libraries in three subject areas: Greek manuscripts, incunabula and Hebrew manuscripts.
The results of her practice of resistance are incunabula of feminist art--works such as Tapp und Tastkino (Tap and Touch Cinema), 1968, Am der Mappe der Himdigkeit (From the Portfolio of Doggedness), 1968, and Body Sign Action, 1970.
There are 69 incunabula - books that were printed in the first 50 years after the invention of the press in 1450 - 680 books from the 16th century, 6,250 from the 17th and approximately 12,500 from the 18th.