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(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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.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 ?
This collection--its own form of technology--brings together examples of some of the best of the early work of the Second Incunabulum. Ranging from theoretical to practical, from historical to predictive, it attempts to bring into relation the experiments of information explorers of our time.
I would suggest that the Latin original of this French book is an incunabulum printed many times by different printers in the Low Countries and France, and extant in numerous copies today.
Marco Gozzi's chapter on the Trent manuscripts in this collection of essays on music in the city of Trent provides a useful survey of our present state of knowledge together with one or two new ideas and a brief discussion of the other polyphonic sources in other libraries in Trent (one a little-known incunabulum with manuscript additions on the flyleaves, which Gozzi has discussed at greater length elsewhere).
Moreover, as an unexpected bonus, we find black-and-white photographs of two more sources: first, the recently discovered fly-leaf of Trent, Biblioteca dei Padri Francescani, Incunabulum 60 (see Marco Gozzi, "Un nuovo frammento trentino di polifonia del primo Quattrocento," Studi musicali 21 [1992]: 237-51); and second, folios 1r and 1v of the fragment Padua, Biblioteca Universitaria, Mss.
incunabulum or incunable plural incunabulaLatin incunabula a person's earliest years, literally, bands used to hold a baby in a cradle
The remaining essays are more discursive and of a later period than the first two, with the exception of the sixth essay, "The Woodcut as Exemplar: Sources of Inspiration for the Decoration of a Venetian Incunabulum," by Laura Nuvoloni.
Filetico's invectives, which Pincelli offers us in her edition based on a 1490 Roman incunabulum (lacking all quotations in Greek, which she conjecturally replaces), record a philological-exegetical polemic, mostly over a number of Virgilian and Homeric passages.
A monk illuminates the margins of an incunabulum of the twelfth century with superb artistry.
Owst and the Politics of Sermon Studies" and Veronica O'Mara's account of the Boy Bishop sermon in "A Victorian Response to a Fifteenth-Century Incunabulum," focused on the edition byjohn Gough Nichols.