inverted woodcut of the crucifixion and Spear of Longinus used on lower pastedown.

Read to Death: The Sole Surviving Copy of an Early Modern Bestseller

By Nora Epstein | For regular readers of the PWRB blog, it will come as no surprise that some of the rarest early modern books were not necessarily specialty items printed in small runs. Rather, some the most ubiquitous bestsellers of the Renaissance print market survive with only a single copy to attest to what … Read more

Title page from Theses theologicae de septimo capite ad Romanos

Fools Rush In: A Rare Franeker Thesis and the Preservation of Orthodoxy

By Forrest Strickland | It is often the case that many printed items from the early modern world that are now especially rare were some of the most ubiquitous in their day. Newspapers, academic disputations, ordinances, devotional books—the kinds of works that kept printers afloat—were intended to be read, shared, and eventually discarded. Seldom were … Read more

Anthony Scoloker's colophon.

The Year of the Book in Ipswich

By James McCall | In 1548, during the reign of Edward VI, two printers established printing presses in the Suffolk port of Ipswich. By the end of the year, and after producing at least 19 books, both men had ceased printing in the town. What had driven these men to set up presses in Ipswich … Read more