The English Mercurie - title

The English Mercurie of 1588: the first (hoax) newspaper

By Arthur der Weduwen | In 1794, the Scottish antiquarian and political writer George Chalmers made a startling find. He had found proof that the first newspaper had been printed in London in 1588, decades before the emergence of newspapers elsewhere in Europe. It had been a chance discovery. Chalmers was composing a history of […]

Prognostication title page from Trent Civic Library

Identifying the mysterious printer of Italian Prognostications

By Matteo Fadini | In the Trent Civic Library collection there are 80 unique sixteenth-century books.  Today’s post focuses on one of them: a pronostico ­– a pamphlet containing astrological predictions. The book, by Tommasino Girardelli, was Pronostico dell’anno M.D.LXVII. di Tomasino Giradelli da Trento, sopra le quattro stagioni dell’anno, con il raccolto del presente, & […]

University Recruitment Ordinance

Recruiting Early Modern Students in the Dutch Republic

By Andrew Pettegree and Forrest Strickland |   The publishers of the seventeenth-century Dutch Republic produced some spectacular books, but the bread and butter of the trade, the work that kept the presses turning, was commissions from institutional customers: the state, city authorities and, increasingly, the universities. By the middle of the century the Dutch […]

Royal arms of France from title page

Regulating the Silk Trade in Early Modern Lyon

By Jamie Cumby | This week’s item is a pamphlet describing the first set of ordinances to regulate the manufacture of luxury textiles in Lyon.  In addition to being a great example of early modern trade protectionism, Lyon’s silk industry was one of the city’s biggest employers.  This royal act, printed by the Lyon master-printer […]

First English Bibliography, detail

The First English Bibliography

By Graeme Kemp | Towards the end of the sixteenth century, Andrew Maunsell completed a novel project: the publication of a national bibliography of all English printed books. In a triple dedication, he humbly offered Elizabeth I his work as a remembrance of the advance in literature and print under her stewardship. Next, he commended […]