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The 2016 Josephine Waters Bennett Lecture: Humanism and Printing in the Work of Conrad Gessner

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 November 2018

Ann Blair*
Affiliation:
Harvard University

Abstract

I discuss how printing affected the practice of scholarship by examining the working methods of Conrad Gessner (1516–65), a prolific humanist, bibliographer, and natural historian. Gessner supplemented his revenue as city physician in Zurich through his publishing activities. He hailed printing, along with libraries to preserve the books, as crucial to the successful transmission of learning to the distant future. Gessner also used printing as a kind of social media: to reach readers rapidly all over Europe, in order to solicit contributions to his research projects underway, to advertise forthcoming books, and to develop his own thinking through multiple iterations.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © 2017 Renaissance Society of America

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