Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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(1,155 words)

1. Definition and distribution

The term incunabula (Latin, “swaddling clothes,” “cradle”) or cradle books denotes all the printed materials produced in Europe from the invention of printing with movable type by Gutenberg c. 1440-1450 through December 31, 1500. This date was already defined arbitrarily as the end of the incunabula period in the 17th century by the dean of the Münster cathedral, Bernhard von Mallinckrodt, in his De ortu ac …

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Schneider, Ute, “Incunabula”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 20 October 2020 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_021425>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20180915

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