The University of Glasgow's library contains over 400,000 manuscripts and printed works, built up since the university's foundation in 1451. The library's outstanding collection of over a thousand printed books ('incunabula') from the fifteenth century has recently been catalogued in detail. This beautifully illustrated book accompanies an exhibition that highlights a small selection of these fascinating works. It charts the development of the early printed book in Europe, exploring the transition from manuscript to print and its impact on late medieval society. The invention of mechanical movable type printing revolutionised bookmaking in Europe and was instrumental in the emergence of the Renaissance and the spread of learning across the continent.
Julie Gardham has been a Rare Book Librarian in Special Collections at the University of Glasgow Library since 1997. She has a particular interest in fifteenth-century books. In 2004 she curated the World of Chaucer exhibition held at the Hunterian Museum, Glasgow.