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Building up Networks of Knowledge: Printing and Collecting Books in the Age of Humanism in the University City of Coimbra

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Chapter Summary

The introduction of the printing press in the middle of the 15th century led to easier access to books and a considerable increase of the stocks, both in private and institutional libraries. The purpose of this chapter is to show the first recorded instances of the introduction of this new technique in Portugal and to investigate how printing, selling and collecting books took place in the 16th century at the University City of Coimbra. Although in the last years some studies on the book and printing history have been published, fundamental studies on the Portuguese library history of the early modern period are still due. In the age of Humanism, the spirit of studying changed fundamentally. The humanists regarded the printed book as an important means to broaden and refresh their range of knowledge and they started to study individually, outside the university curricula.

Keywords:humanism; Portuguese library; printing press; University City of Coimbra



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