Science News Roundup: Old School Printing

Engraving of printer using the early Gutenberg...

Now that’s old school. Thirteen years and $8 million later, scribes in Wales have finally completed their hand-drawn and illustrated version of the St. John’s Bible.  The work was commissioned by the Benedictine monks at St. John’s Abbey and St. John’s University in Collegeville, Minnesota and funded primarily by donations. Eighteen gorgeously illustrated pages from “Letters and Revelation” will be on display in the Minneapolis Institute of Arts through November 13. A second exhibit, which will include 44 pages from the “Wisdom Books” and “Prophets” will go on display at the New Mexico History Museum on October 21. Can’t catch either show? Consider purchasing a Heritage Edition, a full-size facsimile of the entire 1150-page seven-volume work, available for a mere $140,000. Yeah, I know, this isn’t really a science news story, but doesn’t it give you a better understanding of how profoundly the development of the Gutenberg press changed access to knowledge in our world?

Old School Printing continues below the fold with:

  • Inventor of e-books, founder of Project Gutenberg, Michael Hart, dies at 64
  • There’s an award Eric Carle hasn’t won yet?

Inventor of ebooks, Founder of Project Gutenberg dies: Speaking of ready access to knowledge, Caterpickles bids a fond farewall to Michael Hart, who reportedly invented the ebook when he typed the US Declaration of Independence onto a computer and posted it to the fledgling Internet on a whim in 1971. For his next trick, he used the computers at the University of Illinois to launch Project Gutenberg, a volunteer-driven organization that offers users access to more than 36,000 free ebooks in 60 different languages. As Hart said in July 2011 when reflecting on his work at Project Gutenberg, “One thing about ebooks that most people haven’t thought much is that ebooks are the very first thing that we’re all able to have as much as we want other than air. Think about that for a moment and you realize we are in the right job.”

So, what about you? What caught your eye this week?

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About Shala Howell

Writer of things ranging from optical network switching white papers to genetic testing patient education materials to historical fiction set in an 1880s asylum. When I’m not scratching my head over pesky characters who refuse to do things how I want them done or dreaming of my next book (which will of course be much easier to write than the current one), my writerly self can be found blogging about life with a very curious Ten-Year-Old at Caterpickles.com, or musing about books and the writing life at BostonWriters.wordpress.com.
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