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» Economics » Printing » Topics begins with T » The printing in the early modern times

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The printing in the early modern times. A historical case study over the penetration of new information and communication technologies is the title of a Monografie of Michael Giesecke. The 957-seitige work is considered as one of the most important German-language publications to the printing with mobile type characters of the last decades and appeared 1991.

Giesecke habilitierte 1989 in Bielefeld in speaking and communication science over medium and communication-historical paging in Europe in 15. and 16. Century; from the Habilitationsschrift developed the Monografie appeared in the Suhrkamp publishing house over the printing in the early modern times, which agree "in far parts" with the Habilitationsschrift. Giesecke indicates in the preface over altogether 13 years - however with interruptions - on the topic to have worked.

A goal

Giesecke sees its work as Desiderat: "Which was missing so far completely, is a simple theoretical modelling of the phenomenon `to Buchdruck"ยด" (P. 23). A goal of its "historical case study over the penetration of new information and communication technologies" is therefore, "the description of the social community in a part of Europe in 15. and 16. Century as an information and a communication system, which were brought out by the printing as key technology" (P. 22).

He sees his case study thus also prototypical for the "penetration of new information and communication technologies", thus explicitly a possible transferability of its beginning refers to those today emergierenden new technologies.


According to a short preface that is arranged volume into seven main sections, of it an introduction and a conclusion part; thus the five central chapters, which together nevertheless constitute well two thirds of the work, form the main part.

  1. Introduction
  2. "Van of the boydrucker art": A new information technology is introduced
  3. Propagation and employment of the typographic information technology up to the death of good mountain (1468): The solution of the old problems with new means and old authentications
  4. From the Typographeum to the typographic communication systems: The creative investigation of the possibilities of the new medium in outgoing 15. and 16 beginning. Century
  5. The typographic cross-linking of social communication for the common use of the German nation (1520-1555): Dimensions of the new media and systems
  6. The typographic production of spirit and culture in the further process 16. Century
  7. Concluding remark: The borders more contemporarily and the other borders of the modern descriptions of the typographic nets

Lock the volume extensive note apparatus, detailed literature and source listing as well as one appendix of material and finally two registers (persons and authors, key words). Still another epilog was added in addition to the expenditure for paperback of 1998, in which Giesecke takes position for the Rezeption of the bound expenditure of 1991.

The arrangement follows to a large extent the chronological succession and reaches from the epoch before good mountain over its work and working up to the end 16. Century.


Due to the broad plant of Gieseckes beginning covers the representation "communication, social, technology, literature, speaking, education, culture, civilization, even religion and politics-historical aspects. Are examined thus (among other things!) the influence of the reformation on acceptance and spreading of the medium printing; the meaning of the new medium for political, social and social communication as well as the creation and coinage of a "public opinion"; technical facilities and developments; economic consequences; the consequences of the printing for the of certain senses of humans; the changes of the author role and the science system; the meaning of the printed book for the individual and collective education and the private reading. In addition compression matters of other cultures (China, South Korea) are treated; the investigation refers both the medieval handwriting culture and compression matter before good mountain also; and the present information society is reflected anyway frequently with" ().

Giesecke regards in 15. Century emergierende Typographeum as information and communication system; this settles on the one hand the interpretation of the components this Typographeums as memory, software and code including the appropriate terminology; into the typographic memory information is entered, and the market is an economic system with entrances and exits, the process of the printing is expressions of different information types.

On the other hand the systemic influence points itself to numerous, which took cybernetics process and functional diagrams (example). Systemic and cybernetic thinking pulls the entire argumentation through, for example recognizes Giesecke in such a way that the of a medium always causes the devaluation of another - a completely normal cybernetic feedback process. Are natural with this viewpoint everywhere control and regulation processes as well as feedback loops.


Section 1

The introduction shows that Printing as catalyst of cultural change and presents its systemic communication and society model. Besides Giesecke justifies the necessity for a distinction between more skriptographischer and that typographic medium revolution, discusses theoretical and medium-political perspectives and closes with the announcement to want to interpret "social and communication systems as technological systems".

The interpretation of the printing as catalyst takes up Giesecke of Elizabeth's of iron stone investigations to the Druckerpresse; she speaks there of an agent OF CHANGE, which into all other medium systems, in which structures of the society and the perception of the artist intervene.

Section 2

The second section (P. 63-207) begins with an inventory admission of the situation of the good mountain time, discusses the forerunners of the good mountain technology and presents some technical innovations like the hand casting instrument and the lead type characters. Besides Giesecke - unfortunately only brief - expands the focus of its views of Central Europe on Eastern Asia and suggests that it already gave a pressure with individual, mobile wooden type characters for example in China around 1314, and that even the use of metal type characters is authentic in the sand casting procedure so mentioned from South Korea starting from 1495. The technology is admits there been, the difference to Central Europe exists however in the fact that this would socially not have become generally accepted; with it he means for example the absence of the emergence of a public book market and book trade, i.e. a publicly accessible "information memory", how he developed in Central Europe.

Further Giesecke in an excursion points out to the printing (placing, line set and side set, justification and paging etc.) that the printing required a complex network at technological aids such as paper, setting box, Winkelhaken, Druckpresse etc., in addition, a social Ausdifferenzierung of the working processes in authors, publishers, typesetters, and Korrektorat etc.

Surprisingly, but founded Gieseckes thesis is that good mountain intention was not the mechanical duplication, but the development of a "beautiful typewriter without write pipe, stylus and feather/spring" (P. 134). Therefore good mountain strove similar to the ideal of beauty of the Renaissance (wonderful harmony) for the "ideal "of an artificial" (in the sense of artful) Proportionierung of the text organization". A standardization of the typeface succeeded to it and together with the mobility of the type characters on the line the set of an even and harmoniously proportionierten writ by the multiple identical reproduction of the lead type characters by molds (stencils) and by the production of the molds by stamps (Punzen).

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