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University of Glasgow Library Blog

Three books from the celebrated press of Nicolaus Jenson feature in this batch of incunabula.

Colophon Colophon from Antoninus Florentinus: Summa theologica. Pars III (1477)

Gratian Gratian (1474)

Originally from France, Nicolaus Jenson worked as a cutter of coinage for the royal mint, and is said then to have studied printing in Mainz. He was subsequently one of the most successful immigrant printers to settle in Venice.  His was the second printing shop to be established in the city (after that of the de Spiras), and his first books appeared in 1470.

Like other early printers, he began by concentrating on producing editions of Latin classical texts and grammars. By 1473, however, an over production of the classics had resulted in a glut and collapse in the Venetian book market. Jenson managed to survive the crisis and stayed in business by forming syndicates with other businesses and by diversifying – moving into…

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