- New York: The Bibliographical Society of America, 1972.
- 7 x 9.5 inches
- 140 pages
Price: $17.50 other currencies
Order Nr. 34594
According to the Preface, for a hundred years or more, the bibliographical scholars of the world have sought to identify the man of genius who, in the mid-fifteenth century, changed the course of civilization by introducing the art of printing into the Western World. Our knowledge of Gutenberg and his claim rests upon two factors: a series of documents in manuscript that range from 1420 to the settling of his estate in 1468. These, however, fail to give conclusive support to his claim as the inventor of printing, although presenting, in the early records, an occasional and vague reference to printing, paper, ink, a press, and "four pieces" which Theodore Low DeVinne, Dr. Otto W. Fuhrmann and others have identified as the parts of a type-casting mould. The second factor consists of tributes to Gutenberg by his contemporaries and their successors, which specifically name him as the inventor of printing in statements which appeared in printed books issued during the years 1470-1499. Stillwell's work contains a bibliography of 215 of the first printed documents described as "Books and Broadsides 1450-1470," along with supplementary sections and notes on the Gutenberg documents.