The Atlas of Early Printing is an interactive site designed to be used as a tool for teaching the early history of printing in Europe during the second half of the fifteenth century.
While printing in Asia pre-dates European activity by several hundred years, the rapid expansion of the trade following the discovery of printing in Mainz, Germany around the middle of the fifteenth century is a topic of great importance to the global history of communications, technology, and the dissemination of knowledge.
The inspiration for the site comes from the maps of printing’s spread found in Berry and Poole’s 1966 book The Annals of Printing, and the well-known maps in Febvre and Martin’s L’apparition du livre (The Coming of the Book) from 1958. These sources, and others such as Robert Teichl’s map Die Wiegendruck in Kartenbild, depict the spread of printing in Europe largely through a decade by decade progression.
The aim of the Atlas of Early Printing is to take this type of information and allow it to be manipulated, while also providing contextual information that visually represents the cultural situation from which printing emerged.
Layers can be turned on and off to build a detailed atlas of the culture and commerce of Europe as masters and journeymen printers ventured to new towns and markets seeking support and material for the new art of printing.