Skip to main content
×
×
Home

Charting the “Rise of the West”: Manuscripts and Printed Books in Europe, A Long-Term Perspective from the Sixth through Eighteenth Centuries

  • Eltjo Buringh (a1) and Jan Luiten Van Zanden (a2)
Abstract

This article estimates the development of manuscripts and printed books in Western Europe over the course of thirteen centuries. As these estimates show, medieval and early modern book production was a dynamic economic sector, with an average annual growth rate of around one percent. Rising production after the middle of the fifteenth century probably resulted from lower book prices and higher literacy. To explain the dynamics of medieval book production, we provide estimates for urbanization rates and for the numbers of universities and monasteries. Monasteries seem to have been most important in the early period, while universities and laypeople dominated the later medieval demand for books.

Copyright
References
Hide All
Allen, Robert C.“The Great Divergence in European Wages and Prices.” Explorations in Economic History 38, no. 4 (2001): 411–47.
Allen, Robert C.“Progress and Poverty in Early Modern Europe.” Economic History Review 56, no. 3 (2003): 403–43.
Bairoch, Paul, Batou, Jean, and Chèvre., PierreLa population des villes Européennes de 800 á 1850. Genève: Librairie Droz, 1988.
Bartlett, Robert.The Making of Europe: Conquest, Colonization, and Cultural Change, 950–1350. London: Penguin Group, 1993.
Baten, Joerg, and van Zanden., Jan Luiten, “Book Production and the Onset of Modern Economic Growth.” Journal of Economic Growth 13 (2008): 217–35.
Bavel, Bas J. P., and van Zanden., Jan Luiten“The Jump-Start of the Holland Economy During the Late-Medieval Crisis, c.1350–c.1500.” Economic History Review 57, no. 3 (2004): 503–32
Baxter, Ron.Bestiaries and Their Uses in the Middle Ages. Thrup: Sutton, 1998.
Bertelli, Carlo. “The Production and Distribution of Books in Late Antiquity.” In The Sixth Century: Production, Distribution, and Demand, edited by Hodges, Richard and Bowden, William, 41–61. Leiden: Brill, 1998.
Bischoff, Bernhard.Katalog der festländischen Handschriften des neunten Jahrhunderts (mit Ausnahme der wisigothischen). Wiesbaden: Harrossowitz, 1998.
Bischoff, Bernhard, and Brown., Virginia“Addenda to Codices Latini Antiquiores.” Mediaeval Studies 47 (1985): 317–66.
Bischoff, Bernhard, and Ebersperger., BirgitKatalog der festländischen Handschriften des neunten Jahrhunderts (mit Ausnahme der wisigothischen); Teil II: Laon-Paderborn. Wiesbaden: Harrossowitz, 2004.
Bisson, T. N.“The Feudal Revolution.” Past & Present 142, no. 134 (1994): 6–42
Blum, Ulrich, and Dudley., Leonard“Standardized Latin and Medieval Economic Growth.” European Review of Economic History 7, no. 2 (2003): 213–39
Bozzolo, Carla, Coq, Dominique, and Ornato., Ezio“La production du livre en quelques pays d'Europe occidentale aux XIVe et XVe siècles.” Scrittura e Civilta 8 (1984): 129–59.
Bozzolo, Carla, and Ornato., EzioPour une histoire du livre manusript au moyen âge. Paris: CNRS, 1980.
Brokaw, C. J. “On the History of the Book in China.” In Printing and Book Culture in Late Imperial China, edited by Brokaw, C. J., and Chow, Kai-wing, 3–55. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2001.
Brown, Peter.The Rise of Western Christendom. Oxford: Blackwell, 2003.
Buringh, Eltjo.On Medieval Manuscript Production in the Latin West, Explorations with a Global Database. Leiden: Brill, forthcoming 2009.
Buringh, Eltjo, and van Zanden., Jan Luiten, “Charting the “Rise of the West”: Manuscripts and Printed Books in Europe, A Long-Term Perspective from the Sixth through Eighteenth Centuries.” Working Paper IISH, Amsterdam 2007, available at http://www.iisg.nl/bibliometrics/books500-1800.pdf.
Chia, Lucille. “Mashaben: Commercial Publishing in Jianyang from the Song to the Ming.” In The Song-Yuan-Ming Transition in Chinese History, edited by Smith, P. J. and von Glahn, R., 284–329. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Asia Center, 2003.
Chow, Kai-wing.Publishing, Culture, and Power in Early Modern China. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2004.
Clark, Gregory. “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous: Living Costs of the Rich versus the Poor in England, 1209–1869.” Conference paper, “Towards a Global History of Prices and Wages.” Utrecht, 2004.
Cottineau, Laurent-Henri.Répertoire topo-bibliographique des abbayes et prieurés. 2 vols. Macon: Protat Frères, 1939.
Cowdrey, H.“The Peace and the Truce of God in the Eleventh Century.” Past & Present 46 (1970): 42–67.
DeLong, J. Bradford, and Shleifer., Andrei“Princes and Merchants: City Growth Before the Industrial Revolution.” Journal of Law and Economics 36, no. 2 (October 1993): 671–702.
Derville, Alain.“L'alphabétisation du peuple á la fin du Moyen Age.” Revue du Nord 26 (1984): 759–72.
De Vries, Jan.European Urbanization, 1500–1800. London: Methuen, 1984.
Ebersperger, Birgit.“Bernhard Bischoff's Catalogue of Ninth-Century Continental Manuscripts.” Gazette du Livre Médiéval 34 (1999): 44–48.
Encyclopaedia Britannica, 25 vols. Edinburgh: Black, 9th edition, reprint 1898.
English Short Title Catalogue, accessible via British Library at http://estc.bl.uk/F/?func=file&file_name=login-bl-list.
Epstein, S. R.“Cities, Regions, and the Late Medieval Crisis: Sicily and Tuscany Compared.” Past & Present 130 (1991): 3–50.
Febvre, Lucien, and Martin., Henri JeanThe Coming of the Book. London: Verso, 1976.
Fossier, R. “Rural Economy and Country Life.” In The New Cambridge Medieval History, III, c.900–c.1024, edited by Reuter, T., 27–63. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000.
Gilmont, Jean Francois, ed. The Reformation and the Book. Aldershot: Ashgate, 1998.
Glick, Thomas F.Islamic and Christian Spain in the Early Middle Ages. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1979.
Gneuss, Helmut.Handlist of Anglo-Saxon manuscripts, a list of manuscripts and manuscript fragments written or owned in England up to 1100. Tempe: Arizona Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 2001.
Gorman, Michael.“Manuscript Books at Monte Amiata in the Eleventh Century.” Scriptorium 56, no. 2 (2002): 225–93
Hand Press Book File, Consortium of European Research Libraries, available at http://www.cerl.org/web/en/resources/hpb/main.
Harris, Michael H.History of Libraries in the Western World. Metuchen, NJ: Scareow, 1984.
Hatcher, J., and Bailey., M.Modeling the Middle Ages: The History and Theory of England's Economic Development. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001.
Hayami, A., and Kitô., H. “Demography and Living Standards.” In The Economic History of Japan: 1600–1990. Volume I: Emergence of Economic Society in Japan 1600–1859, edited by Hayami, A., Saito, O., and Toby, R. P., 213–47. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999.
Herlihy, David.“Church Property on the European Continent, 701–1200.” Speculum 36, no. 1 (1961): 81–105.
Hoffman, Philip T., Jacks, David S., Levin, Patricia A., and Lindert., Peter H., “Real Inequality in Europe Since 1500.” This JOURNAL 62, no. 2 (2002): 322–55.
Huff, Toby E.The Rise of Early Modern Science: Islam, China, and the West. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993.
Incunabula Short Title Catalogue,accessible via the British Library at http://www.bl.uk/catalogues/istc/.
Ker, Neil R.Medieval Libraries of Great Britain: A List of Surviving Books. 2nd edition. London: Offices of the Royal Historical Society, 1964.
Koepke, Nikola, and Baten., Joerg“The Biological Standard of Living During the Last Two Millennia.” Review of European Economic History 9, no. 1 (2005): 61–97
Kornicki, Peter.The Book in Japan: A Cultural History from the Beginnings to the Nineteenth Century. Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press, 2001.
Kremer, M.“Population Growth and Technological Change: One Million B.C. to 1990.” Quarterly Journal of Economics 108, no. 3 (1993): 681–716
Lowe, Elias A.Codices Latini Antiquiores. 12 vols. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1934–1971.
Maddison, Angus.The World Economy: A Millennial Perspective. Paris: OECD, 2001.
Mayo, H., and Sharma., S.“The E. A. Lowe Papers at the Pierpont Morgan Library.” Scriptorium 46, no. 1 (1992): 90–107
McCormick, Michael.Origins of the European Economy: Communications and Commerce, A.D. 300–900. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001.
McDermott, Joseph. “The Ascendancy of the Imprint in China.” In Printing and Book Culture in Late Imperial China, edited by Brokaw, C. J. and Chow, Kai-wing, 55–107. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2005.
McEvedy, Colin, and Jones., RichardAtlas of World Population. Harmondworth: Penguin Books, 1978.
McKitterick, Rosamond.The Carolingians and the Written Word. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989.
Millares Carlo, Augustín.Tratado de paleografía espaňola. 3rd edition. 3 vols. Madrid: Espasa-Calpe, 1983.
Neddermeyer, Uwe.“Möglichkeiten und Grenzen einer quantitativen Bestimmung der Buchproduktion im Spätmittelalter.” Gazette du Livre Médiéval 28 (1996): 23–32.
Neddermeyer, Uwe.Von der Handschrift zum gedruckten Buch. 2 vols. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 1998.
Õ Crónín, D.Early Medieval Ireland, 400–1200. London: Longman, 1995.
Pedersen, Johannes.The Arabic Book. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1984.
Rawski, Evelyn S.Education and Popular Literacy in Ch'ing China. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1979.
Reed, Christopher A.Gutenberg in Shanghai: Chinese Print Capitalism, 1876–1937. Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press, 2004.
Ringstad, V., and L⊘yland., K.“The Demand for Books Established by Means of Consumer Survey Data.” Journal of Cultural Economics 30, no. 2 (2006): 141–55
Rouse, Richard H., and Rouse., Mary A., Manuscripts and Their Makers: Commercial Book Producers in Medieval Paris, 1200–1500. London: Harvey Miller, 2000.
Schoengen, Michaël A. J., Monasticon Batavum (i) De Franciskaansche Orden. Amsterdam: Noord-Hollandsche Uitgevers Maatschappij, 1941a.
Schoengen, Michaël A. J.Monasticon Batavum (ii) De Augustijnsche Orden. Amsterdam: Noord-Hollandsche Uitgevers Maatschappij, 1941b.
Schoengen, Michaël A. J.Monasticon Batavum (iii) De Benedictijnsche Orden. Amsterdam: Noord-Hollandsche Uitgevers Maatschappij, 1942.
Short Title Catalogue, Netherlands, accessible via the Royal Library at http://www.kb.nl/stcn/.
Short Title Catalogue, Vlaanderen, accessible via http://www.stcv.be/ned/frame.html.
St. Clair, William.The Reading Nation in the Romantic Period. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004.
Stephens, W. B., “Literacy in England, Scotland, and Wales, 1500–1900.” History of Education Quarterly 30, no. 4 (1990): 545–71
Tsien, Tsuen-Hsiun. “Paper and Printing.” In Science and Civilization in China, vol. 5/1, edited by Needham., JosephCambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985.
van Zanden, Jan Luiten.“Tracing the Beginning of the Kuznets Curve: Western Europe During the Early Modern Period.” Economic History Review 48, no. 3 (1995): 643–64
van Zanden, Jan Luiten. “Early Modern Economic Growth: A Survey of the European Economy, 1500–1800.” In Early Modern Capitalism, edited by Prak, M., 69–87. London: Routledge, 2001.
van Zanden, Jan Luiten. “Common Workmen, Philosophers, and the Birth of the European Knowledge Economy: About the Price and the Production of Useful Knowledge in Europe 1350–1800.” Paper for the GEHN conference on Useful Knowledge, Leiden, September 2004; revised 12 October 2004.
van Zanden, Jan Luiten.“Una estimación del crecimiento económico en la Edad Moderna.” Investigaciones de Historia Económica 2, no. 1 (2005): 9–38
van Zanden, Jan Luiten. “Economic Growth in a Period of Political Fragmentation, 950–1300.” Seminar paper, Utrecht University, 2006.
Vaquero, Quintín Aldea, Martinez, Tomas Marín, and Gatell, José Vives, eds. Diccionario de historia eclesiastica de España. 4 vols. and suppl. 1. Madrid: CSIC Instituto Enrique Florez, 1972–1975.
Verhulst, A.“The Origins of Towns in the Low Countries and the Pirenne Thesis.” Past & Present 122 (1989): 3–36.
Verhulst, A.The Carolingian Economy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002.
Wickham, Chris.“Debate: The ‘Feudal Revolution.’” Past & Present 155 (1997): 196–208.
Wooldridge, Jeffrey M.Econometric Analysis of Cross Section and Panel Data. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2001.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

The Journal of Economic History
  • ISSN: 0022-0507
  • EISSN: 1471-6372
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-economic-history
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Altmetric attention score