Oldest printed books

The oldest printed books in the Library are incunabula from the second half of the 15th Century. Incunabula are books printed before 1501, with a system that used individual letters and words to make up the text block. In Europe, this system was invented by Johannes Gutenburg in the mid 15th century. Before this invention, books were copied by hand or printed from hand-carved wooden blocks.

Title page of Defensorium curatorum contra eos qui priuilegiatos se dicunt by Richard Fitz-Ralph, printed in Paris, 1485
Page from The Fall Of The Princes by Giovanni Boccaccio, printed in 1494