This contribution aims to exemplify through a case study focused on Germany, how the late fifteenth-century availability of printed classical texts, whether for teachers or for students, facilitated an internationalisation of local textual traditions, sometimes with cultural tensions as a result. Printed books were commodities which modified both ways of engaging with texts and ways of producing manuscript texts. At the same time, pre-existing ways of making and using books formed the expectations of customers which producers of printed books sought to meet or, in a world of international commercial competition, even to exceed, by introducing innovative features which matched the evolving needs of potential buyers. We find a complex interplay of intellectual demands for change, institutionally established user expectations and the need for printers and publishers to create economically viable commodities, where printed books shaped a preexisting and continued manuscript based literary culture.
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Copyright (c) 2020 Kristian Jensen