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How Old and New Media Influenced Each Other and Society in Iceland during the 16th and 17th Centuries


The influence of a the new medium of print on the old, existing medium of handwriting has never been examined before. The printing press came already around 1530 to Iceland and the earliest printed books were strongly influenced by handwritten manuscripts, which is well documented. A phenomenon which has not yet been analysed is that, as time went on, books in return influenced manuscripts. Manuscript production did indeed not stop after 1530, but grew to new quantitative and qualitative heights, including features of printed books such as title pages. I therefore propose to conduct a study on the relationship between books and manuscripts of the 16th and 17th centuries. The focus will be on title pages, as they are a truly innovative feature of printed books that we also find in post-Gutenberg manuscripts.
The objectives of this project concern:
a) The influence of a new medium on an existing medium
b) The utilisation of features of the new medium to achieve specific aims and goals
c) The impact of this utilisation on society
Methods to conduct the study of title pages and their sociological impact include content analysis from literary studies, quantitative codicological analysis from book and manuscript studies, and iconographic/iconologic analysis from art history.
This project has ground-breaking potential. It will provide insight into the ways features of new media were incorporated into existing media and how they were utilised. It will be the first systematic survey of its kind in Iceland and, concerning the influence of printed books on post-Gutenberg manuscripts, internationally. It will also be one of the first systematic interdisciplinary studies.
It will be the forerunner of a larger project about Icelandic book and manuscript history and media changes with more researchers involved. The beneficiary has perfect conditions for interdisciplinary research and career development at the host institution and secondment and will complete the first step toward a full professorship.


Net EU contribution
€ 166 156,80
Dr. ignaz seipel-platz 2
1010 Wien

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Ostösterreich Wien Wien
Activity type
Research Organisations
Other funding
€ 0,00