Print culture embodies all forms of printed text and other printed forms of visual communication.

One prominent scholar in the field is Elizabeth Eisenstein, who contrasted print culture, which appeared in Europe in the centuries after the advent of the Western printing-press (and much earlier in China where woodblock printing was used from at least 800 AD), to scribal culture. Walter Ong, by contrast, has contrasted written culture, including scribal, to oral culture. Ong is generally considered one of the first scholars to define print culture in contrast tooral culture. These views are related as the printing press brought a vast rise in literacy, so that one of its effects was simply the great expansion of written culture at the expense of oral culture. The development of printing, like the development of writing itself, had profound effects on human societies and knowledge. "Print culture" refers to the cultural products of the printing transformation. In terms of image-based communication, a similar transformation came in Europe from the fifteenth century on with the introduction of the old master print and, slightly later, popular prints, both of which were actually much quicker in reaching the mass of the population than printed text. Print culture is the conglomeration of effects on human society that is created by making printed forms of communication. Print culture encompasses many stages as it has evolved in response to technological advances. Print culture can first be studied from the period of time involving the gradual movement from oration to script as it is the basis for print culture. As the printing became commonplace, script became insufficient and printed documents were mass produced. The era of physical print has had a lasting effect on human culture, but with the advent of digital text, some scholars believe the printed word is becoming obsolete. The electronic media, including the World Wide Web, can be seen as an outgrowth of print culture.

The development of print
[edit]Prior

to print

Oral culture was all that existed. Oral culture gradually found the need to store what was said for long periods of time, and slowly developed scribal culture. Scribal culture being inaccurate and tedious at best developed into print culture. Each segment is rich with its own effects on the world. Scribal culture, defined by the written or physical conveying of ideas, is important to understand in achieving a grasp on the unfolding of print culture itself. Scholars disagree over when scribal culture developed. Walter Ong argues that scribal culture cannot exist until an alphabet is created, and a form of writing

McKenzie argues that even communicative notches on a stick. Early printers tried to keep their printed copies of a text as faithful as possible to the original manuscript. Scribal culture also deals with large levels of inconsistency. F. Over time. Ong suggests scribal culture is defined by an alphabet. for a short time. In scribal culture. 868 AD (British Museum) The Chinese invention of paper and woodblock printing. were printed using woodblock printing. not allowing for effective dissemination of knowledge. which can be accomplished in more ways than using an alphabet. On the other hand.standardized. McKenzie says that the key to scribal culture is non-verbal communication. transforming into print culture. and the words different. as it had been copied the least. a greater need for reliable. many times the meaning became changed. D. [edit]Development of print The intricate frontispiece of the Diamond Sutra from Tang DynastyChina. . procuring documents was a difficult task. quickly reproduced. and documentation would then be limited to the rich only. on subjects ranging from Confucian Classics to science and mathematics. [1] Hundreds of thousands of books. These two views give rise to the importance of print culture. represent “text”. Movable type (which the Chinese also invented) had limited impact in East Asia. Scribal culture. Even so. The invention of Johannes Gutenberg's printing press (circa 1450) greatly reduced the amount of labor required to produce a book leading to a tremendous increase in the number of books produced. and therefore scribal culture. and a relatively inexpensive means of distributing written text arose. the earliest publications were still often different from the original. Ideas are difficult to spread amongst large groups of people over large distances of land. This was likely due to the thousands of Chinese characters required. It was always considered that the oldest document was the most accurate. at some point before the first dated book in 868 (the Diamond Sutra) produced the world's first print culture. was only replicated in manners of written text. In the process of copying documents. or structure. Reliance on the written text of the time was never exceedingly strong. and the first printedbooks began appearing in Europe. in some ways manuscripts still remaining more accurate than printed books. Paper and woodblock printing were introduced into Europe in the 15th Century.

print culture's ability to shape and guide society was a critical component before. the cost and time of copying led to the slow propagation of ideas.Hand-copied illustrations were replaced by first woodcuts. Similarly. and the Reformation Eisenstein has described how the high costs of copying scribal works often led to their abandonment and eventual destruction. the Renaissance was a permanent revival of classical learning because the printing of classical works put them into a permanent and widely read form. It was revitalized by being printed in the 16th century and widely read by the increasingly literate English and colonial population thereafter. In contrast. who was noted for his many contributions to the newspapers. resulting in knowledge and cultural movements that were far harder to destroy. Massachusetts than were printed in all of New England in 1754. recording an oral transaction restricting the power of English kings and defining rights of subjects. the production of printed newspapers in the colonies greatly increased. including the Pennsylvania Gazette. Additionally. more copies of newspapers were issued in Worcester. during. Eisenstein points to a large number of prior attempts in Western Europe to assert doctrines contrary to the ruling Catholic Church. The American Revolution was a major historical conflict fought after print culture brought the rise of literacy. [edit]Print [edit]A culture and the American Revolution profound impact Numerous eras throughout history have been defined through the use of print culture. [edit]Print culture. This increase was primarily due to the easing of the government's tight control . In 1775. the Renaissance. In contrast. and after the Revolution. The Magna Carta was used as a basis for the development of English liberties by Sir Edward Coke and became a basis for writing the Declaration of Independence. revolutionizing technical literature (Eisenstein 155). later engravings that could be duplicated precisely. Furthermore. In contrast. Furthermore. showing that the existence of the conflict developed a need for print culture. The Magna Carta was originally a scribal document of 1215. Eisenstein points to prior renaissances (rebirths) of classical learning prior to the printing press that failed. the printing press allowed rapid propagation of ideas. the Protestant Reformation spread rapidly and permanently due to the printing of non-conformist works such as the 95 Theses. This onslaught of printed text was brought about by the anonymous writings of men such asBenjamin Franklin. [edit]Pre-Revolution Many different printed documents influenced the beginning of the revolution. during the 18th century.

The newspapers also covered some of the battles in great detail. as other generals (on both sides) used this technique as well. This number of pamphlets produced is significant as there were only a couple million freed men in the colonies." a pamphlet that introduced many ideas of freedom to the Colonial citizens. 1783. was found to be unsuitable to outline the structure of the government. Both of these played a key role in persuading the people and igniting the revolution. the American Revolution may have never taken place. These reports were usually falsified by Washington in order to keep morale up among American citizens and troops. However. Thomas Paine wrote the pamphlet "Common Sense. by the Treaty of Paris. printing presses were writing the newspapers to complain about the policies of the British government. which were put to effect in 1778 and formed the first governing document of the United States of America. [edit]During the Revolution Newspapers were printed during the revolution covering battle reports and propaganda. In 1775. However. Before the Revolution. continued their papers without any alteration of their title. however. Allegedly. This document. half a million copies were produced during the pre-revolution era. particularly those in Boston. While it was explicitly documented on July 4. The basis for this government was known as the Articles of Confederation. and how the British government was taking advantage of the colonists. and without the existence of a relatively free press. it was not recognized by Great Britain until September 3.of the press. "Common Sense" was not the only manuscript that influenced people and the tide of the revolution. so they were forced to temporarily discontinue their work or simply change the title of their paper. Washington was not the only one to falsify these reports. the British placed multiple acts upon the colonies. as a form of print culture that would declare their independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain and explained the justifications for doing so. and thus showed an ineffectual use of . in order to gain support from other countries in hopes that they would join the American forces in the fight against the British. such as the stamp act. especially the ones that the American forces won. Many newspaper companies worried that the British would punish them for printing papers without a British seal. some patriotic publishers. 1776. Among the most influential were James Otis' "Rights of the British Colonies" and John Dickinson's "Farmer's Letters". The Declaration of Independence is a very important written document that was drafted by the original thirteen colonies. [edit]Post-Revolution After the signing of the Treaty of Paris. a cluster of free states in need of a government was created. The production of so many newspapers can mostly be attributed to the fact that newspapers had a huge demand.

Thomas Jefferson was noted as saying. a few regions do exist in the world where literary piracy has become a standard commercial practice. the Constitution served as a redefinition of the modern government. newspapers played a very important role in the government following the Revolutionary War. print has matured to a state where the majority of modern society has come to have certain expectations regarding the printed book:    The knowledge contained by printed books is believed to be accurate. Copyright laws help to protect these standards. this number is steadily decreasing due to the ever-growing popularity of the Internet and other forms of digital media. the preceding expectations are not the norm. However. much like other forms of 18th century print culture. However. . The cited author of a printed book does indeed exist and is actually the person who wrote it.3 billion books still sold each year worldwide.print culture. they also allowed for the ideas to be disseminated to a wide audience. “The basis of our government being the opinion of the people. Every copy of a printed book is identical (at least in the important aspects) to every other copy. and since printed texts were the most respected documents of the time. In such regions. [edit]The state of print today Today. or newspapers without a government. In fact.” This serves as an excellent example of how newspapers were highly regarded by the colonial people. It was the job of the Constitutional Convention to reform the document. there are still approximately 2. the new document was used to grant more power to the central government. no matter how far apart the locations are in which they are sold. a primary goal of printed text. by expanding into branches. In the form of written word. and were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers. After it was ratified by all of the states in the union. A famous example of the newspaper being used as a medium to convey ideas were the Federalist Papers. but they soon discovered that an entirely new text was needed in its place. this called for an alteration in the document used to govern the confederation. The result was the United States Constitution. Not only were they one of the few methods in the 18th century to voice the opinion of the people. I should not hesitate for a moment to prefer the latter. These were first published in New York City newspapers in 1788 and pushed for people to accept the idea of the United States Constitution by enumerating 85 different articles that justified its presence. (Johns 61) Currently. the very first object should be to keep that right. adding to a series of texts designed to reinforce each other. and ultimately serving as a redefinition of the 18th century.

Gunkel states that information now takes the form of immaterial bits of digital data that are circulated at the speed of light. People have become increasingly accustomed to acquiring information from our homes that previously was only accessible from an office or library. who are not interested in moving to a digital representation of the repository for human knowledge. at least in theory. At the same time. be accessible from all places. society is currently in the late age of the text. also discusses our culture in what he calls "the late age of print. thus preventing old media's (aka print's) erasure. and as barriers and boundaries that inhibited working with information are crossed. explains that despite current fears about the end of print. Print Culture. "The First Amendment. there are also concerns over whether obsolescence and deterioration make digital media unsuitable for long-term archival purposes. and the Electronic Environment". Gunkel states in his article "What's the Matter with Books?"." The current debate going on in the literary world is whether or not the computer will replace the printed book as the repository and definition of human knowledge. the moment of transition from print to electronic culture where it is too late for printed books and yet too early for electronic texts. which electronic media is helping to remove from the creation of text. what the printed book states about the exciting new culture and economy of bits is abraded by the fact that this information has been delivered in the slow and outdated form of physical paper. Jay David Bolter. as economic incentives for working with information increase. Print Culture. the format will never be erased but only remediated. and the Electronic Environment" ([1]) also mentions how the new electronic age will make print better. This means that in the future certain goods will not be associated with their origins. and as machines become networked and linked to other machines. Once computers are all networked. all information should. Print itself contained a set of invisible and inherent censors.[edit]Transition to the digital era As David J. author ofWriting Space. in his own scholarship and also along with Richard Grusin in Remediation. New forms of technology (new media) will be created which utilize features of old media. as copying becomes faster and cheaper. as more information is produced. Bolter. Placing information into electronic form not only liberates the information from its pages but removes the need for specialized spaces to hold particular kinds of information. . The article "The First Amendment. the author notes that expectations will change as information becomes less tied to specific locations. In the article. Much of the early paper used for print is highly acidic. There is still a very large audience committed to printed texts. Consequently. and will ultimately destroy itself. Points of control that are present in print space are no longer present as distribution channels multiply. The way that information is transferred has also changed with this new age of digital text and the shift towards electronic media.

the individual becomes separated from the rest of society. Many online articles are anonymous. it spread print throughout society. the printing press to the computer/internet. Print has given rise to a wider distribution of pictures in society in conjunction with the printed word. This is a merging of pre-print symbolism with post-print linguistic communication. newspapers. In effect. some may argue. Most importantly. [edit]Non-textual forms of print culture Symbols. The printing press. and books gave printed material a wider mass appeal through the ease of visual communication. ordering a product online reduces contact with others. The advances of technology in print culture can be separated into three shifts:    spoken language to the written word. and makes publications more convenient and accessible. is not a part of print culture. journals. some of which incorporate printed words with eye-catching shapes and colors. the ability to text message and send letters via e-mail clients. making the 'death of the author' even more apparent. magazines.[edit]Changes in technology and its effect on print culture There are more online publications. . print is being influenced by devices. the written word to Printing press. Analyzing these cultural products is an important part of the field of cultural studies. and personal digital organizers. Anyone can post articles and journals online anonymously. logos and printed images are forms of printed media that do not rely on text. Incorporation of printed pictures in magazines. From novels being delivered via a cell phone. but had a substantial impact upon the development of print culture through the times. The printing press brought uniform copies and efficiency in print. to having entire libraries stored on PDAs. They are ubiquitous in modern urban life. It allowed a person to make a living from writing. newspapers. The advances made by technology in print also impact anyone using cell phones. The written word has made history recordable and accurate. and businesses than ever before. Another product of non-textual print are roadside symbols. While this brings society closer. laptops.

According to Mckenzie primitive humans did have a form of text they used to communicate with their cave drawings. McKenzie have disagreed on the meaning of text.that which is printed. however. According to Walter Ong text did not come about until the development of the first alphabet. and does not encompass all forms of communication (e.g. In the literary world. that which is online media.[edit]Text and Print There is a common miscommunication that occurs when discussing that which is print and that which is text. notable scholars such as Walter Ong and D. well after humanity existed.F. . This is discussed in literary theory. a riot at a football game). is a representation of what which is printed. Print. even a building or notches on a stick. The point of the discussion at hand is to have a word that encompasses all forms of communication .

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