The Scientific Woodblock to 1800

With Caroline Duroselle-Melish, I gave a Zoom presentation on 19 November 2020, which is now available online. This was a Rare Book School Online event.

Text of the original announcement.

In this presentation Roger Gaskell and Caroline Duroselle-Melish will consider not so much the woodcut—that is the impression on the paper—but the woodblock, the printing matrix. Who made woodblocks? How were they made? And how were they combined with type to print the book? The presenters will discuss three collections of surviving blocks: the blocks cut for Ulisse Aldrovandi in Bologna; the botanical blocks assembled from various sources at the Plantin Press in Antwerp as a resource for printing books by different authors and in different countries; and the mathematical diagram blocks cut for Sir Isaac Newton in London and printed in Cambridge. These examples will be used to illustrate the relationships among authors, printmakers, and publishers, the proofreading and correction of blocks, and woodblocks as embodied knowledge.