Books about printing written for printers or would-be printers go back over 300 years. The earliest of them were almost exclusively concerned with books; this century, however, there has been more emphasis on other kinds of documents, and particularly their design. But no shift in document production has been more sudden than the one that has happened most recently. ConSequently, the last five years have witnessed a substantial movement away from books written for professionals to ones whose aim is to help would-be authors produce their own documents. The opportunities for authors to do this have been opened up by the advent of desktop publishing (a term coined as recently as 1984). As most exponents of desktop publishing have come to realise, the term is something of a misnomer because the provision of facilities that allow authors to produce their own material for publishing is not quite the same thing as publishÂ ing. Nevertheless, it has been useful in focussing attention on author-produced documents, and what might be described as the democratisation of document production. This book is different from others in the field. Its target audience is the busy scientist engaged in teaching or research who uses computers in the ordinary course of work. The world of scientific publishing is rapidly moving towards the day when journals will expect contributions from authors on disc, or even by direct transfer of data from the author's computer to the output device of an editor via telephone and satellite.
The Henry Bradshaw Society was established in 1890 in commemoration of Henry Bradshaw, University Librarian in Cambridge and a distinguished authority on early medieval manuscripts and liturgies, who died in 1886. The Society was founded 'for the editing of rare liturgical texts'; its principal focus is on the Western (Latin) Church and its rites, and on the medieval period in particular, from the sixth century to the sixteenth (in effect, from the earliest surviving Christian books until the Reformation). Liturgy was at the heart of Christian worship, and during the medieval period the Christian Church was at the heart of Western society. Study of medieval Christianity in its manifold aspects - historical, ecclesiastical, spiritual, sociological - inevitably involves study of its rites, and for that reason Henry Bradshaw Society publications have become standard source-books for an understanding of all aspects of the middle ages. Moreover, many of the Society's publications have been facsimile editions, and these facsimiles have become cornerstones of the science of palaeography. The society was founded for the editing of rare liturgical texts; its principal focus is on the Western (Latin) Church and its rites, and on the medieval period in particular, from the sixth century to the Reformation. Study of medieval Christianity - at the heart of Western society - inevitably involves study of its rites, and the society's publications are essential to an understanding of all aspects (historical, ecclesiastical, spiritual, sociological) of the middle ages.
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