Aldus Manutius and the Aldine Press

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Manutius portrait.Aldo Manuzio (Aldus Manutius in Latin) (1449-1515) was a humanist, publisher and printer who founded the Aldine Press at Venice in 1494. Aldus was born in Bassiano in 1449 to a wealthy family, allowing him to study as a humanistic scholar in Rome and Verona. By 1490 Aldus had settled in Venice, a major centre for printing, and in 1494 he established the Aldine Press there.

The Aldine press had a reputation as one of the finest printers of the period, printing high quality, affordable editions of 127 works, primarily Latin and Greek classics as well as dictionaries to help  scholars understand and interpret the texts. To do so, Aldus employed learned scholars such as Erasmus, whose works the press later printed when they moved to contemporary printing in modern languages.

Aldus died in 1515 but the press was carried on by his father-in-law and brothers-in-law, and later his son and grandson, for over one hundred years, until 1598.

Special Collections & Archives houses several items that were produced by the Aldine Press, both during and after Manutius' lifetime. Selections from these books can be viewed here; each can also be found in the Library catalogue and can be viewed within the Rare Book Room.

1494-1515: Aldus' Printing Press

1515-1597: More from the Aldine Press

Enduring Legacy

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