in·cu·nab·u·la [in-kyoo-nab-yuh-luh] : books, pamphlets or broadsides produced in the earliest stages of printing from moveable type.
Incunabula is a Latin term meaning swaddling clothes, used for the first traces or stages of anything, but in LIS terms it is especially used for printed works produced before 1501, although this is an arbitrary date as books produced after then were very similar.
Image by Alexander Baxevanis. Credit below
Incunables (the English version) were the product of a disruptive technology. In the mid 15th century a major shift in the technology occurred with Gutenberg’s innovation with moveable type and printing enabling a proliferation of printed materials, and hence the greater and faster spread of ideas, leading to the scientific revolution among other things. A cascading effect leading to other disruptive ideas and technologies.
Image by vlasta2. Credit below.
The printing press itself was linked to changes in other technologies including inks, paper production, and metallurgy – a complex network of related technologies that enabled a shift in the social fabric, and records management.
Movable Type is now also open source software for publishing. It was one option I looked at years ago when I first wanted to start a blog.
Hyatt, Martin (2009) Disruptive technologies: a history of unintended consequences. In. Envision v.1. (http://www.mitre.org/news/envision/spring_09/hyatt.html) Viewed 10 June 2013.
Incunable. Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incunable) Viewed 10 June 2013
Printing Press. Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Printing_press) Viewed 10 June 2013
Alexander Baxevanis (2012) S/T/U/V in Johnston Sans. (http://www.flickr.com/photos/55231259@N00/6936208501). Available under creative commons licence. Some rights reserved.
Bill Badzo (2011) Franklin Building ~ “The First Impression” depicts men working at the Gutenberg press. (http://www.flickr.com/photos/7156765@N05/6196470261) Available under a creative commons licence. Some rights reserved.
vlasta2 (2007) Biblia Latina 1477, decorated letter. (http://www.flickr.com/photos/89329412@N00/370499017) Available under a creative commons licence. Some rights reserved.