History Talk: From Manuscript to Print
January 1, 1970


07/26/23 @ 11:00am –
07/26/23 @ 12:30pm

Meeting Room C

Mammen Family Public Library

Registration Required

Registration for this event is required.


The library makes every effort to ensure a welcoming and accessible environment. We can provide accommodations for people with disabilities or food allergies at library events. Please contact programs@mfplibrary.org at least seven days before the event to request accommodations.

Age Guidelines

Successful library programs are designed with age in mind. Please note this program’s age guidelines will be enforced for all active participants.

Registration is required.

Join us for this illustrated presentation by Dr. Alan Cottrell.

From Manuscript to Print: Reflections on how medieval art and thought changed in the Renaissance and age of the printing press

Medieval art was meant to be mystical and to represent concepts such as the power of God. In contrast, the art of the Italian Renaissance evolved to prioritize realism and to be visually detailed. Yet both were intended to be inspirational, just toward differing ideals. We’ll consider how the way of thought behind the art transformed, as reflected in how the hand-written manuscripts of the Middle Ages morphed into the Renaissance’s “cradle books,” books printed during the first half century of the printing press. The Renaissance was, too, the age of great library collections, the most famous being the start of the Vatican Library. We’ll consider how artworks and books of the past reveal much about the people who created and used them.

About the Speaker

Dr. Alan Cottrell is a past National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow. A retired college administrator and history professor, Alan remains active in his scholarly research and writing. A two-volume work of his was published by Harvard University Press in 2020; he is now completing an intellectual biography of a central Renaissance figure, the classical scholar and poet Angelo Poliziano. A Baylor graduate, Alan completed his graduate studies at the University of Texas in medieval/renaissance history, including training in manuscript paleography and codicology. A native of San Antonio, Alan now lives in Seguin. He regularly spends time each autumn and spring in Tuscany and also organizes recurring tours to Italy.