3.2.1: 1725 - 1830 - Introduction

Certainly until the last quarter of the eighteenth century, printing production was still large, although a decreasing proportion was intended for the export market so that the dominant position of the Republic as a producer of books was gradually lost. In a technical sense, no essential changes with respect to composition and printing took place. The innovations developed around 1800 abroad only penetrated gradually into the Netherlands. Although, at the end of the century, we see some revival of national élan, a favourable climate for a degree of industrialisation of the craft of book production was missing. Complaints were made from within the craft itself about the deterioration of typographical quality: technical manuals for composition and printing were almost unknown and fear of competition meant that where previously admiration for the quality of the art of printing had existed, a veil of secrecy now surrounded it. All this may be the result of the conservative organisation of publishers, booksellers and printers in guilds: each town organised closed book trade associations which, in fact, were intended to establish a monopoly and were consequently broken up during the French period (from 1815 onwards they were replaced by the Vereeniging ter Bevordering van de Belangen des Boekhandels (Association for the Promotion of the Interests of the Book Trade) which is still in existence).

The separation of the trades of publisher and printer also took place in this period: publishers, for example Luchtmans, frequently no longer had their own printing house. In many cases there was co-operation among various publishers in so-called companies, on the one hand to spread large capital investment and, on the other hand, to limit the risk of piracy. Certainly at the end of this period, the author became a more prominent participant in the production process.

author: F.A. Janssen


xylographic printing

Definition: 1. printing process used in the 15th century for books in which text and image are cut out of a block of wood and are printed from that block;. 2. impression made according to this process.

printing houses

Definition: establishment or firm where books are printed.

art of printing

Definition: the art of reproducing written texts by means of movable type as it was applied for the first time in the middle of the 15th century in Europe.

intaglio printing

Definition: printing technique whereby the image is cut or etched in the forme (plate or cylinder), inked and transferred to the paper by pressing it forcefully against the forme.

printing capacity

Definition: production capacity of a printing house or printing press, measured in the number of printed sheets per time unit

printing ink

Definition: sticky substance, containing pigment, used in printing the forme.

printing houses

Definition: establishment or undertaking where printing takes place.

printing establishment

Definition: 1. printing office. 2. general term for all establishments and institutions which play a role in the production of printed matter.

printing materials

Definition: collective term for all material needed in the production of printed matter, machines as well as tools and raw material.

printing presses

Definition: 1. general term for a device or machine for the printing of books, plates, etc. 2. the whole of the activities carried out in the printing and distribution of texts.

printing process

Definition: collective term for all activities necessary in the production of printed paper.

printing techniques

Definition: collective term for the various technical procedures (letterpress, intaglio, planographic printing, screen print, foil print) used to transfer or multiply text and/or image on to paper or other material.

printing sheets

Definition: the printed sheet as it is produced on the printing press, to distinguish it from a folding sheet.

automatic printing presses

Definition: apparatus or machine for printing books, plates, etc., automatically operating, i. e. not driven by human power.

letterpress printing

Definition: printing process whereby the inked parts of the forme are raised above the non-printing ones.

printing privileges

Definition: right for the protection of printers and publishers against the illegal reproduction of printed matter before the introduction of the modern copyright.

newspaper printing offices

Definition: office or company where newspapers are printed.

printing types

Definition: metal stick with on it the raised image of a letter, figure or symbol, with which printing can be done in relief.

collotype printing shops

Definition: printing shop where printed matter is produced by means of the collotype process.

music printing

Definition: printing musical works; generally executed with one of the following techniques: letterpress, lithography or photolithography.

copperplate printing

Definition: printing process in which a copperplate press is used.

printing on demand

Definition: printing publications on demand by means of a high-grade laser printer instead of a printing press. Makes it possible to produce small print runs at a relatively low price.

rotary printing

Definition: printing process where use is made of a rotary press.

printing the white

Definition: 1. first printing of a sheet whereby the front is printed. 2. printed front of a sheet.

printing- publishing houses

Definition: establishment of a printer-publisher.

planographic printing

Definition: printing process with a flat forme (stone or metal plate) on which by a process involving chemicals the image to be printed holds the printing ink, while its surrounding area rejects it.

screen printing (1) screen print(2)

Definition: 1. printing technique whereby the ink is pressed by a squeegee through a fine-meshed textile or metal screen in which a stencil has been put. 2. print made by this procedure.