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The History of Oxford University Press: Volume IBeginnings to 1780$
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Ian Gadd

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199557318

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199557318.001.0001

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The Bible Press

The Bible Press

(p.480) Chapter 16 The Bible Press
The History of Oxford University Press: Volume I

Scott Mandelbrote

Oxford University Press

The printing of the Bible and Book of Common Prayer was limited by royal privilege to three English publishers: the university presses of Oxford and Cambridge and the King's Printers in London. The chapter considers the transition of the 1670s, during which the Press ceased accepting a small fee from the King's Printers not to print Bibles and began to lease its privilege for substantially greater sums to designated independent printers. As the Bible Press grew and developed independently, it differed from the Learned Press in its financing, its work force, its distribution, and in the quantity and quality of its publications. The Bible Press did face difficulties in marketing its products, in maintaining textual standards and in facing criticism of the privileged monopoly of printing, but its annual output numbered in the tens of thousands and it provided an increasingly significant source of revenue for the University.

Keywords:   royal privilege, King's Printers, Cambridge, John Fell, piracy, format, advertisement, Bible, Book of Common Prayer, John Baskett

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