The World Before QWERTY

Can you type without looking at the keyboard? This used to be a skill taught to people who wanted secretarial or clerical jobs. Now of course many of us type quickly because we use computers on a daily basis.  But what about the predecessor to the keyboard we know? This is it – a typecase, filled with individual letters which had to be assembled by hand to create anything which needed to be printed.

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A clandestine edition of Galileo’s Dialogue concerning the two chief world systems, Ptolemaic and Copernican, 1710

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Title page of Galilei, Galileo, Lorenzo Ciccarelli, Paolo Antonio Foscarini, and Johannes Kepler. 1710. Dialogo di Galileo Galilei ... RB QB41 .G13Earlier this semester we displayed a selection of Special Collections’ early modern science books for a group of students and faculty. Among the exhibited volumes was a copy of the second Italian edition of Galileo Galilei’s Dialogo or Dialogue concerning the two chief world systems, Ptolemaic and Copernican, published in 1710.

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