The University of Manchester - The University of Manchester Library
First Impressions


A community of scholars is first recorded in Oxford in the twelfth century, and by the fourteenth century it had become one of the great universities of Europe. It was the fact that Oxford had such a well-established centre of learning that prompted the founding of two printing presses in 1478 and 1481. They appear to have been established to satisfy the local market for books printed in Latin but these short-lived enterprises had to compete with a flourishing trade in books imported from the Continent. In 1586 the University itself obtained a decree from the Star Chamber, confirming its privilege to print books.

Discover more about early printing in Oxford.