Christoffel Plantin in Cyberspace
Welcome to my website Christoffel Plantin in Cyberspace. This small and simple site is about the challenges of the digital revolution, which publishers will have to face in the near future. It offers a short introduction to the differences between analog and digital texts, to the advantages of digitization compared to earlier attempts in history to collect, store, structure and provide information, to the recently changed function of the printer-publisher and to the drawbacks of the coming upheavels in the book trade. The content is largely based on Alle boeken die geschreven zijn. De uitdagingen van het digitale tijdperk by Adriaan van der Weel. The insights and findings of this lecture, here summarized and rephrased, were embedded in a story in which Christoffel Plantin, a sixteenth century owner of a printing and publishing company in Antwerp (Belgium), travels into the future and juxtaposes with growing amazement the current developments in the book business with the traditions of his own time. The text for this website is an adaptation of an essay that was written as an assignment for the course “Designing Multimedia,” which is part of the curriculum in typography and graphic design at the Plantin Society. Thanks to lecturer Lode Coen for his permission to reuse the text here. This website, however, was built and styled only afterwards with HTML and CSS in a simple text editor as a project for the course “Computer and Network Technology,” which is part of the academic training in Information and Library Science at the University Antwerp. The first three chapters of the website are narrative and are best read chronologically. The final four are thematic and can be read in any order. Enjoy reading!