The Coming of Print in Colonial India: Texts, Technologies, and the Virtue of Perseverance


The Industrial Revolution and the global transfer of new printing technologies in the late 18th and early 19th centuries led to a boom in printing in colonial India. Probably more books were lithographed in the subcontinent than in Europe at the time. This talk will explore the early history of print in north India from the perspective of materiality and technology. We will discuss material conditions, the economics of book production, and the many difficulties faced by the pioneering generation of Indian printer-publishers in a vibrant, challenging, and frequently unprofitable business.