The Caxton leaf: the story of an extraordinary discovery

A page printed by William Caxton

A unique example of 15th century printed text by English printer William Caxton has been unearthed at the University of Reading. It was found in the John & Griselda Lewis collection, which contains twenty thousand of items illustrating the history of printing and graphic design.


The two pages are from a medieval priest handbook dating back to late 1476 or early 1477, which was printed just a year after William Caxton set up his pioneering press in England. No other copies of the pages, printed either side of a single leaf of paper, are known to have survived.


The Staircase Hall display of the William Caxton leaf

This is a unique opportunity to see this incredibly rare page. The exhibition tells the story of how this page survived, and how it resurfaced in the collections at the University of Reading. The Caxton page will be on public display at the Special Collections Service from 10 May until 18 June 2017. Opening hours: Mon-Fri 9am-5pm (Thu 25th May 9am-9pm), Sat-Sun 10am-4pm.



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