2012 Elizabeth L. Eisenstein

Historian / New York City, USA

Born in New York in 1923 and deceased in Washington in 2016 and focusing on the French Revolution and the early 19th century in France, her research on the history of early book printing and media change spans from the era of manuscript culture to print culture and the role of book printing of the broad cultural change in Western civilization. Her major work "The Printing Press as an Agent of Change" (1980) is considered a milestone in modern book research. In it, Eisenstein analyzes the effect of Gutenberg's invention on the population of Europe and discusses the influence of letterpress printing, for example for Reformation and Humanism, but also for the Enlightenment. In 2011, her in-depth new work, "Divine Art, Infernal Machine: The Reception of Printing in the West from First Impressions to the Sense of Ending", was published. Elizabeth Eisenstein received her doctorate from Radcliffe College in Cambridge, Massachuetts. She has taught at American University in Washington D.C. and at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where she held the Chair of Alice Freeman Palmer Professor of History. In 1993, the Elizabeth Essay Prize was created, which is awarded to members of the National Coalition of Independent Scholars for their work. Eisenstein was also a member of numerous foundations such as the Rockefeller Foundation or the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. In 2012, Elizabeth L. Eisenstein was awarded the Gutenberg Prize for her outstanding life's work and significant teaching.