Pecia System

Medieval manuscripts took far longer to produce than a run of printed books. However, as the university system in Europe developed, there was an increasingly greater demand for texts. It is out of this need that the pecia system developed. "Pecia" is Latin for "piece". In this system, universities had "exemplar", or example, manuscripts of texts. They were divided into pieces and could be taken for copying by scribes or students. Often, these texts would have a written indication somewhere within the manuscript that it was a pecia text.

The pecia system developed beginning in the thirteenth century. The pieces of manuscript were rented out to those who wished to copy them by a stationer.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License