Books for Training Officers in the Eighteenth- century Spanish Navy
The creation of academies for midshipmen brought about technological, scientific and educational developments in the eighteenth-century Spanish navy. In these academies midshipmen received the most advanced theoretical and practical training of the time. The Spanish monarchy made all the necessary resources available for the acquisition of books printed abroad for military libraries. This explains the fundamental role that the navy played in the furtherance of the Spanish printing industry in the Enlightenment period, insofar as its presses enabled the publication of scientific works that stood out from the rest of the country’s print production. The Spanish navy, science and book printing are elements closely associated with the eighteenth century that contributed as a whole to inaugurate a period of important changes and to transform the navy into an instrument of modernization. This article analyses the interaction between these elements, the obstacles that naval officers had to overcome to modernize the art of printing, the bibliographic production of the academy printers and the distribution chain.