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The sophistication of the photographic process has had two dramatic results—freeing the artist from the confines of journalistic reproductions and freeing the scientist from the unavoidable imprecision of the artist's prints. So released, both have prospered and produced their impressive nineteenth- and twentieth-century outputs.It is this premise that William M. Ivins, Jr., elaborates in Prints and Visual Communication, a history of printmaking from the crudest wood block, through engraving and lithography, to Talbot's discovery of the negative-positive photographic process and its far reaching consequences.