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Web4Ren Forum (W4RF): Many sorts of information of potential relevance to those interested in Renaissance Intellectual History
07.06.2023 at 05:22:48
News: 2022-12-27: Somtime in January or February 2023 this forum will go into hibernation ("Maintenance mode"). Maybe the yet to be found successor to Thomas Ricklin, or my own successor (also yet to be found) will reactivate the forum sometime in the future. (hck)

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15cBooktrade (Read 2278 times)

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21.05.2014 at 13:59:03
Thanks to Grermaine Warkentine on the FICINO email distribution list I became awae of the Oxford University (Cristina Dondi & al.) project 15cBooktrade.
The idea that underpins the project is to use the material evidence from thousands of surviving books, as well as unique documentary evidence - the unpublished ledger of a Venetian bookseller in the 1480s - to address four fundamental objectives relating to the introduction of printing in the West which have so far eluded scholarship, partly because of lack of evidence, partly because of the lack of effective tools to deal with existing evidence.

1. Distribution, Use, and Reading Practices

The book trade differs from other trades operating in the medieval and early modern periods in that the goods traded survive in considerable numbers. Not only do they survive, but many of them bear stratified evidence of their history in the form of marks of ownership, prices, manuscript annotations, binding and decoration styles. The database Material Evidence in Incunabula (MEI), conceived by Cristina Dondi, developed by Alex Jahnke of Data Conversion Group, hosted and maintained by CERL, gathers together this kind of evidence for thousands of surviving 15th-c. printed books. For the first time, this makes it possible to track the circulation of books, their trade routes, national and international, and later collecting, across Europe and the USA, and throughout the centuries.

Former owners are identified as private or institutional, religious or lay, female or male, and by profession.

Marginal manuscript annotations are quantified - occasional, a few, several, throughout, extensive - and qualified: corrections, completions, supplements, extraction of key words, collation, translation, structuring the text, comments, censorship, reading marks, that is underlining and pointing hands, drawings, corrections/notes by the printer, lecture notes.

The Grant will enable a significant expansion and enhancement of the database Material Evidence in Incunabula, by harvesting thousands of records presently scattered in hundreds of different libraries' OPACs.

A postdoctoral researcher, based in the Bodleian Library, Oxford, for 4 years, will be coordinating the expansion of MEI and enhancing its records, as well as working on TEXT-INC (see objective 3).

A postdoctoral researcher, based in Venice for 3 years, will be cataloguing the incunabula collections of the libraries of the City book in hand.

2. Books' contemporary market value

Groundbreaking new evidence for the history of the book trade in the 15th century is coming from the in-depth study of the manuscript Zornale or day-book of Francesco de Madiis (Venice, Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana, MS Ital. XI, 45 (7439), 160 leaves). It records the daily activity and sales of a Venetian bookshop from May 1484 to January 1488, as well as the inventory of the stock-in-trade for just over one year, to June 1485. In this period 11,100 entries with their prices are registered, involving 6,950 sales, sometimes gifts or barters, and over 25,000 copies. For its scale, for its detail, and for its importance as a fly-on-the-wall documentary of what happened in a Renaissance Venetian bookshop, the Zornale is unique. The detailed study of this exceptional document will finally bring to the attention of scholarship the economic aspects related to the introduction of printing in the West.


(They have a lot more than this. Worth reading!)
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for contact information etc. concerning hck (Heinrich C. Kuhn): see http://www.phil-hum-ren.uni-muenchen.de/php/Kuhn/
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