Seminar in the History of the Book

Seminar in the History of the Book

Hilary Term 2021

Fridays at 2:15pm (GMT)

On-line via Zoom

Conveners: Cristina Dondi (Lincoln College, Oxford) and Alexandra Franklin (Bodleian Centre for the Study of the Book)

Recordings of the presentations available here.

January 22

Matthew Payne, Keeper of the Muniments, Westminster Abbey

‘Follow the Money: Wynkyn de Worde, Jacques Ferrebouc and the Bardi’

Matthew Payne has written widely on the book trade in early Tudor England, and on the history of Westminster Abbey.


January 29: Special session at 5:00pm

Goostly Psalmes in Oxford and New Haven

Henrike Lähnemann, Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages, University of Oxford

‘Translating, Singing, Printing the Reformation. The Queen’s College Sammelband with Myles Coverdale’s Goostly Psalmes’

Henrike Lähnemann is Professor of Medieval German Literature and Linguistics with a special interest in Book History and the Reformation. For her work on Myles Coverdale’s Goostly Psalmes, cf.

with a showing of The Queen’s College copy and the Bodleian and Beinecke fragments

Kathryn James, Beinecke Library, Yale University

Kathryn James is the Curator for Early Modern Books and Manuscripts at Yale’s Beinecke Library. She is the author of English Paleography & Manuscript Culture, 1500-1800 (2020).

Matthew Shaw, The Queen’s College, Oxford

Matthew Shaw is Librarian of The Queen’s College, Oxford. He is a former curator at the British Library and librarian of the Institute of Historical Research.

Sarah Wheale, Bodleian Libraries, Oxford

Sarah Wheale is Head of Rare Books at the Bodleian Libraries.


February 5

Francesco Guidi-Bruscoli, University of Florence (Italy)

‘The Borromei’s trade unveiled: digging for information in fifteenth-century account-books’

Francesco Guidi-Bruscoli is Associate professor of Economic history at the University of Florence, senior research fellow of Queen Mary University of London and fellow of the Royal Historical Society. His research concentrates on late-medieval and early-modern trade and banking.


February 12 – No seminar


February 19

Alessandro Bianchi, Bodleian Libraries, Oxford

‘Hidden in plain sight. Printed books from the Japanese Mission Press in the Bodleian Collections’

Alessandro Bianchi is the manager of the Bodleian Japanese Library and curator of the collection of Japanese rare books and manuscripts. After receiving his PhD from the University of Cambridge, he worked at the British Library, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Art, and Haverford College.


February 26

Kanupriya Dhingra, SOAS, University of London

‘Streets and Serendipity: “Locating” Daryaganj Sunday Patri Kitab Bazar’

Kanupriya Dhingra is a doctoral researcher at the Centre for Cultural, Literary and Postcolonial Studies, SOAS, University of London.


March 5

Benjamin Wardhaugh, University of Oxford

‘Hunting for readers in sixteenth-century editions of the works of Euclid’

Benjamin Wardhaugh is a historian of mathematics based in the History Faculty at the University of Oxford. He has published widely on early modern mathematics, including practices of mathematical reading and the early modern reception of Euclid’s Elements of Geometry.


March 12

William Stoneman, Cambridge, MA

‘Buying Incunabula at Gimbel Brothers Department Store: A Curious Chapter in the History of American Book Collecting’

William P. Stoneman retired in December 2018 as Curator of Early Books and Manuscripts at the Houghton Library of Harvard University.


The ZOOM link information will be sent by email shortly before the talks

To book a place please email:





Dr John-Paul Ghobrial, with Dr Celeste Gianni, Dr Feras Krimsti, Rosie Maxton, Dr Lucy Parker, and Dr Vevian Zaki (Oxford, History Faculty, Stories of Survival Project)
Stories of Survival: The Lives and Afterlives of Eastern Christian Manuscripts in the Early Modern World



Dr Stephanie Ann Frampton (MIT)

‘Vade, liber’: Textual Mobility and the History of Books



Prof. Angela Nuovo, Dr Goran Proot, Dr Francesco Ammannati (University of Milan,

Early Modern BookTrade Project)

The price of books in early modern Europe


21 FEBRUARY [no seminar]


28 FEBRUARY NOTE: begins at earlier time of 2.00 and runs to 4.30 (with a tea break, refreshments provided)

Prof. Henrike Laehnemann (Oxford) and Carolin Gluchowski (Freiburg)

Recycling in action: the many lives of a medieval prayerbook


Dr Toby Burrows (Oxford, Mapping Manuscript Migrations Project)

Mapping Manuscript Migrations: Digging into Data for Provenance Research



Angeline Rais (Lincoln College, Oxford)

The Travels of Sir Thomas Phillipps’s Swiss Manuscripts across Europe and North America



Grantley McDonald (Oxford, Music and Late Medieval European Courtly Cultures Project)
John Clement (d. 1572) and his books

2019: Seminar in the History of the Book

The History of the Book and French, Scottish, and British Authors, Hand-Printing in the 21st Century, 15cHEBRAICA, and introducing the digital resources of the 15cBOOKTRADE

 Weston Library, Visiting Scholars’ Centre (VSC) – Hilary Term, Fridays 2.15pm

Convenor: Cristina Dondi (Lincoln College and 15cBOOKTRADE)


18 JANUARY 2019

Bumble-Bee Witches and the Reading of Dreams: Spectacular and Speculative Marginalia in a Renaissance Reader’s Montaigne

Earle Havens, Curator of Rare Books & Manuscripts at Sheridan Libraries, Johns Hopkins University, Washington, and Director, The Virginia Fox Stern Center for the History of the Book in the Renaissance
Podcast available here.


25 JANUARY 2019

NO SEMINAR (we are in London: The Archeology of Reading in Early Modern Europe,



Scottish and British Authors Published Abroad 1470-1700

Jane Stevenson, Senior Research Fellow, Campion Hall, Oxford
Podcast available here.



15cILLUSTRATION: Tools for the History of Art

Cristina Dondi, Abhishek Dutta (Visual Geometry Group, Oxford), Barbara Tramelli (CESR Tours – Oxford)


15 FEBRUARY 2019

15cBOOKTRADE: Tools for Modern Languages, History, and Classics


22 FEBRUARY 2019



1 MARCH 2019

15cHEBRAICA: Capturing the former owners of Hebrew incunabula and their annotations in the Material Evidence in Incunabula (MEI) database

Podcast available here.


8 MARCH 2019 – Weston Lecture Theatre

A very special book launch: Manuale Tipografico IV. A triumph of hand-printing aesthetics, paper and watermarks.

Enrico Tallone (Tallone Editore, Turin), Carlo Ossola (Collège de France, Prof. of Modern Literatures of Neo-Latin Europe), Stefano Salis (Il Sole 24 Ore)


The seminar is funded by the 15cBOOKTRADE Project (ERC), with the support of the Bodleian Libraries Centre for the Study of the Book.

Access to the VSC is with a library card. Bags need to be checked in the library’s lockers (ground floor).

People without a library card should get in touch in advance with the seminar convenors.



2018: The History of the Book and Numismatics, Arabic, Early Modern Publishing Policies, Trade, Popular Literature, History of Art, Digital typography

Oxford, Weston Library, Visiting Scholars’ Centre (VSC) – Hilary Term, Fridays 2.15

Convenor: Cristina Dondi (Lincoln College and 15cBOOKTRADE)


Seminar in the History of the Book Programme, Hilary Term 2018
Seminar in the History of the Book Programme, Hilary Term 2018

NUMISMATICS (TUESDAY 23 Jan. 2018) – Dr Alan Stahl (Curator of Numismatics, Princeton University)

Coins, Money and Prices in Renaissance Italy
Podcast available here.


ARABIC (26 Jan. 2018) – Prof. Julia Bray (Laudian Professor of Arabic, University of Oxford)

Scrolls into codices: Jilyani’s picture-poems for Saladin

Podcast available here.
EARLY MODERN PUBLISHING POLICIES (2 Feb. 2018) – Prof. Ian Maclean (All Souls College)

Andreas Frisius of Amsterdam and the search for a niche market, 1664-75

Podcast available here.
TRADE (9 Feb. 2018) – Dr Irene Ceccherini (Lyell-Bodleian Research Fellow in Manuscript Studies, Bodleian Library, Dilts Research Fellow in Palaeography, Lincoln College, University of Oxford)

Merchants’ books of Venice and Florence
Podcast available here.


POPULAR LITERATURE (23 Feb. 2018) – Dr Laura Carnelos (Marie Curie Fellow, CERL and British Library)

From ephemeral to rare: 16th-Century Italian Popular Books in the British and the Bodleian Libraries


HISTORY OF ART (2 Mar. 2018) – Prof. Lilian Armstrong (Wellesley College)

The De Spira Brothers vrs. Nicolaus Jenson, 1469-1472: A Rivalry Traced through Hand-illuminated Copies of their Editions

Podcast available here.


DIGITAL TYPOGRAPHY (9 Mar. 2018) – Dr Falk Eisermann (Gesamtkatalog der Wiegendrucke, Staatsbibliothek, Berlin)

“Did you mean incurable? Searching and Finding Incunabula in the World Wide Web”

Podcast available here.


2017: The History of the Book and Cultural History, History of Art, Classics, Economics, Manuscript studies, Theology, and Law

Oxford, Weston Library, Visiting Scholars’ Centre (VSC) – Hilary Term, Fridays 2.15pm

Convenor: Cristina Dondi (Lincoln College and 15cBOOKTRADE)

Cultural History (20 January 2017): Prof. Ian Maclean, All Souls College, Oxford: The Italian Trade with the Frankfurt Book Fair around 1600

Podcast available here.

History of Art (27 January 2017): Dr Louis-Gabriel Bonicoli, Paris: Parisian Early Printed Book

Illustration (around 1500)

Classics (3 February 2017): Prof. Stephen Oakley, Faculty of Classics, Cambridge University: Incunabular Stemmatics

Podcast available here.

Economics (10 February 2017): Dr Jeremiah Dittmar, Department of Economics, London School of Economics: The Price of Books in Early Modern Europe: An Economic Perspective

Podcast available here.

Manuscript Studies (24 February 2017): Dr David Speranzi, Firenze, Istituto Nazionale di Studi sul Rinascimento:  Greek Script and Type in the Fifteenth century. Demetrius Damilas between Milan and Florence

Podcast available here.

Theology (3 March 2017): Dr Paul Needham, Scheide Library, Princeton University Library: The Gutenberg Bible in the Context of Fifteenth-Century Manuscript Bibles

Podcast available here.

Law (10 March 2017): Prof. Rodolfo Savelli, Dipartimento di Giurisprudenza, Università di Genova: Printing the Corpus iuris civilis in the Sixteenth Century

Podcast available here.


The seminar is funded by the 15cBOOKTRADE Project (ERC), with the support of the Bodleian Libraries Centre for the Study of the Book.

Access to the VSC is with a library card. Bags need to be checked in the library’s lockers (ground floor).

People without a library card should get in touch in advance with the seminar convenors.