This project is hosted by: Warburg Institute
- Research interests:
- Cultural memory, Manuscript studies, Regional history
- Europe, Europe
- Project period:
- 01-Oct-2022 - 30-Sep-2026
- Project categories:
- Research project
- Project summary:
The spread of classical texts in Greek into Italy, and from there to France and other nations, was decisive for the cultural and intellectual innovations of the European Renaissance. Yet the precise practices, relationships, and goals involved in acquiring and organizing these works, including the changes brought by the arrival of printing, remain significantly understuded. They can be best understood by detailed examination of specific collections and collectors. This project focuses on the library of one remarkably active and effective collector, Guillaume Pellicier (ca. 1490-1567), a French bishop and ambassador of François Ier to Venice. It will produce a detailed description of the collection (which is today held for the most part at the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin), the digitisation of its contents, and a detailed study of the history of the transmission of Greek culture in sixteenth-century Venice and of private and public libraries in the Renaissance. The project will contribute significantly to our understanding of the ways in which books were produced and circulated, and of the role played by the second and third generation of Greeks settled in Italy in the transmission of the Greek cultural patrimony to modern Europe.
The investigation and analysis of this corpus will offer new views on the survival of manuscript production in the age of printing, an aspect of book production that is under-represented in academic research and underestimated in global studies of written culture.
This project will make the library accessible to researchers and the general public alike and will provide tools for the conservation, protection and promotion of the collection as a prime example of the cultural and intellectual heritage of Europe. It also aims to offer the general public a better understanding of cultural life in Venice and of the cultural policy of King François Ier, particularly in regard to Greek culture.
The project will be led by Raphaële Mouren (London; PI). Her expertise in the history of scholarship and the transmission of Greek literature in 16th c. Italy will be key to the project as will her command of the norms and formats of manuscript description and critical edition archival documentation. The Co-investigator will be Rosa Maria Piccione, a classicist and a specialist in the transmission of Greek culture and manuscript production and in sixteenth century Venice. Two postdoctoral researchers will support the project, working on the manuscript catalogue. A consultant on a short contract will help us investigate archives in France and Italy. Richard Gartner, a specialist in metadata and digital libraries, will design the structure for the dataset in XML (TEI, METS) and CIDOC-CROM. An international advisory board will provide additional expertise in the key areas of palaeography, manuscript studies, the history of libraries and digital humanities. The project is supported, both financially and in-kind, by the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin.
The project will expand our knowledge of manuscript production in the age of printing and the creation of libraries in sixteenth-century France and Italy. It will make available hidden material that might support PhD theses and wider scholarship in the field; it will be of value to the work of librarians and metadata specialists; it will create a significant corpus of data and metadata in a variety of interoperable formats for reuse and sharing and will generate a range of publications in several disciplines. Its outputs will be of interest to a large range of non-academic professional audiences as well as the general public.
Lead researcher & project contact:
|Professor Raphaële Mouren
|School of Advanced Study, University of London
|Dr Rosamaria Piccione
|Dipartimento di Studi Umanistici
|Universita di Torino
|Arts and Humanities Research Council
|Standard Research Grant