Cristina Dondi, (Modern Languages, University of Oxford) gives a talk for the 2016 Digital Humanities at Oxford Summer School.
The five-year ERC-funded 15cBOOKTRADE Project has developed digital tools to investigate, on solid and extensive evidence, the impact of the introduction of printing on early modern society. The Material Evidence in Incunabula is a database specifically designed to record and search the material evidence of 15th-century printed books: ownership, decoration, binding, manuscript annotations, stamps, prices, etc. Locating and dating any of these elements enables the movement of books across Europe and the US to be tracked throughout the centuries, from place of production to the books’ present locations. The TEXT-inc database describes the content of 15th-century editions in great detail and systematically – main and secondary texts, and paratexts. It also identifies the various people involved in the preparation of the editions, to understand the social network surrounding the introduction of printing in Early Modern Europe, and to study the transmission of texts in print. The project is also experimenting with image-matching software applied to 15th-century Venetian illustration, and with the scientific visualisation of data to display the movement of these books over the five-hundred year period of their existence.