Summer School Books and Culture
Reconstructing Book Ownership: Sources, Methods, and Perspectives
University of Antwerp, 2-6 September 2019
Partners: Hendrik Conscience Heritage Library Antwerp – Plantin-Moretus Museum Antwerp – Consortium of European Research Libraries
"Tell me what you read, and I will tell you who you are." This proverb summarizes an increasingly popular direction in the burgeoning field of book history. The books collected and owned by private individuals can tell us a lot about their political and religious backgrounds as well as their scientific, literary and intellectual preferences. A private library often functions as symbolic capital, and most readers have an intimate relationship with their books. Today, numerous of these private historical collections are kept in national and research libraries.
This summer school is all about reconstructing historical book ownership. The different types of sources containing information about readers and their books in the past will be explored. The speakers propose methods that can be used to collect and interpret information gathered from catalogues, inventories, archival sources and the physical books themselves. Additionally, it offers a series of novel perspectives illustrating the vitality and relevance of this field of research.
The idea of the summer school is to inspire students and researchers. A group of international experts will offer the necessary approaches, tools and ideas to start exploring the fascinating world of book ownership in the past.