The Folger Shakespeare Library will host a two-day conference to explore new tools for the study of English and Continental bookbinding and share new scholarship in the materiality of the book. New Bownde: New Scholarship in Early Modern Binding marks the culmination of a two year project to build an online database of binding images from the Folger collection (http://luna.folger.edu/luna/servlet/BINDINGS~1~1). To date, the database contains more than 3,500 images of primarily early modern bindings, originating from England, Italy, France, Germany, and the Low Countries.
In recent years a number of major resources of this kind have been developed, including binding databases at the British Library, University of the Arts London, Universities of Toronto and Uppsala and others, and, now, at the Folger Shakespeare Library. Over two days historians, librarians, and conservators will explore how these tools are being used and how they are transforming our understanding of early modern book history. Sessions will include new scholarship in the field, as well as discussions of the interoperability of existing resources and their combined power to support new research.
The Organizing Committee invites papers that address early modern book or manuscript binding practice, including:
• Binding structure
• Genre specific bindings
• Prize bindings, armorial bindings and other decorated bindings
• Binding evidence for ownership, readership, and distribution
• Research in these fields which has been advanced through access to online resources
Further aims of the conference will be to address the future direction of existing binding database tools. What do scholars expect from a binding database, and what specific research agenda should institutions investing in such databases be serving? What should these resources do that they do not already do? What difficulties do researchers face when using existing tools? Those involved in the development of similar research tools are particularly welcome.
Dr. Goran Proot
Andrew W. Mellon Curator of Rare Books
Folger Shakespeare Library
201 East Capitol Street, SE
Washington, DC 20003
Fax: 01–202–675.0328 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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