Dr Renaud Adam

Scientific Field: 
October, 2017 to October, 2018

LE STUDIUM / Marie Skłodowska-Curie Research Fellowship 


Book History - Renaissance


University of Liège (Transitions – Research Unit on Middle Ages and Early Modern Period) - BE

In residence at

Centre for Advanced Studies in the Renaissance (CESR)  / CNRS, University of Tours - FR

Host scientist

Prof. Chiara Lastraioli 


Bibliopol@: The book market in the renaissance between France and the low countries

The invention of the printing press by Gutenberg in the mid-fifteenth century is one of the most important technical advances in history. It had a profound impact on European civilization and gave birth to the first great “media revolution”. The immediate effect was to multiply the amount of books in circulation and to reduce their cost. The Gutenberg revolution carried the European book market to a new level. Booksellers had to deal with multiple hundreds of copies, not rather than in single copies as at the manuscript age. The name of Gutenberg would not have been associated with the invention of western modernity without the action of these bookmen.
Until now, researches on the early history of printed books have been mainly focused on the world of printers, the production of books and on lectors and their reading practices. The intermediate level of the book industry has remained more or less neglected. However, some recent works have highlighted the fact that the engine and the frame of the Gutenberg revolution lied precisely in the structures and the evolution of book diffusion.
The aim of the project is to investigate this very aspect of the first media revolution. It will focus on the trade relations between France and the Low Countries which have never been the subject of systematic analysis. The study of the book market is not only a chapter of economic history; it is also an accurate point of view to think about the most fundamental cultural trajectories. As a consequence, the ambition of this project is to renew our knowledge of cultural exchanges between France and the Low Countries through the study of the circulation of books between these two territories as well as through the reconstruction of networks and legal framework for the sale of books. The expected result is to shed new light on the underlying factors which would explain the passage from the Middle Ages to Modernity of these two countries and their influence on each other in this process.

Events organised by this fellow

Comment parle-t-on de la Renaissance aujourd'hui ? Entre fétichisation patrimoniale et Renaissance bashing
Lost in Renaissance
The Book Market between France and the Low Countries in the 16th Century

Articles Published

  • ‘Men and books under watch’: the Brussels’ book market in the mid-sixteenth century through the inquisitorial archives

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  • La réception imprimée de Galien dans les anciens Pays-Bas au XVIe siècle

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  • La circulation du livre médical dans les anciens Pays-Bas au second tiers du XVIe siècle

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  • La contrefaçon dans les anciens Pays-Bas (XVe-XVIIe siècle)

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  • Bruxelles et le livre: regards sur cinq siècles d'histoire (XVIe-XXe siècle)

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  • Bibliopol@: The Book Market in the Renaissance between France and the Low Countries

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