A Harmonizing Data Model for Books Imported in Sixteenth-Century England

Fred Schurink, (Senior Lecturer in Early Modern Literature, The University of Manchester).

Baldassare Castiglione, Il Libro del Cortegiano. (Venice, 1541). R220959
Baldassare Castiglione, Il Libro del Cortegiano. (Venice, 1541). R220959

Because London printers failed to capture a significant share of the international trade in Latin books, sixteenth-century England was uniquely dependent on the importation of books.

While bibliographical data and digital reproductions of books printed in England have long been readily available to scholars (through ESTC and EEBO), the same is not true for imported books, with the result that early modern English literary culture has been increasingly equated with English-language books published in London.

This project aims to counter this trend by designing a data model that can bring together metadata from the many different sources of information on the importation of books in sixteenth century England and enable researchers to address the questions what these books were, who owned them, and ultimately how England’s peripheral role in the European book market affected its access to ideas and its place within early modern European culture.