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Books of Trade and the Trade in Books in Renaissance Italy

Monday, October 29, 2018 - 6:00pm to 7:00pm
Reception to follow
Registration is NOT required, but recommended
Members $15

Books of Trade and the Trade in Books in Renaissance Italy

Panel discussion in conjunction with the Friends of the Italian Cultural Center, Boston

The book trade developed rapidly in Italy following the introduction of the printing press in the fifteenth century. During the fifteenth century over 10,000 works were published, but in the following century these numbers grew much larger. During the sixteenth century publishers produced over 27,000 editions in the city of Venice alone. This discussion will center on the development of trade in Renaissance Italy, and on the impact of the printing industry, including its spread into northern Italy where Venice emerged as the book-printing capital of Italy.


Sophus Reinert, Harvard Business School, expert in the histories of capitalism and globalization, who will speak on the account books used by the Medici in their world-opening trade.

G. Scott Clemons, Brown Brothers Harriman, recent past president of the Grolier Club in New York and avid collector of books printed by Aldus Manutius, the greatest of the early Venetian printers, who will speak on the impact of the Aldine press.


and moderated by:
John Buchtel, Boston Athenæum Curator of Rare Books and Head of Special Collections, who will also present the Athenæum's collection of printed works from the period. 

Among the Venetian incunables (books printed before 1501) in the Boston Athenaeum’s collection are a 1493 illustrated edition of Dante’s Divina Commedia, and a very scarce 1496 edition of Marco Polo’s Travels of Marco Polo.

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Most programs held in the Bayard Henry Long Room on the Athenaeum's first floor are amplified and assistive listening devices are available for patron use.

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