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851-0346-05L  The Book Trade in Renaissance Italy

SemesterSpring Semester 2016
LecturersA. Nuovo Filippini
Periodicitynon-recurring course
Language of instructionItalian


AbstractThe invention of printing set in motion a series of profound changes in Europe, especially over the long term. In Italy the arrival of the new technology coincided with the golden age of the Renaissance and led to a vast number of publications.
ObjectiveThe success of printing throughout Italy and above all in Venice was the result of continual cultural innovation, as the great humanist publishing enterprise of Aldus Manutius demonstrates so well. Another fundamental factor in this success, however, was the support which the merchants who transformed themselves into publishers gave to this new sphere of productive activity. The great dynasties of sixteenth-century publishers, such as the Giunti, the Gabiano and the Giolito, developed new techniques of distributing and selling books. Among the most significant innovations introduced by these merchant-publishers we find the invention of the publisher's device or logo and of a network of branch bookshops located in the most important cities. The constant application of marketing techniques led to the creation of an organised book trade from which in turn emerged the figure of the reader as consumer and as book collector.
ContentThe success of printing throughout Italy and above all in Venice was the result of continual cultural innovation, as the great humanist publishing enterprise of Aldus Manutius demonstrates so well. Another fundamental factor in this success, however, was the support which the merchants who transformed themselves into publishers gave to this new sphere of productive activity. The great dynasties of sixteenth-century publishers, such as the Giunti, the Gabiano and the Giolito, developed new techniques of distributing and selling books. Among the most significant innovations introduced by these merchant-publishers we find the invention of the publisher's device or logo and of a network of branch bookshops located in the most important cities. The constant application of marketing techniques led to the creation of an organised book trade from which in turn emerged the figure of the reader as consumer and as book collector.
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