Private Libraries and their Documentation, 1665–1830

Studying and Interpreting Sources


The essays in Private Libraries and their Documentation revolve around the users and contents of early modern private book collections, and around the sources used to document and study these collections. They take the reader from large-scale projects on historical book ownership to micro-level research conducted on individual libraries, and from analyses of specific types of primary sources to general typologies and overviews by period and by region. As a result of its comparative approach and active engagement with questions regarding the nature, selection and accessibility of sources, the volume serves as a guide to sources and resources in different regions as well as to state-of the-art methods and interpretational approaches.

Publication of this volume in open access was made possible by the Ammodo KNAW Award 2017 for Humanities.
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Rindert Jagersma (PhD, University of Amsterdam) is a book historian and bibliographer, specialised in the quantitative approach of the book trade of the Dutch Republic around 1700. In the ERC-funded MEDIATE project, he focuses on Dutch auction catalogues and their owners.

Helwi Blom (PhD, Utrecht University) lectures in French (Radboud University) and Comparative Literature (Utrecht University). Her scholarly interests include chivalric romance, popular print, and book and library history. In the MEDIATE project, she studies early modern French private library catalogues.

Evelien Chayes (PhD, University of Amsterdam) is a researcher at the CNRS Institut de recherche et d'histoire des textes, Paris. She has published monographs and articles on the circulation of texts and book ownership during the Renaissance up to circa 1700.

Ann-Marie Hansen (PhD, McGill University) is Project Manager of ‘Unlocking the Fagel Collection’ at the Library of Trinity College. Her research interests include early modern readers’ interactions with print, book collecting, and cataloguing practices, particularly with regards to Sammelbände.
List of Illustrations
Notes on Contributors

Goldmines or Minefields? Private Libraries and Their Documentation (1665–1830)
Rindert Jagersma, Helwi Blom and Ann-Marie Hansen

Part 1: Private Libraries in Use

1 The Leufstabruk Catalogues: Life Narrative, Collector’s Rationale and Network of Charles de Geer
Alex Alsemgeest

2 A Private Library as a Material History of the Book. Otto Thott’s Encyclopedic Library in Copenhagen
Anders Toftgaard

3 A Collegiant Library in Rijnsburg at the Beginning of the Eighteenth Century: The Books of Jan Matthijsz van Drieborn (d. 1715)
Paul G. Hoftijzer

4 Sharing Books in Eighteenth-Century Languedoc: The Library of Jean-François Séguier
Laurence Brockliss

5 Private Libraries and the Second-Hand Book Trade in Early Modern Academia
The Case of Leuven University 1425–1797
Pierre Delsaerdt

6 Book Auctions at the Reformed College of Debrecen (1743–1842)
Róbert Oláh

Part 2: Uncovering Private Libraries in Archival Sources

7 Some Notes on Sixteenth- and Seventeenth-Century Library Archives as a Source for the Reconstruction of Private Libraries in Italy and the Vatican City
Giliola Barbero

8 Book Ownership in Parma, Italy (1665–1830)
Federica Dallasta

9 “For Don Antonio Meave I Leave the Three Folios of My Dear and Venerable Father Louis of Granada”: Tracing Books in the Archivo General de Notarías of Mexico City
Andrea Reyes Elizondo

10 Private Libraries in New Spain: A Project in Progress
Idalia García Aguilar and Alberto José Campillo Pardo

Part 3: Private Library Research in Regional Contexts

11 Mercury in the Republic of Letters: Private Libraries in Spanish Book Sales Catalogues (1660–1800)
Pedro Rueda Ramírez and Lluís Agustí

12 Lists of Private Book Collections in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and Royal Prussia, 1680–1830
Michał Bajer

13 Surviving Records of Private Book Collections in the Kingdom of Hungary and the Transylvanian Principality between 1665 and 1830
István Monok

14 From Extensive Learned Libraries to Modest Book Collections: Research on Danish Private Book Collections of the Long Eighteenth Century
Jonas Thorup Thomsen

15 ‘The Cornerstone of Scholarship’: Library Catalogues in Late Imperial China
Fan Wang

Part 4: Building a Field of Study

16 The Private Libraries in Renaissance England (PLRE) Project: An Overview
Joseph L. Black

17 Philosophers’ Private Libraries (1600–1800)
Giovanna Granata

18 Private Libraries and the Material Evidence in Incunabula Database
Marieke van Delft

19 “Ces documents rédigés à la hâte et imprimés avec assez peu de soin”. The Long Road to the Realisation of Book Sales Catalogues Online
Otto S. Lankhorst

All interested in the early modern book world, book history, private libraries, book lists, cataloguing, book auctions, book sales, the history of collecting, book ownership, and readership.
Keywords: library history, book ownership, book history, bibliography, catalogues, book lists, inventories, cataloguing, provenance, readership, bibliophilia, book auctions, collecting, 17th–18th centuries, 18th century.
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