Summary of the Udine Conference, 16/17-09-2021
On 16 and 17 September 2021, a conference on Sammelbände took place at the University of Udine. This conference, entitled The Survival and Destruction of Early Printed Books: the Role of Miscellanies, was organised by Neil Harris, Sergio Capello and Amandine Bonesso. It brought together members of the Sammelband 15-16 network with other book-history scholars, bibliographers, experts in historic bindings, and library conservators. The objective of the conference was to examine the history and significance of miscellanies over the centuries, with a great diversity of cases from all over Europe, spanning from the 15th to the 19th century.
After an initial lecture on general principles for the study of Sammelbände (Walsby), papers in Italian, French and English explored several facets of these material objects. A series of presentations was devoted to case-studies that allowed analysing 17th-century thematics of collection (Bochetta, Lavéant, Martini, Nieuwenhuizen) and discoveries of earlier imprints held within 18th-century bindings (Pickwoad). Other papers developed new avenues of research in the study of provenances to reconstitute (partly) lost private libraries (Fabbri) and the production of specific workshops (Rambaud, Peric). Specific considerations were also given to the question of the manuscript Sammelbände (Frónska, Minuzzi, Proietti) and of library cataloguing and conservation (Benvestito, Tropea). The list of the papers and their summaries are available on the website of the university.
The conference proved to be a stimulating encounter of specialists from diverse horizons, to bring further reflections developed previously by the Sammelband 15-16 team on Renaissance imprints, compare approaches with specialists of manuscript miscellanies and imprints from later periods, and discuss the question of the survival of Sammelbände in private and public libraries. It also prepared the ground for an overarching project, that will be discussed in future meetings of the network, among which the Lyon winter workshop on 26 November 2021.