"How to produce a bestseller. Erasmus of Rotterdam and the Froben's Press in sixteenth/century Europe"
In sixteenth century Europe printing technology and mass production made of the printed book the privileged media for communication. Those who had the ability to manage with the exigencies of the market and those of culture, connecting the dealings of entrepreneurs and the demands of scholars through the technical knowledge of the craft, created a powerful alliance that enhanced the impact of the written words on the circulation and reception of knowledge. The collaboration between Erasmus of Rotterdam and the printers Johannes and Hieronymus Froben of Basel between 1514 and 1536 offers itself as a point of vantage to observe the making of the written culture for humanists, allowing investigations into the media strategies and the marketing communication tools employed to produce anddisseminate humanist books in early modern Europe.
To examine, interpret and evaluate the reasons and modalities of the collaboration between Erasmus of Rotterdam and Johannes and Hieronymus Froben, taking the life and activity oft he Rhenish printers as the point of vantage, was the principal objective of the research. The project will lead to an innovative book on the most sophisticated media strategies employed in early modern Europe to produce books, and control their circulation. Add to this, it will be reassembled a digital catalogue of Erasmus of Rotterdam's works printed by the Frobens'presses between 1514 and 1536.
In particular, during the three-months fellowship at the BA the analysis focused on: 1. Readership; 2. Technical and graphical features; 3. Financial and economic aspects; 4. Digital catalogue. The exemplars of the BA that will be examined, will be catalogued, and described according to the most recent principles and techniques of the descriptive, material, and digital bibliography, and added to the digital bibliography of Froben's editions that will be realized.