Event by The Bibliographical Society of America

Material Evidence in Incunabula (MEI) in the United States

Material Evidence in Incunabula (MEI) in the United States

Thursday, June 11, 2020 at 12:30 PM to 1:10 PM (EST)
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Material evidence in Incunabula (MEI) is an international database, freely accessible, specifically designed to record and search the material evidence of 15th-century printed books: ownership, decoration, binding, manuscript annotations, stamps, prices, etc. The collaborative enterprise of over 450 European and American libraries, it contains over 50,000 high-quality records and the identification of over 20,000 former owners.

MEI is hosted and maintained by the Consortium of European Research Libraries (CERL). MEI introduced an innovative approach to the recording of provenance: the application of geographical (GeoNames) and temporal indicators applied to every element of provenance, to track the movement of books over space and time during their 500 years of life. Now we are in the position to visualize the movement of thousands of books, and to understand patterns and trends in the use and survival of early printed books. By integrating provenance data we are also reconstructing dispersed libraries and of course, support the high-quality copy-specific cataloguing of every library with this kind of material. This historical evidence is essential for scholarship on the impact of the European printing revolution and on the formation of American collections, a topic that the Bibliographical Society of America has directly supported for over 100 years of its history, and it is also crucial for the effective communication of the value of rare books and special collections libraries to the general public.

You will gain not only an insight into the workings of the project and the results it has already demonstrated, but learn how your library can help build the database and contribute to the collaborative effort of uncovering and understanding our shared early printed heritage.

InstructorCristina Dondi is Professor of Early European Book Heritage, and Oakeshott Senior Research Fellow in the Humanities at Lincoln College, University of Oxford. She is also the Secretary of the Consortium of European Research Libraries (CERL). She most recently edited Printing R-Evolution and Society 1450-1500. Fifty Years that Changed Europe, Venice: Edizioni Ca’ Foscari, 2020.


This webinar is co-sponsored by the
Consortium of European Research Libraries (CERL).

Event hosted by

The Bibliographical Society of America
67 West Street, Suite 401 Unit C17
Brooklyn, NY, 11222
Erin McGuirl, Executive Director

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