Skip to main content Skip to navigation


* It would be very useful preparation to read, prior to the first week:

  • Neil Harris, “Italy”, in Michael F. Suarez, S.J. and H.R. Woudhuysen (eds), The Book: A Global History (Oxford, 2014), chap. 30.


Primary Sources

  • Relevant archival documents including those reproduced in H. Brown, The Venetian Printing Press (1891); D. Chambers and B. Pullan (eds), Venice: A Documentary History 1450 - 1630 (1992); M. Conway, The Diario of the Printing Press of San Jacopo di Ripoli, 1476 - 1484: Commentary and Transcription (1999).
  • Selections from contemporary authors including Erasmus of Rotterdam, Pietro Aretino, Veronica Franco, Baldassare Castiglione, Anton Francesco Doni, Niccolò Franco, Tommaso Garzoni, Thomas Coryate.
  • Facsimiles of contemporary printed editions available online via the Early European Books database; EDIT16 (Italian sixteenth-century editions database); Early English Books Online; the CERL Heritage of the Printed Book database and in printed editions including Guerre in ottava rima, 4 vols (1989); The Clothing of the Renaissance World: Cesare Vecellio’s Habiti antichi et moderni, eds M. Rosenthal and A. R. Jones (2008).
  • Contemporary printed maps and images reproduced online and in works including D. Landau and P. Parshall, The Renaissance Print, 1470–1550 (1994); D. Woodward, Maps as Prints in the Italian Renaissance: Makers, Distributors and Consumers (1996); B. Talvacchia, Taking Positions. On the Erotic in Renaissance Culture (1999).

Key Secondary Sources

  • R. M. Bell, How to Do It: Guides to Good Living for Renaissance Italians (1999)
  • D. Bellingradt et al (eds), Books in Motion in Early Modern Europe: Beyond Production, Circulation and Consumption (Cham, 2017)
  • A. Blair, Too Much to Know: Managing Scholarly Information Before the Modern Age (2010)
  • P. Burke, A Social History of Knowledge (2000)
  • R. Chartier, The Order of Books (1994)
  • S. Dall'Aglio et al (eds), Voices and Texts in Early Modern Italian Society (Routledge, 2016)
  • L. Degl'Innocenti et al. (eds), Interactions between Orality and Writing in Early Modern Italian Culture (Routledge, 2016)
  • F. De Vivo, Information and Communication in Venice: Rethinking Early Modern Politics (2007)
  • W. Eamon, Science and the Secrets of Nature. Books of Secrets in Medieval and Early Modern Culture (1994)
  • E. L. Eisenstein, The Printing Press as an Agent of Change: Communications and Cultural Transformations in Early Modern Europe (1979)
  • A. Grafton, Inky Fingers: The Making of Books in Early Modern Europe (Harvard UP, 2020)
  • P. F. Grendler, The Roman Inquisition and the Venetian Press, 1540-1605 (1977)
  • R. Harms et al (eds), Not Dead Things: The Dissemination of Popular Print in England, Wales, Italy and the Low Countries 1500-1820 (Brill, 2013)
  • R. Henke, Performance and Literature in the Commedia dell’Arte (2002)
  • A. Johns, The Nature of the Book: Print and Knowledge in the Making (1998)
  • A. Johns, Piracy: The Intellectual Property Wars from Gutenberg to Gates (2010) 
  • M. Lowry, The World of Aldus Manutius: Business and Scholarship in Renaissance Venice (1979)
  • M. Lowry, Nicholas Jenson and the Rise of Venetian Publishing in Renaissance Europe (1991)
  • A. Nuovo, The book trade in the Italian Renaissance, tran. Lydia G. Cochrane (Leiden, 2010).
  • A. Pettegree, The Book in the Renaissance (2010)
  • A. Pettegree, The Invention of News: How The World Came to Know About Itself (New Haven, 2014).
  • A. (ed.), Broadsheets: single-sheet publishing in the first age of print (Brill, 2017)
  • L. Pon, Raphael, Durer and Marcantonio Raimondi: Copying and the Renaissance Print (2004)
  • J. Raymond and N. Moxham (eds), News Networks in Early Modern Europe (Leiden, 2016). All available on open access.
  • B. Richardson, Printing, Writers and Readers in Renaissance Italy (1999)
  • B. Richardson, Manuscript Culture in Renaissance Italy (2009)
  • D. Robin, Publishing Women. Salons, the Presses, and the Counter-Reformation in Sixteenth-Century Italy (2007)
  • M. Rospocher et al (eds), Crossing Borders, Crossing Cultures: Popular Print in Europe (1450-1900) (De Gruyter, 2019)
  • R. Salzberg, Ephemeral City: Cheap Print and Urban Culture in Renaissance Venice (2014)
  • R. Scriber, For the Sake of the Simple Folk: Popular Propaganda for the German Reformation (1981)
  • B. Wilson, The World in Venice: Print, the City and Early Modern Identity (2005)
  • C. L. E. Witcombe, Copyright in the Renaissance: Prints and the Privilegio in Sixteenth-Century Venice and Rome (2004)
  • P. Yachnin and B. Wilson (eds), Making Publics in Early Modern Europe: People, Things, Forms of Knowledge (2009)

Scanned extracts

  • Scanned extracts for the course can be found here.

Web Resources