Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Dr Gloria Moorman

Gloria (now based at the University of Manchester) studied Italian (BA, 2012) and Book History (MA, 2014) at the University of Leiden, followed by a PhD at the Centre for the Study of the Renaissance, University of Warwick. In her doctoral dissertation, supervised by Prof. David Lines and Prof. Ingrid De Smet (completed in 2019), she studied the development of the early modern town atlas genre, culminating in the first, full publication history of Joan Blaeu's Theatrum Italiae (1663-1682).
Based on this dissertation, Gloria's first monograph on The Power and Politics of the City Book (under contract with Brill's Library of the Written Word series), will reveal how the most beautiful of the atlases of Joan Blaeu (1598/99-1673) - all but forgotten today - artfully accommodated the making of the Dutch Golden Age to foreign eyes: Blaeu and his heirs turned prestigious print publications into effective vehicles for golden age narratives on a modernized footing, proclaiming the past and present splendour of cities and states. The work will offer a fresh perspective on geography and power, illuminating the intricate connections between the representation of space, visual culture, and poetry.

Gloria was finalist for the Royal Netherlands Institute in Rome’s biennial prize in Italian Studies (Van Woudenberg dissertatieprijs, 2020) and first recipient of the Elsevier-Johan de Witt Prize (2014) for best MA thesis on the Dutch Golden Age.
Her identification of the spectacularly hand-colored presentation copy of the Theatrum Sabaudiae (1682: Royal Library, Turin) as the work of master-colourist Dirk Jansz. van Santen - testifying to the transnational splendour of the connected book and art worlds of the Baroque - was featured among selected essays by researchers "aged under 35" in the Italian journal La Bibliofilia (2020).

PhD in Renaissance Studies - University of Warwick (UK);
MA, BA - Universiteit Leiden (the Netherlands).

Current Position

Gloria Moorman (1990) is based at the Department of Modern Languages and Cultures (Italian)Link opens in a new window and the John Rylands Research Institute and Library (University of Manchester).Link opens in a new window
In her work, she adopts book- and art-historical approaches to investigate the cultural agency of early modern printed artefacts, at the intersection of materiality, (para)text, and imagery. Gloria takes a special interest in Renaissance geography (the reception of Ptolemy) and the representation of cities in word and image (city praise in verse and prose, across Latin and European vernaculars; evolving visual languages from print antiquarianism to painterly vedutismo).

Currently, she is a Research Associate on the AHRC-funded project ‘Envisioning Dante, c. 1472–c. 1630: Seeing and Reading the Early Printed Page,’Link opens in a new window led by Prof Guyda Armstrong (Manchester) and Prof Simon Gilson (Oxford). Departing from expertise in the publishing of both text and imagery across the print centres of Italy and northern Europe, she will investigate the impact of Dante's authority on the survival, success, and self-fashioning of printers. Other areas of interest include the convergence of cosmography and court culture, and the visualization of space in ensuing editions of the Divina Commedia.


Gloria is also a member of the TextDiveGlobalLink opens in a new window project, led by Prof Warren Boutcher (Queen Mary University of London). In her chapter for Textuality and Diversity: A Literary History of Europe and its Global Connections (Oxford University Press), she will juxtapose the political and commercial realities of Dutch colonial enterprise in Brazil - relatively short-lived, ultimately unsuccessful - with its versatile, editorial afterlife.
This strand of Gloria's research - characteristically interdisciplinary in approach and transnational in scope - came about as the serendipitous result of collaborations with colleagues based across the United Kingdom, Italy, and the Netherlands, including the seminar Dutch Brazil in Print and Poetry, co-organized at the Royal Netherlands Institute in Rome (KNIR) with Dr Matthijs Jonker (KNIR), Dr Giacomo Comiati, and Dr Arthur Weststeijn (University of Padua).

In 2019, she was awarded a Brill Fellowship at the Scaliger Institute (Special Collections, Leiden University Library) to continue the collaborative research that led to Medici Rule Reimagined: Cosimo III, the Dutch Republic, and Grand Ducal Aspirations for Seventeenth-Century Tuscany (c. 1667–1723), co-authored with Ingeborg van Vugt and published in Erudition and the Republic of Letters, 7:4 (2022).
The article features exciting case-studies on transnational pineapples, a foreign professor of Greek in Pisa, and the marvels of Amsterdam as "magazzino del mondo.” During his famous sojourns in the Dutch Republic (1667–1669), young Prince Cosimo III de’ Medici (1642–1723) encountered an enticingly modern strain of republicanism. Together, Ingeborg and Gloria argue for the first time that the splendour of the Dutch Golden Age proved the ideal décor to reimagine Tuscany’s own, administrative past and present.
This project built on past and present engagement with Florence and Tuscany "In the Forgotten Centuries," markedly the happy months of Gloria's NIKI Fellowships at the Nederlands Kunsthistorisch Instituut in Florence (2016-17; 2017-18).

Previously, Gloria was a postdoctoral researcher at the university of Padua (2020-2023), and visiting fellow at the Scaliger Institute (Leiden University Library) and the Nederlands Kunsthistorisch Instituut (NIKI) in Florence. Over the years, her work has benefitted especially from the generous support of the Royal Netherlands Institute in Rome (KNIR), the Newberry Library (Chicago), the Bibliographical Society, and the Society for Renaissance Studies.

Research Interests

- Book history and the history of libraries;
- The representation of cities in word and image;
- Early modern cosmography and court culture;
- Intellectual and artistic exchange between Italy and the Low Countries
(especially during the 16th and 17th centuries).

Selected Academic Associations

Honorary Research Fellow, Centre for the Study of the Renaissance, University of Warwick
Friend of the Royal Netherlands Institute in Rome (KNIR)