European Union


International Conference


Selling & Collecting

Printed Book Sale Catalogues and Private Libraries
in Early Modern Europe

Biblioteca Universitaria di Cagliari, Sala settecentesca

Cagliari, 20-21 September 2017


This conference will explore the distribution and acquisition of printed books in the 16th and 17th centuries.

It will focus on publishers’ and booksellers’ catalogues as evidence of the advertising and selling techniques used by the book trade. A related theme will be private libraries, associated with the growing phenomenon of book collecting, which ensured not only the consumption and accumulation, but also often the preservation, of the works being produced by the book trade.

In recent decades, increasing attention to these two aspects has brought about a renewal of the study of the history of the book in the early modern period, marked by new research devoted to these two themes:  the commercial book trade, its economic goals and operational mechanisms and, on the other hand, the creation of great private collections driven by projects of encyclopaedic ambition. These two fields, however, have only occasionally been connected and examined within a single context.

Private libraries represented not only an important market for the book trade, but also bear witness to their owners’ great interest in the marketing tools perfected by book trade agents in the early modern period. Among the largest of such collections, one of the least well known was owned by the Sardinian jurist Monserrat Rossellò (1568 – 1613). Today, it forms part of the Library of the University of Cagliari, which will be the venue of the conference.


Speakers include
  • Francesco Ammannati, University of Udine
  • Giliola Barbero, University of Udine
  • Flavia Bruni, ICCU
  • Pedro M. Catedra, University of Salamanca
  • Christian Coppens, University of Leuven
  • Anna Corrias, University of Cagliari
  • Giovanna Granata, University of Cagliari
  • Emanuele Lacca, University of South Bohemia
  • Giles Mandelbrote, Lambeth Palace Library
  • Angela Nuovo, University of Udine
  • Andrea Orsucci, University of Cagliari
  • Alessandra Panzanelli, University of Oxford
  • Goran Proot, University of Udine
  • Pedro Rueda, University of Barcelona
  • Graziano Ruffini, University of Florence
  • Laura Usalla, University of Cagliari

Organized by

Giovanna Granata (University of Cagliari, Department of Pedagogy, Philosophy and Psychology) with the financial support of the Regione Autonoma della Sardegna through grant L.R. n. 7/2007, for the project CLASAR. Censimento dei Libri Antichi in SARdegna

Angela Nuovo (University of Udine, Department of Humanities and Cultural Heritage) with the financial support of the European Research Council for the project EMoBookTrade. An Evidence-based Reconstruction of the Economic and Juridical Framework of the European Book Market (ERC-Adv-Grant 694476)



Cittadella dei Musei,  Aula Roberto Coroneo – Piazza Arsenale, 1
Biblioteca Universitaria di Cagliari, Sala settecentescaVia Università, 32
09124 Cagliari (Sardinia)

Poetto, the main beach of Cagliari (photo F. Cogotti)

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