Lectures in Book History by Jill Bepler and Mara Wade
- Date: –16:30
- Location: Carolina Rediviva Periodicals Reading Room (floor 6)
- Lecturer: Jill Bepler and Mara Wade
- Organiser: Uppsala University Library
- Contact person: Peter Sjökvist
Jill Bepler (Herzog August Bibliothek, Wolfenbüttel) will talk on the subject: ”Uncovering women’s libraries in early modern Germany: Princesses and their books” and Mara Wade (University of Illinois) on: ”The Hybrid Book: Georg Rem’s Inscriptiones picturæ et emblemata ... (c.1620)”
Jill Bepler (Herzog August Bibliothek, Wolfenbüttel): ”Uncovering women’s libraries in early modern Germany: Princesses and their books”
Why and how did women’s book collections become invisible in the 16th and 17th century and why is the history of court libraries predominantly a history of books passed down in the male lines of royalty and the nobility? Funeral sermons and inventories give us insight into hitherto unregistered book ownership by women in the early modern German-speaking territories. A close examination of surviving books and book catalogues as well as some of the archival material connected to pivotal stages in a woman’s life – marriage, widowhood and death – looks in detail at how books moved over vast distances and how collections were dispersed. Whereas archival documents reveal patterns of inheritances and cultural transfer, extant copies of women’s books can reveal practices of marking ownership and reading itself.
Mara Wade (University of Illinois): ”The Hybrid Book: Georg Rem’s Inscriptiones picturæ et emblemata ... (c.1620)”
The Newberry Library, Chicago, possesses a remarkable customized book “Inscriptiones picturæ et emblemata...” that places the emblems from the Great Hall of the Nürnberg Town Hall in the context of public monuments in the Free Imperial City.[i] The author of this hybrid manuscript and printed book was Georg Rem (1567-1625), an Augsburg patrician, who around 1600 became a Ratskonsulent in Nürnberg and Kurator at the nearby Academy (later university) at Altdorf. Rem’s volume has a printed book at its center, accompanied by further manuscripts. The printed book is flanked by sixty and fifty-two handwritten pages, respectively. The inserted imprint, Emblemata Politica, records the emblems designed by Rem and painted into the Great Hall in 1613. The artist Peter Isselburg (1580–1630) then engraved and published them as Emblemata Politica in 1617.
At the core of the volume are two presentations of the emblems, first the manuscript and then the printed version. Rem positioned the town hall emblems within the greater rhetorical framework of Nürnberg’s public good and enveloped the printed emblem book with manuscript descriptions of major public works from 1521 forward. Rem carefully composed this splendid volume, demonstrating that he considered the emblems to be far more than merely an ornamental addition to a storied civic space. He clearly saw his emblematic program as the most recent element of an entire political philosophy in which humanistic ideals shaped the common weal. His volume demonstrates that the cultural impact of any single work is amplified by the whole. As the continuing Latin title of his book states, the inscriptions, pictures, and emblems function in synergy with the triumphal arches, commemorative coins, and other civic monuments. The emblems have a later connection to Sweden, since Carl Gustav Wrangel used some of Rem’s emblems to embellish the ceremonial weapons he had made while in Nürnberg for the negotiations in 1649-1650. These are today at Skokloster. With this carefully customized book, Rem posits that poetry and art are indispensable to society.
My paper will analyze the materiality of the book, trace as far as possible its provenance, and suggest some ideas for its creation.
The lectures are open to all. Welcome!