This project is designed to pilot a digital space where the enormously influential, but overlooked, contributions of early modern scholar­printers (the information managers of the early modern age) can be displayed, searched, debated, and collaboratively expanded and revised. It looks to offer advanced researchers, teachers, and students a resource for understanding not only who these important figures were, but how, why, and where they went about printing the texts they did. Our project will be the only resource dedicated to printer­ scholars available at the moment, providing an entirely innovative tool for the study of book history, intellectual history, and the history of scholarship.

The project will aggregate, transcribe, and translate prefaces and paratextual scholarly material from 10 (to begin with) key European scholar­printers (Manutius, Froben, Estienne, Platin, Nebrija) represented in the Bancroft Library collections as a way to shed light more generally on the interactive nature of practices of Renaissance scholarship and the technologies of print. Our plan is to utilize digital tools to highlight tropes used by printers across national traditions; aggregate data about authors and place names that appear across prefaces; and illuminate pertinent thematic material contained within prefaces and paratexts that would demonstrate the value of these texts across academic disciplines. The website will include high­resolution digital scans of the prefaces alongside a plain text transcription (and, for non­English texts, a translation). Given the difficulty of OCR­searching older texts, a plain text transcription of the prefaces will be an essential aid to searching and tagging their content. The website will allow users to move between learning about particular texts or printers, accessing information about their particular geographic and historical context, and learning about scholar­printers as a European wide­phenomenon. The prefaces will function as the connective tissue between these two perspectives, linking the rhetorical practices of scholar­printers to their larger role as custodians and producers of early modern information.

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