UCMS Seminar: How to Work with Sammelbände? Understanding the Van Buchell Collection

How to work with Sammelbände? Understanding the Van Buchell collection

UCMS Seminar on Premodern Reading Cultures – 11 October 2019, Special Collections, Utrecht
University Library
The yearly UCMS Seminar will take place on October 11th. As last year, it will be devoted to the
theme of Premodern Reading Cultures, around the specific object of 16th century Sammelbände and
particularly one collection of books kept at the Special Collections of the Utrecht University Library.
The workshop is equally accessible and interesting to people who did not participate to the 2018
Sammelbände, that is to say volumes of printed texts created at the request of their buyers, were a
ubiquitous phenomenon in in fifteenth- and sixteenth-century Europe. Such volumes brought
together several books in order to save on costs during the binding process, and to create collections
of texts that had a coherence for their owners, whether because of their content, their language or
other specific features. In 2019, Sammelband 15-16, a project devoted to the study of this
phenomenon, is launching a special collaboration with Utrecht University’s Library, as it hosts a
unique collection, the Huybert van Buchell collection, containing hundreds of such Sammelbände.
Studying this collection not only offers a window into the world of a premodern mind, through the
books this scholar read and annotated, but also adds to our knowledge of the cultural life and book
circulation in Utrecht and Cologne.
Because they can be studied from so many angles, Sammelbände are of interest for scholars of many
disciplines, from Antiquity to the early modern period. They touch on topics as diverse as the
reception of Ancient authors in later periods; the material features of the Sammelbände that inform
us on medieval and early modern binding practices; the rescue of medieval fragments preserved in
the bindings; premodern reading practices (annotating books, claiming ownership, circulating books
in a network of readers)… Another crucial question lies in the way we can use digital humanities to
make these items more accessible to a large audience, with a system of digitisation and of
description of the volumes in library and research databases.
The one-day seminar will consist of papers around the van Buchell collection and other examples
and perspectives that will allow reflecting on the new methodologies and tools we can use to study
these objects. There will also be a presentation of books from the van Buchell collection.
RMA students and PhD students affiliated to the graduate schools Onderzoekschool Mediëvistiek
and Huizinga Instituut can receive 1 EC for attending the Seminar and writing a synthesis of what
they will have observed and learned during the day.
The workshop is free of charge (lunch and coffee breaks included) but is limited to 35 participants.
Please register before October 7, 2019, via this link: https://forms.gle/LEeWFUNURXGyZehg9
Organisation: Katell Lavéant (k.laveant@uu.nl) & Ann-Marie Hansen (a.m.m.hansen@uu.nl)
Friday 11 October 2019 – Bucheliuszaal, Utrecht University Library (Uithof Science Campus, 6th floor)
9:30-10:00: welcome and coffee
Morning session: (re)discovering the van Buchell collection
10:00-10:10: Opening - Bart Jaski: The van Buchell collection: a tale of misers and cheaters
10:10-10:50: Malcolm Walsby: Analysing the riches of the van Buchell Sammelbände
10:50-11:10: Bart Jaski: From manuscript to maculature: the unique testimony of van Buchell's books
11:10-11:50: Katell Lavéant & Ann-Marie Hansen: Traces of use: how readers left their marks in the
Van Buchell volumes
12:00-13:00: lunch
13:00-14:30: book presentation (two groups for better access to the books)
Afternoon session: beyond van Buchell
14:30-15:10: John Tholen: Reading classical mythology: a case study of an early modern
15:10-15:50: Arja Firet: Old books and new technologies: the challenges and potential of digitisation
and digital humanities
15:50-16:00: conclusions