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University of Groningen Library

More heritage Exhibitions Digital exhibitions Tastbaar Bewijs in de incunabelen van de UB Groningen

Finally

Inc. 46. Inscription in the Bible of Marritjen Gerrit dochter, fol. 270v
Inc. 46. Inscription in the Bible of Marritjen Gerrit dochter, fol. 270v

Material evidence, in short, holds the key to a rich reservoir of information about the incunabula in the University of Groningen Library. Although not all incunabula contain traces of use, if we look at the copies that do, we see the outlines of a complex ‘bookscape’ starting to emerge. Books were traded over long distances or changed hands through established close-knit networks. We see that the presence of several incunabula in Groningen was far from accidental. Rather, it was linked to specific events or contemporary preoccupations, such as the humanist interest of the Aduard Group. And cases like the convent of Saint Agnes give us a glimpse of early-modern reading practices and reveal how individuals interacted with both the textual content and material make-up of their books. It is these instances of material evidence that document the individual histories of the books and capture the fleeting act of reading them.

Last modified:18 June 2021 12.19 p.m.
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