Central European Book History

This blog revitalises the history of the early modern book trade in Central Europe. It broadens perspectives of research from national state paradigms to a cross-regional analysis of commercial structures, book markets, their actors, and their customers. This also includes the reciprocal interaction between territorial states as well as connections (and divisions) between distribution networks, the creation of stores, sales practices and markets, and comparative views on the books offered.

It provides a forum for discussing changes and continuities in the history of book printing. Key topics include: actors in the book trade (inter-generational company history, historical gender perspectives, the changing roles of the book trader); distribution networks for regional and long-distance trade, official markets and secondary distribution channels (book peddling, private auctions); perspectives from individual institutions and economic history (governmental influence within book trading, censorship policy); customer acquisition and advertising, library history and book ownership, genres of the book market and reading habits.

This initiative fosters interdisciplinary dialogue between researchers from the fields of history, art history, literary and book studies, and will unite disparate methodical approaches such as material culture studies, spatial history, and digital history among others. Our goal is to provide an interdisciplinary, international platform for a long-term research network on the early modern book trade. If you would like to join the network, please contact the editorial team.

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