Tuesday, June 26, 2012

French book trade in Enlightenment Europe - new scholarly database

Researchers at the University of Leeds' Centre for the Comparative History of Print (Centre CHoP) have recently released a database showing the dispersion of books published by the Société typographique de Neuchâtel between the years 1769-1794. The database allows scholars to chart the dissemination networks of the almost 4000 editions of 3600 titles published during these years by this important Enlightenment press, and to conduct advanced searches and analysis of individual titles or of books grouped by title, author, and geographic or subject categories.

Here is the project's press release and URL:

"Simon Burrows and Mark Curran are pleased to announce the on-line publication of the French Book Trade in Enlightenment Europe database at:


A major resource for bibliographical, historical and literary scholarship, it is now made freely available to academics and the wider public.

The database, funded by a £355,485 grant from the British Arts and Humanities Research Council, tracks the dissemination of over 400,000 copies of almost 4,000 editions of 3,600 works around Europe by a celebrated Swiss publisher-bookseller, the Société typographique de Neuchâtel (STN), in the period 1769-1794.

The database allows users to explore the STN’s supply and distribution networks across time and space, on both a macro and a micro level. They can investigate the dissemination of single works or the trade of individual clients; the STN’s client networks; the distribution patterns for all works, or those by a particular author or on particular themes. Specialist tools allow for geographic mapping; the graphing of trends over time; or the creation of local and regional best-sellers tables. Advanced query options make it possible to make specialised searches by, among other things, legal or illegal sectors; gender or clients; or place of publication.

Using a state-of-the-art intuitive user interface, the database is also accompanied by written guides and instructional videos."

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brought to you by...
Sarah Sussman, curator of French and Italian Collections