Archives and Information in the Early Modern World

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2018-06-26
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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Investigating the relationship between archives and information in the early modern world, this latest collection of essays edited by Kate Peters, Alexandra Walsham, and Liesbeth Corens explores every aspect of record keeping; from the proliferation of physical documentation between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries to the implication of archives in patterns of statecraft.

Contributors to Archives and Information in the Early Modern World place paper technologies and physical repositories under the microscope, analysing the connections between documentation and geographical distance, probing the part played by record-keeping in administration, governance, and justice, as well as its links with trade, commerce, education, evangelism, and piety.

Extending beyond the framework of formal institutions to the family, household, and sect, Archives and Information in the Early Modern World offers fresh insight into the possibilities and constraints of political participation and the nature of human agency. It deepens our understanding of the role of archives in the construction and preservation of knowledge and the exercise of power in its broadest sense, calling for greater dialogue and creative collaboration to breach the lingering disciplinary divide between historians and archival scientists.

Author Biography

Kate Peters trained as an archivist in 1988-89 and completed a PhD in History in 1996. She has lectured in records and archives management at UCL, and in History at Universities of Birmingham and Cambridge. Her first book, Print Culture and the Early Quakers, examined the role of print in the early Quaker movement of the 1650s. She is currently working on the politics of record keeping in the English civil wars.

Alexandra Walsham is a graduate of the Universities of Melbourne and Cambridge. She taught at the University of Exeter for many years before taking up her current appointment at Cambridge. She has published widely on the religious and cultural history of early modern England and her current research, supported by a Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship, explores the intersections between the Reformation and generational change. She is also the Principal Investigator of the AHRC project, 'Remembering the Reformation'. She became a Fellow of the British Academy in 2009 and was made a CBE in 2017.

Liesbeth Corens is Career Development Fellow at Keble College, Oxford. She is currently completing a book manuscript on Confessional Mobility and English Catholics in Counter-Reformation Europe for Oxford University Press. Her other project centres on creating counter-archives among Catholic minorities in early modern England and the Netherlands. With Kate Peters and Alexandra Walsham, she co-edited 'The Social History of the Archives: Record-Keeping in Early Modern Europe', Past and Present, supplement 11 (2016).

Table of Contents

Foreword, Eric Ketelaar
Archives and Information in the Early Modern World, Alexandra Walsham, Kate Peters & Liesbeth Corens
Organisation and Agency
1. Early Modern European Archivality: Organised Records, Information, and State Power around 1500, Randolph C. Head
2. Archival Intelligence: Diplomatic Correspondence, Information Overload, and Information Management in Italy, 1450-1650, Filippo de Vivo
3. Jean-Baptiste Colbert, Accounting, and the Genesis of the State Archive in Early Modern France, Jacob Soll
Access and Secrecy
4. The Early Modern Secretary and the Early Modern Archive, Arnold Hunt
5. Knowledge, Oblivion and Concealment in Early Modern Spain: The Ambiguous Agenda of the Archive of Simancas, Arndt Brendecke
6. 'Friction in the Archives': Access and the Politics of Record-Keeping in Revolutionary England, Kate Peters
Media and Materiality
7. The Material Culture of Record Keeping in Early Modern England, Heather Wolfe & Peter Stallybrass
8. Archiving the Archive: Scribal and Material Culture in Seventeenth-Century Zurich, Sundar Henny
Documentation and Distance
9. Truth and Suffering in the Quaker Archives, Brooke Palmieri
10. Death, Distance, and Bureaucracy: An Archival Story, Sylvia Sellers-Garcia
11. A Transnational Archive of the Sinosphere: The Early Modern East Asian Information Order, Kiri Paramore
Afterword, Ann Blair

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