Vol. 11 No. 2 (2020)

The Database of the EMoBookTrade Project. A Proposal to Encode Early Modern Book Prices and Privileges

Giliola Barbero
University of Milan; Università Cattolica di Milano
Luigi Tessarolo
Independent scholar
Angela Nuovo
University of Milan, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods – DEMM
Francesco Ammannati
University of Milan
Francesca De Battisti
University of Milan
Renaud Milazzo
University of Milan
Andrea Ottone
University of Milan
Goran Proot
University of Milan; Cultura Fonds Library (Dilbeek, Belgium)
Erika Squassina
University of Milan

Published 2020-05-15


  • Book Trade,
  • History of the Book,
  • Digital Humanities,
  • Economic History,
  • Price History

How to Cite

Barbero, Giliola, Luigi Tessarolo, Angela Nuovo, Francesco Ammannati, Francesca De Battisti, Renaud Milazzo, Andrea Ottone, Goran Proot, and Erika Squassina. 2020. “The Database of the EMoBookTrade Project. A Proposal to Encode Early Modern Book Prices and Privileges”. JLIS.It 11 (2):108-32. https://doi.org/10.4403/jlis.it-12612.


The EMoBookTrade project, funded by the European Research Council and directed by Angela Nuovo, has developed a database on book prices (ca. 1530-1630) and book privileges (Venice, 1469 to 1603). This web application shows that digital humanities can play an innovative role in historical research at the same time respecting traditional scientific methods and the needs of ground-breaking inter-disciplinary research. Indeed, the EMoBookTrade DB takes into account both the representation of different kinds of sources and the processing of data deriving from them. Therefore, thanks to a rigorously designed conceptual model, the front end allows for a simple and straightforward source and data representation together with a complex search engine, the results of which can be downloaded in a CSV format suitable for statistical analyses.
This article also aims to propose an ontology of price setting and privilege grants, considered as events concerned with the history of the book and the economic history.


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