Academic year
2023/2024 Syllabus of previous years
Official course title
Course code
FM0178 (AF:448525 AR:252240)
On campus classes
ECTS credits
Degree level
Master's Degree Programme (DM270)
Educational sector code
2nd Semester
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The course is part of the characterizing teachings of several master's degree courses (History, Philology, Archival and library sciences). It aims to provide an advanced knowledge of bibliological,bibliographic and catalographic methodologies, as well as of the history and role of the book as a means of cultural and information dissemination

The course has three main objectives:
1. address the development of the 'book' as artefact;
2. illustrate the historical evolution of bibliographic and cataloging tools, intended as a tool for ordering knowledge, from Renaissance printed catalogs to current online databases;
3. address the study of the history of the book, intended as a communication tool, a cultural object and a repository of knowledge;
The course has a seminar character. It includes the examination of ancient books (from incunabula to nineteenth-century books) during the lessons and visits to ancient libraries.
No specific prerequisites are required.
The first part of the course will be dedicated to a bibliological analysis of the book as an artefact: the passage from manuscript to incunabula, the development of the artefact and the technical problems it encountered in fifteenth-sixteenth centuries: paper, ink, mamagement of pipeline in the printer's shop, printing and misprinting; the development of distinct types of book products destined to different publics (mid seventeenth-nineteenth centuries).
Another lesson will take place in the library of the Ateneo Veneto where we will examine early-modern scientific books with monastic provenance.
The second part of the course will be dedicated to the development of the order of knowledge starting in the Renaissance through catalogues and bibliographies (general, thematic, linguistic, local) and to the birth of databases and relational databases as a different approach to knowledge
The last part will concentrate on the role of the book in propagating knowledge, information, science and innovation.
LUCIEN FEBVRE, HENRI-JEAN MARTIN, La nascita del libro, Roma-Bari Laterza 2011 [ed. or. 1958]
FRÉDÉRIC BARBIER, Storia del libro in Occidente, Bari, Dedalo, 2018.
HANS TUZZI, Libro antico, libro moderno, Roma, Carocci, 2018.
EDOARDO BARBIERI, Guida al libro antico. Conoscere e descrivere il libro tipografico, Firenze, Le Monnier, 2006
ROBERT DARNTON, What Is the History of Books? “Daedalus”, Vol. 111/3 (Summer, 1982), pp. 65-83
ROBERT DARNTON, "What is the history of books?" revisited. “Modern Intellectual History” 4(2007), pp. 495-508
Printing and Misprinting: A Companion to Mistakes and In-House Corrections in Renaissance Europe (1450-1650), ed. Geri Della Rocca de Candal, Anthony Grafton, and Paolo Sachet, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2023


Attenders - The exam consists in the preparation of an individual paper (8 pp.). The theme is to be decided with the tutor.
Non Attenders - The exam consists in the preparation of an individual paper (20 pp.). The theme is to be decided with the tutor.
The term "attenders" means all those who participate in at least 6 out of 10 lessons.
The course is seminar-based and requires the active participation of students.
Part of the materials used in the course will be provided through the moodle platform
Attenders - The exam consists in the preparation of an individual paper (8 pp.. The theme is to be decided with the tutor during a reception.
Non attenders - The exam consists in the preparation of an individual paper (20 pp.). The theme is to be decided with the tutor at a reception (not by mail or by phone). The request to prepare a paper is accepted until June 30 for the current academic year. After this date, the request will refer to the following academic year.
It is reaffirmed that the paper is in fact the final exam. Therefore, students are required NOT to present themselves on the exam date published on the web. This date is valid for the delivery of the paper via mail. The tutor reserves the right to summon the student if she finds it necessary to discuss the paper.
Reception hours: first semester - Thursday 0930am-1130am in the Dipartimento di Studi Umanistici, Palazzo Malcanton Marcorà (only upon appointment). The student reception will begin in the second week of September 2023. Students may also ask an online reception via GoogleMeet upon writing to the teacher.
Ca’ Foscari abides by Italian Law (Law 17/1999; Law 170/2010) regarding support services and accommodation available to students with disabilities. This includes students with mobility, visual, hearing and other disabilities (Law 17/1999), and specific learning impairments (Law 170/2010). If you have a disability or impairment that requires accommodations (i.e., alternate testing, readers, note takers or interpreters) please contact the Disability and Accessibility Offices in Student Services: disabilita@unive.it.

This subject deals with topics related to the macro-area "Human capital, health, education" and contributes to the achievement of one or more goals of U. N. Agenda for Sustainable Development

Definitive programme.
Last update of the programme: 06/09/2023