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Early Modern Print Culture in Central Europe

Context and rationale:

International research has little to say about the development of early modern print culture in Central Europe. Poland, for instance, is mentioned just once in the latest edition of Elisabeth Eisenstein’s classic study The Printing Revolution in Early Modern Europe (2005), and other parts of Central Europe are not mentioned at all. Nevertheless, the first printing press in Central Europe was established in 1473 in Cracow (Poland), and in the following decades, presses were put into operation mainly in university towns. In the beginning, those presses produced books in Latin, while texts in vernacular languages appeared from the early sixteenth century onward as a result of the Protestant Reformation. Although there is a rich historiography on this topic in various countries in the region, unfortunately, the research literature is not easily accessible to the international public because of language barriers. The seminar was aimed at bringing together scholars working in the field of print culture to discuss the latest developments in their discipline against the background of recent international research on print culture. Keynote lectures by senior scholars were combined with presentations by younger scientists. The outcome of the seminar was a collection of papers, but also relationships were forged to set up new collaborative research projects.


  • international knowledge networks in the early modern period in Central Europe
  • printers, booksellers, publishers
  • readers and reading
  • libraries
  • scholarly publishing
  • book production in vernacular languages
  • censorship
  • privileges before copyright
  • book illustration
  • periodicals in the early modern period
  • religious matters in print
  • mapmaking
  • geography of the book

Monday, September 16, 2013
08:30 – 09:00 am

Registration of the participants

09:00 – 09:30 am

Welcome, Introduction

09:30 – 10:15 am

Prof. Andrzej Borowski, PhD, Kraków. The Early Modern City in the Network of Central European Cultural Institutions – Case Cracow (Kraków)

10:15 – 11:00 am

Prof. Béla Mester, PhD, Budapest. The Scriptures in Hungarian of the Early Modernity: From the First Erasmian Translation Printed in Kraków (1533) to the Whole Hungarian Bible (1590)

11:00 – 11:30 am

Coffee break

11:30 am – 12:15 pm 

Richard Šípek, PhD, Praha. PROVENIO – the Provenance Research Project in the National Museum Prague

12:15 – 01:00 pm

Prof. Gábor Gángó, PhD, Budapest. Information and Propaganda in Print: Leibniz’s Eastern Europe

01:00 – 02:15 pm


03:00 pm

Opening Session of the 25th Annual Conference of Academia Europaea at Aula Leopoldina

08:00 pm

Reception (City Hall)

Tuesday, September 17, 2013
09:30 – 10:15 am

Anna-Maria Rimm, PhD, Uppsala. Books in Transit. The International Book Trade and the Swedish Book Market 1720-1820

10:30 – 11:45 am
  • Parallel Sessions

Early Prints Chair: Prof. Béla Mester, PhD

    • Gábor Farkas, Budapest. Chronica Hungarorum (Buda, 1473)– First Printed Book in Hungary
    • Dominic Olariu, Marburg. German Herbals and their illustrations in Early Modern Times (15th and the beginning of the 16th century)
    • Kirill Perepechkin, St. Petersburg. Johann Froben as the editor of the Bible

Polonia–Lithuania–Ruthenia Alba Chair: Prof. A. Borowski, PhD

    • Tobias Budke, Münster. A Network and its Book Gifts: The Case of Mikołaj Radziwiłł „Czarny”
    • Jakub Niedźwiedź, Kraków. The Use of Books in Vilniusin the 16th century
    • Raman Voranau, Minsk. The Belarusian Printing Pioneer Francišak Skaryna: Early modern Hero in Later National Interpretations
11:45 am – 12:15 pm

Coffee break

12:15 – 01:05 pm
  • Parallel Sessions

West meets East Chair: A.-M. Rimm, PhD

    • Michał Choptiany, Kraków. Ramism, Print and the Long Term of Manuscript Culture: The Influence of Ramist Prints
    • Agnieszka Patała, Wrocław. Officina Plantiniana and Breslau in the 16th Century – Ways of Books Acquisitions

Newspapers and Pamphlets Chair: Prof. S. Huigen, PhD

    • Krisztina Peter, Budapest. The News-Writer and the Chronicler
    • Christine Watson, Uppsala. A Polish pamphlet and its translations
01:15 – 02:45 pm


03:00 – 03:50 pm
  • Parallel Sessions

Libraries and Readers Chair: R. Šípek, PhD

    • Vojtěch Šícha, Praha. Bohemian Old Prints from Collections of the Tschammer Library in Cieszyn
    • Mariana Kosmačová, Prešov. Selected Prints of the 17th Century in the Aristocratic Libraries Preserved in the Funds of the Collegiate Historical Library in Prešov

Hungarian Politics and Learning Chair: Prof. B. Mester, PhD

    • Kees Teszelszky, Márton Zászkaliczky, Budapeszt. Bocskai’s Revolt, European Information Networks and Print Culture (Political Propaganda, Diplomacy and News Circulation between Manuscripts and Prints, 1604-1606)
    • Marcell Sebők, Budapest. Changing Places: the Case of Albert Szenci Molnár and His Publication Efforts
    • Karolina Mroziewicz, Warszawa. Identity of Illustrated Books and Their Users. The Case of Early Modern Hungary
03:50 – 04:40 pm
  • Parallel Sessions

Historiography Chair: A.-M. Rimm, PhD

    • Giuseppe Perri, Bruxelles. The Ukrainian Historiography of the Print Culture in Early Modern Ukraine
    • Jan Ivanega, Brno. Hydriatria Nova by Johann Franz Löw of Erlsfeld: on the History of Schwarzenberg´ Book Patronage
04:40 – 05:00 pm

Coffee break

05:00 – 05:50 pm

Prof. Jonathan Israel, PhD, Princeton. The Polish and Bohemian Enlightenments: Was There a Radical Tendency?

05:50 – 06:00 pm

Official Closure of the Seminar

08:00 – 10:00 pm

Gala Dinner (Centenial Hall)

Wednesday, September 18, 2013
09:00 am – 06:00 pm

Participation in the 25th Annual Conference of Academia Europaea