In Commemoration of the Centenary of the Founding of the First Archive in the Republic of Lithuania, Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania kindly invites to an international scientific conference “Theatrum Libri: the Press, Reading and Dissemination in Early Modern Europe" (Martynas Mažvydas's Readings) which will take place on December 1-2, 2021 at the National Library.
In the early modern period, the word theatrum (Latin for “theater,” area or work, space of action, arena) was used quite often metaphorically in book titles, for example, Theatrum mundi, et temporis (“World and Time Theater”), Theatrum politicum (“Theater of Politics”), Theatrum cometicum (“Theater of Comets”), Theatrum botanici (“Theater of Plants”), Theatrum patientiae (“Theater of Suffering”), Theatrum virtutum (“Theater of Virtues”), and others. The representatives and publishers of the Renaissance and Baroque era very quickly realized the appeal of the word “theater,” which usually meant the accumulation, systematization, and orderly sorting of inexhaustible knowledge on a subject. One of the most famous works of that time is the encyclopedia Theatrum vitae humanae (“Theater of Human Life” or “The Life of Man”) by the Swiss humanist, doctor Theodor Zwinger (1533-1588). The book presented systematical and comprehensive information about man. In this historical period, the archiving of knowledge was understood as a conscious and purposeful action.
We invite conference participants to look at the printed book and manuscript as an archival phenomenon in terms of content (accumulation of knowledge) and form (accumulation of books). The conference is also aimed at the reflection on the creation of the book and its structure, the press, its dynamics in socio-cultural processes, highlighting the role of the author, publisher, distributor, reader, and book collector. Since the narratives of the past are created by both selected individual elements of the book and personal or institutional archives, the topic of the presentation can be very broad and varied.
We invite scholars from various disciplines to reflect on and share their new research, methods and applications, including the application of digital humanities and open data in research of the book:
Conference venue: Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania, Gedimino Ave. 51, Vilnius. If the pandemic situation worsens, the conference will take place remotely or the participants who travel from abroad will be accomodated to present their papers on-line.
Conference language: Lithuanian, English (simultaneous translation).
Duration of the presentation: 20 minutes.
Articles based on the conference papers will be published in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Aktualu rytoj.