The 15cBOOKTRADE project, affiliated to the University of Oxford, is an international project which records the incunabula (books printed between the years 1450-1500) that survive until today all over the world. More specifically, it tracks the surviving material evidence on the books, in order to study the circulation, selling and incorporation of books in people’s lives during the Renaissance. This enables the study of the economic and social impact of the introduction of a new technology, printing, on early European society.
The database Material Evidence in Incunabula is among the tools developed in order to support this project. This database, conceived by Cristina Dondi and developed by Alex Jahnke, is hosted and maintained by the Consortium of European Research Libraries (CERL) and is constantly updated and enriched by contributing editors, librarians and scholars in more than 450 libraries in Europe and the United States.
As of today (April 2020) more than 50,000 copies of incunabula are featured in the database, collecting information on ownership evidence, prices, marginalia, binding, decoration, stamps, testaments of the books’ journey through time and space.