L'impero di carta : Hugo Blotius, Hofbibliothekar nella Vienna di fine Cinquecento
Title: L'impero di carta : Hugo Blotius, Hofbibliothekar nella Vienna di fine Cinquecento
Author: MOLINO, Paola
Series/Number: EUI PhD theses; Department of History and Civilization
The thesis deals with the first organisation and uses of the Imperial library in Vienna between 1575 and 1604. At the core of this work there is the cultural and political experience of the first librarian, the Dutch scholar Hugo Blotius (1534-1608), attracted to Vienna during the “tolerant” age of Maximilian II, but in charge until the end of the reign of his successor, Rudolf II. From 1583 the Imperial court was no longer in Vienna but in Prague, so that the study of the library involves discussions about the moving centres and peripheries in early modern central Europe. The thesis is divided into four parts that correspond to larger analytical issues. In the first part, the problem of the relationship between early modern “intellectuals” and the production and construction of their legacy is tackled through the experience of Hugo Blotius before settling in Vienna (1570-1574). The problem is crucial since it is mainly through the sources produced by Blotius or connected to him that we are able to reconstruct the history of the imperial library. The second part deals with the urban and courtly dimensions of Vienna and here some specificities of its cultural institutions and the dynamics of patronage are singled out, with particular attention to the complicated transition between the reign of Maximilian II and that of Rudolf II. The third part of this work focuses on the micro-spatial dimension of the library (the Minorite cloister where this was placed) and tries to reconstruct how this space might have influenced the main activity that Blotius carried out while in Vienna, namely the drawing up of library catalogues. Finally I sketch some uses of the library, and some types of users, basing on lists of loans and scholarly correspondence, that is a way to reflect upon the rise of “publics” of late Sixteenthcentury cultural institutions. In the second volume of the thesis the “materials” used for the text are collected, such as a selection of Hugo Blotius private correspondence, his Consilia, the documents from the archives, and his notes on the organisation of the library.
Defence date: 30 September 2011; Examining Board: Antonella Romano- Supervisor (EUI, Florence) Giulia Calvi (EUI, Florence) Angela Nuovo (Università degli studi di Udine) Karl Vocelka (Universität Wien)
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