Simon Burrows

Mapping the Intellectual and Business Networks of the Société Typographique de Neuchâtel

Intellectual Geography / Wednesday 7 September, 2011

This paper discusses how and with what results the Leeds University based French Book Trade in Enlightenment Europe project team has set about mapping the book trade in late eighteenth-century Europe via a complex relational database, using the archives of the celebrated Société typographique de Neuchâtel. It will offer a brief overview of the project, the representative value of the sources used, and the resources it has created; address the problems, given the realities of the ancien régime, of representing in a database both time and geographic space in a relational database, and discuss the solutions we have adopted. Finally, it will suggest some of the ways that the evidence from the database is helping to enrich and revise our knowledge of the business and intellectual landscape of the Enlightenment. This will set the scene for the highly revisionist evaluation of the book trade in Mark Curran’s paper.