Paper Worlds. Re-thinking Early Modern Alba Amicorum as Collective Networks
The early modern album amicorum (friendship album) is a complex object, in which issues like the combination of manuscript and print, the role of personal connections, and aspects of visual and textual culture intersect. Will the concept of “collective networks” help to better understand the social context and material nature of this early modern phenomenon?
The sixteenth century saw the emergence of an innovative form of communication and representation – the album amicorum (friendship album). This exciting new medium functioned as a tool kit for the construction of the owner’s social identity, as a platform for cultural and intellectual exchange, and as a collection of personal memories. Often a combination of print and manuscript, alba contained texts in various languages, as well as heraldic and emblematic images. In my research project, I understand alba as the material expressions of a collective network, whose individual elements interact with each other. I will advance this interpretation in a monograph on the extensive album assembled by the physician-collector Bernardus Paludanus (1550-1633), and develop a dynamic model for presenting it in a digital environment.
1) Marika Keblusek (2020). “Four Parts of the World. The Gottorf Kunstkammer and the Paludanus collection”, in: Kirsten Baumann, Constanze Köster and Uta Kuhl (eds), Wissenstransfer und Kulturimport in der Frühen Neuzeit. Die Niederlande und Schleswig-Holstein. Petersburg: Michael Imhof Verlag, pp. 299-307.
2) Marika Keblusek (2014). “A frugal man in the ‘Kunstkammer’. Cultural exchanges between Thomas Howard, Earl of Arundel, and Philipp Hainhofer”, Wolfenbütteler Barock-Nachrichten 41(1/2), pp. 95-110.
3) Marika Keblusek and Badeloch Vera Noldus (2011). Your Humble Servant. Cultural and Political Brokerage in Early Modern Europe. Leiden/Boston: Brill Publishers.