The Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania is pleased to present a new publication—an open-access collection of articles in English "Theatrum libri: Book Printing, Reading and Dissemination in Early Modern Europe" (Vilnius, 2022), compiled by the researchers of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Unit of the Documentary Heritage Research Department of the National Library of Lithuania, Dr. Milda Kvizikevičiūtė and Dr. Viktorija Vaitkevičiūtė.
The collection is based on the papers presented at the international conference "Theatrum Libri: The Press, Reading and Dissemination in Early Modern Europe" held on 1-3 December 2021. The conference, commemorating the centenary of the establishment of the first archive in the Republic of Lithuania, brought together researchers from Europe, Asia and the United States to share insights on the history of the book, the application of digital scholarship and computational history, and other interesting discoveries.
The peer-reviewed collection presents fifteen articles by the researchers from universities and libraries in Lithuania, Poland, Great Britain, France, Italy, Portugal and Spain. The articles draw reader’s attention to the printed book as an archival phenomenon in terms of content (the accumulation of knowledge) and form (the accumulation of books). They explore the dynamics of the book's creation, its structure and printing in the context of socio-cultural processes and highlight the roles of the author, publisher, distributor, reader, and book collector. The book is accessible to a wider audience, as it also includes cultural, historical, and linguistic research related to the book in the 15th and 19th centuries.
The publishing was funded by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania.