Book Historical Conference: The Golden Compasses: A Milestone in Book History, 12-14 December 2019

Goran Proot's picture
December 12, 2019 to December 14, 2019
Subject Fields: 
Early Modern History and Period Studies, European History / Studies, Humanities, Library and Information Science

The Golden Compasses: A Milestone in Book History

An Evaluation and New Avenues for Research

  • International conference on Friday, 13 December 2019
  • Pre-conference evening lecture on Thursday, 12 December 2019
  • Social programme on Saturday, 14 December 2019

Aim of the conference

This conference celebrates the 50th anniversary of the publication of Léon Voet's seminal study about the Officina Plantiniana, titled The Golden Compasses. The aim of this conference is to reflect on the impact of Voet’s masterpiece and to evaluate it in the light of 50 years of continued research about the Officina. In addition, by gathering international experts from different countries – with all of which the Antwerp publishing house established and maintained firm ties – we seek to identify productive research questions left, completely or in part, unexplored by Voet.


Speakers and titels of the papers:

Thursday evening 12 December 2019:

  • Mark McConnell (Washington, DC) – How did Early Modern publishers make decisions? Business insights from Christopher Plantin’s cost records

Friday 13 December 2019:

  • Denis Pallier (independent scholar, Paris) – La succursale de Plantin à Paris
  • Antonio Davila Perez (Universidad de Cádiz) – The Biblia Regia beyond the Plantin Press: Inquisition and censorship; slander and fame
  • Renaud Milazzo (Università degli Studi di Milano) – European Book Economy and Market in the 16th Century: new perspectives
  • Heleen Wyffels (KULeuven) – The power of possibility: Jeanne Rivière and the keys to the Plantin empire
  • Kristof Selleslach (Museum Plantin-Moretus) – The instructions of Balthasar Moretus II to his future widow and heirs
  • Noël Golvers (KULeuven) – The Officina Plantiniana in Antwerp and its role in the communication between China and Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries
  • Keynote lecture by David McKitterick (Cambridge University) – Antwerp and Cambridge; different opportunities and different challenges

For the full programme, visit the Programme Page on the website, or click here: Full programme


Antwerp, Belgium: University of Antwerp & Museum Plantin-Moretus (pre-conferecence lecture and social programme)


Please use the registration form on the website: Registration Form

Contact Info: 

Dr. Goran Proot, President of Flanders Book Historical Society, Belgium


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