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Forms, handbills and affixed posters: surveying the ephemeral print production of the seventeenth-century Dutch Republic

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In 2018, we published an article that provided a first attempt to survey the whole output of the seventeenth-century Dutch Republic. Our estimate was a minimum of 357,500 editions. This calculation did not yet include the world of ephemeral forms, handbills and posters. The survival of such commercial or private notices is microscopically small, compared to what must have been produced. It is nevertheless vital for our understanding of the print trade that we attempt to capture the complexities of this lost world: this was work that sustained printshops. It was also the form which most acutely influenced commerce, government and social life. Here we wish to offer an introduction to this most elusive genre of the early modern print world, document the myriad ways in which print infiltrated the daily life of people, and offer some hypotheses on the likely total output of certain forms of ephemeral print.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-40
Number of pages26
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jun 2020

    Research areas

  • Dutch Republic, Printing, Ephemera, Book history, Seventeenth Century

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ID: 268489993