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Congres: The Golden Compasses: A Milestone in Book History

The Flanders Book Historical Society is pleased to announce a conference celebrating the 50th anniverary of Leon Voet's seminal study "The Golden Compasses".

The Golden Compasses: A Milestone in Book History
An Evaluation and New Avenues for Research

International conference on Friday, 13 December 2019 (Antwerp University)
Pre-conference evening lecture on Thursday, 12 December 2019
Social programme on Saturday, 14 December 2019 (Plantin-Moretus Museum)

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.

The programme visits or revisits a number of important issues that can inspire future research. They include the personal network of Plantin in Paris (discussed by Denis Pallier), the position of Plantin’s wife, Jeanne Rivière (studied by Heleen Wyffels), the importance of Balthasar Moretus II’s strategic instructions for future generations (Kristof Selleslach), the controversial reception by two scholars of the Biblia Regia or Polyglot Bible (Antonio Davila Perez), the untapped potential of crucial business documents for the economic history of the book (Renaud Milazzo), and the role of the Officina as a hub with China in Europe (Noël Golvers). The eminent scholar Prof. David McKitterick (Trinity College, Cambridge) will conclude the conference by drawing a parallel with Cambridge University Press, a comparison which will spark many insights and questions.

More information, full programme and registration at