GARZONI: Apprenticeship, Work, Society (GAWS)

GARZONI: Apprenticeship, Work, Society (GAWS)

(Early Modern Venice: 16th-18th centuries)

Projet (2015-2017) financé par le Fonds National de la Recherche Suisse et l’Agence Nationale de la Recherche en France (Appel à Projets FNS/ANR 2014), sous la direction de Frédéric Kaplan (Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne; Valentina Sapienza, Université Lille3; Anna Bellavitis, GRHis, Normandie Université-Rouen)

  1. Summary

This project focuses on an exceptional historical source, the “Accordi dei Garzoni” of the Venetian State Archives, currently being digitised. This document series contain approximately 60.000 apprenticeship contracts, from 1573 to the year 1773. These contracts give precise information about the “masters” who were active in Venice in almost all kind of guilds. They also contain relevant information for understanding the functioning of their workshop or ateliers, documenting in particular where they were located. Whereas apprenticeship’s contracts are usually found scattered in the guilds’ archives or in the notary records, the Accordi dei Garzoni is a serial and compact source, which allows for a systematic method a study.

Our project introduces a new approach for transcribing and studying such kind of document series. Exploiting the recurrent structure of these administrative records, a semi-automatic transcription process will be designed and tested. This process will feed a semantic database in which the content of each contract will be encoded, along with metahistorical information documenting the encoding process. The information extracted will then be aligned with a geohistorical database allowing spatial visualisation of the distribution of the workshops in Venice and the evolution of these patterns through time.

The resulting structured open access database will be used by our team of historians to investigate new research questions regarding the economy of apprenticeship, the links between apprenticeships, arts and architecture and the question of apprenticeship in relation with family and gender roles. As the database constituted in this project will be the largest and most detailed never constructed on this subject, it is expected that this project will be the basis of renewed understanding of the transmission of technical knowledge between generations in early modern Venice. It also aims at pioneering a new computational approach for studying such kind of administrative document series.

  1. Research plan

    1. State of research in the field

Accordi dei Garzoni

In Venice, apprenticeship contracts had to be registered at the Giustizia Vecchia, the magistrate supervising guilds since the 13th century1. The thirty-two “registry” of the “Accordi dei Garzonicontain approximately 60.000 apprenticeship contracts, from 1573 to the year 1773 (despite some lacunas). In order to understand the kind of information contained by each record, we show an example of typical contract (Fig 1) and its transcription.

Fig. 1. A typical contract of the “Accordi dei Garzoni”: “The same day [23rd June 1575] / Baldisera de Zuanantonio boatman, aged about 8 years, declares he has been welcomed by his master and he will work as painter of chests with master Francesco de Philippo painter in san Biagio, for the following 8 years, starting from the 1st June [1575] ; and if he lacks one working day, he must catch it up on ; his master commits himself to teach his craft to him and promises to pay 20 ducats, for his salary, and his expenses. / Mister Zuanantonio, his father, commits himself to repay for any damage […] »2.

Fig. 1. A typical contract of the “Accordi dei Garzoni”: “The same day [23rd June 1575] / Baldisera de Zuanantonio boatman, aged about 8 years, declares he has been welcomed by his master and he will work as painter of chests with master Francesco de Philippo painter in san Biagio, for the following 8 years, starting from the 1st June [1575] ; and if he lacks one working day, he must catch it up on ; his master commits himself to teach his craft to him and promises to pay 20 ducats, for his salary, and his expenses. / Mister Zuanantonio, his father, commits himself to repay for any damage […] »2.

The document shows that a research in this source would be able to reveal:

  1. The identities of the apprentices: name, family name, sex, age, name of the father or, if dead, of the widowed mother, origins, as well as the same information for the pledge ;

  2. The identities of the masters and mistresses: name, family name, sex, age, origins and address of the workshop;

  3. The exact location of the ateliers and workshop in the town;

  4. The duration and conditions of the contract: if the apprentice pays the master/mistress or if he/she is paid for his/her work, how much and when (the “salary” can be paid at the end of the contract or during the duration of the contract, monthly or at the end of every year); the apprentices can live – or not – with the family of the masters and mistresses; can receive food and clothes or just food; the exact definition of their tasks (often, especially for girls’ contracts, the apprentice is also expected to do some domestic services);

  5. The circulation of artisans, know-how and techniques: the contracts are often more exhaustive in information when the contractors are foreigners (coming from another State or just another town of the Republic of Venice).

The “Accordi dei Garzoniis a source often used by both historians and art historians3, but that was never the subject of systematic encoding. The goal of the present project is to transform this document series in an open information system.

This project enrols the “Appel à projet générique” of ANR 2014 and in particular in the challenge « Société de l’information et de la communication », and in its themes Etudes numériques et technologies de l’intellect and Le numérique au service des arts, du patrimoine, des industries culturelles et éditoriales, but also in the challenge « Sociétés innovantes, intégrantes et adaptatives », and in particular in its thematic Création, cultures et patrimoines.

Research on apprenticeship

One of the most important functions of European guilds was to organize and guarantee the transmission of technical knowledge between generations. As it has been suggested some years ago by a specialist of medieval economy, it can be argued that this was their more important task, in past economies4. Patterns of transmission and of social reproduction have become one of the main subjects of historical research, in the last years5 and apprenticeship is at the core of the problem, as it was the most widespread arrangement devised by human societies for transmitting technical knowledge outside the family. Parents or guardians (including people acting for religious foundling institutions) would usually present a child for apprenticeship between the ages of 13 and 15; but not all apprentices were adolescents, and guild statutes never specified the maximum age at which the indenture could begin. Most statutes set the minimum term of service, proportionate to the craft’s skill requirements and to its expected returns. Thus the average length, which appears to have increased slowly over time, was variable. Apprenticeship training was costly, because skills and expertise take time and effort to be acquired. Apprenticeship was costly because most craft knowledge was experiential. Crafts were not learned prescriptively, because training was, so to speak, in the master craftsman’s head and hands. Instead, craftsmen and women tested the quality of training by examining its outcome. The acquisition of technical expertise was sanctioned through a masterpiece. The masterpiece combined a physical embodiment of collective knowledge and individual creativity and virtuosity (‘genius’). It was a demonstration of skill and of self-confidence that the proposed product could be constructed and would work; and it established the expert as someone who had assimilated tradition so well that he could adapt, modify and transcend it. Craft guilds, furthermore, restricted the mobility of workers so that masters could earn rents on trained workers. This may have restricted the efficient allocation of workers to firms, but it did supply critical institutional support for the provision and transmission of skills6.

The economic relation of apprenticeship could be organized in different ways: the apprentice could pay the master or mistress for his/her teaching or he/she could receive a salary at the end or during the duration of the contract. In the first case, the relation teacher/learner is more evident, and it can refer to a context in which apprenticeship is the first step for a career in the guild system. In the second one, apprentice is a wage earner, who is (badly) paid while acquiring a know-how that he/she will be able to spend on the job market. This second case can refer to a context in which the career within the guilds is more difficult7. But it is also possible to find the two different patterns in the same context and sometimes also in the same craft, as it has been demonstrated in the Venetian case as well in the Parisian one8. The comparison between different guilds and personal situations of apprentices, based on the research on the Accordi dei Garzoni, is the best way historians have ever had to understand the reasons of such coexistence.

Apprenticeship could also exist outside the guilds’ system. Artisans that were not members of guilds could stipulate apprenticeship contracts, as it was the case of Parisian seamstresses in the 17th century9. Religious institutions and foundling hospitals usually stipulated apprenticeship contracts for the children when they left the institution10. Work represented a substantial part of most monastic rules, despite the fact that the main job for religious people, both men and women, was providing praying to the community. Apprentice within convents certainly existed for intellectual work (scribes), but there is no evidence of nunneries specialised in a specific craft, at least in Venice. However, there was certainly a form of transmission in specific skills, such as laces, which took place within nunneries, particularly since girls entered there at a fairly low stage of their lives, both as boarders and as nuns-to-be. It is also possible, even if very difficult, to find apprenticeship contracts stipulated by fathers or uncles for their sons or nephews but, more generally, it is evident that the first transmission of technical knowledge happened within the family, from the parents to their children11. The transmission of technical skills from the husbands to their wives is the fundament of the widespread use to allow widows to continue their husbands’ craft and, in some cases, also to allow widowers to continue their wives’ crafts12. In 18th century Paris, the mistresses of the seamstresses’ guild (created in 1675) summoned the tailors’ widows, contending that they could not practise as guild’s mistresses because they did not have accomplished the apprenticeship and the masterpiece13.

Apprenticeship was also a pattern of education, and has been studied by historians of the family, as part of the North Western European family model. The use to send children to live with a different family has been seen by anthropologists as a school of individualism and even used to explain the English capitalistic development14. More recently, research has considerably challenged the English “life-cycle servant” model and any deterministic interpretation of the link between family models and economic development15. Even so, it is still true that in the opinion of the Venetian ambassador Andrea Trevisan, in 1498, English of all social classes had “little love” for their children whom they used to place in other families as “apprendizi”16. But if, for a Venetian patrician, this was unacceptable in a noble family, it was, on the contrary, considered perfectly normal and even desirable for boys of artisans’ families to grow up “away from their fathers’ shadow”17. In Portugal, too, it was common within the upper classes, to send children out from home, to live in another family, and it was a mean of social mobility; and the same happened in Latin America, as a mean of integration in the colonial society for indigenous children18. One of the themes of our research will be the kind of relation that existed between the apprentice and the family that hosted him/her. The contracts often say that the master will act as a “good father” and that the apprentice will obey in everything “that is not against moral”. According to some researches, to place children at the age of puberty in another family was a way to avoid incestuous temptations, but it was also taking the risk to expose them to the violence or sexual attacks of somebody else. The need to supervise and to control the relations between masters and apprentices comes from this occurrence and the exceptionally precocious Venetian legislation on such matter has been perceived, in the 19th century, as a very precocious example of the laws that were promulgated at that time, to protect the work of minors and children19. Since 1291, the Giustizia Vecchia had to register all apprenticeship contracts and, since 1396, also domestic service contracts20.

To supervise apprenticeship meant also to control immigration, as the apprenticeship contract often was the first step of integration in an urban context. In some cases, as in London, it was even necessary to have been an apprentice to obtain the privilege of freedom; that is the citizenship of the town21. Even in Venice, where the privilege of citizenship was not linked to the crafts or guilds but to the commercial activities, the citizenship of Venice or, at least, the fact of living since a long time in town became progressively a necessary condition to gain access to the offices of the guilds (as much as to the civil service). The research on the Accordi dei Garzoni will allow a brand new investigation on the evolution of patterns of immigration for both artisans and masters, on a very long period, from the 16th to the 18th century.

Concerning the artistic crafts, the case of Venice is even more peculiar: opposite of some important European towns (in Italy for example, Rome, Florence or Bologna), during the early modern time artistic education was in all perspective similar to the education to any other kind of craft. It was entirely committed to guilds’ masters (painters, architects, tagliapietra, proti…), or assured by inside the family22. There was no Academy in Venice (the first one was founded in 1750), and not a single large collective place of education, training or even discussion about artistic matters for young garzoni, no place where to talk and think about painting, architecture or sculpture23. When, at the end of the 16th century, the great masters – Titian, Tintoretto, Veronese or Bassano – disappeared, the big concern of their disciples was to preserve the family brand, even more than the artistic heritage or talent24. The question is to know if the specific Venetian pattern of transmission could be one of the elements, if not the reason, of the great crisis of Venetian artistic world in the 17th century, together with the development of the Sette Maniere25. After the end of great tradition of Renaissance family botteghe, the formation of the artists in Venice was mostly based on “watching” the master and “doing” what he did. So the building of a professional – and intellectual – identity was nothing else – and nothing more – than the appropriation of the style of one person, more competent, more famous, more capable and more “gifted”: the “master”. The intellectual apprenticeship of the young artists could not be based on “doing” and “watching” only. These topics were never openly studied in the case of Venice. This will be one of the specific aims of our research project.

Mass digitization and transcription of ancient documents

The research conducted in this project takes ground on the idea of extracting and organizing large amount of data from the past. In various contexts, massive digitization of ancient documents is becoming a reality. Many libraries and archives are currently engaged in large-scale digitization programs to make their document accessible to larger audience. Digitalization offers rapid access to material help remotely, allows disperse collection to be brought together, offers the ability to reinstate out of print material, permits to conserve fragile documents while giving easy access to surrogates26. While we are producing always more digital-born data about the present, massive digitization opens the opportunity of creating in parallel an abundant source for what we may call “big data of the past”27.

However, to make these ancient documents searchable and linkable, it is mandatory to go beyond digital image and encode the information they contain. Text transcription is notoriously complex and time-consuming task, requiring years of scholarly practices in particular when one has to deal with a range of different scripts. Several research groups are currently trying to apply machine learning methods to reach to develop automatic transcription methods on subsets of documents characterized by uniformed scripts. This difficult problem can be decomposed in several subchallenges including images preprocessing (skew correction, background removal, noise reduction, see for instance the work of Kavallieratou, E., and E. Stamatatos28 ), line detection and extraction (using for instance the local minimum of the horizontal projection profile of the image corresponding to each page, after preprocessing) and recognition of the handwritten content (this last step make often use of an existing database of images in which the transcribed text is aligned29). Unfortunately, such automatic approaches are difficult to use in the context of the Garzoni contracts because the intrinsic heterogeneity of the scripts characterizing the document.

One alternative approach consists in performing only partial transcription, trying to map directly the information contained in the documents to a structured template. Indeed what characterizes administrative documents like the Garzoni contracts is the existence of an underlying information structure, systematically present in most of the document (name of apprentices and the masters, duration of the contracts, wages, etc.). As a preparation of this proposal a semi-automatic method was successfully tested by the applicants on a subset of the whole corpus (see next section for a more detailed description). The present project is introducing a new method to perform semi-automatic transcriptions.

Semantic databases and metahistorical information

Extracting information for a large set of historical administrative documents calls for epistemological caution.  For this reason, it is of crucial importance that all the data extracted is stored along with metahistorical information documenting with sufficient details the processes used to do this encoding. One strategy for the conception of so-called meta-historical information system is to rely on standard semantic web technologies (RDF) extended to include metahistorical information (information about the intellectual processes underlying the information presented, or paradata30). This allows for instance to associate to an encoded historical data or a document transcription, the author of the process, the research project during which this operation was performed and the pipeline of methods that were used. This meta-knowledge is crucial for aligning research data originating from large set of documents and involving a large number of researchers . These metadata are also important for the long-term evolution of projects for which it is necessary to regularly revise data encoding strategies31.

Semantic web technologies, with languages like RDF and OWL, offer a relevant solution for deploying sustainable, large-scale and collaborative historical databases. Compare to traditional relational databases, they offer more flexibility and scalability, avoiding painful problems of large schema migration. They are grounded in logic and thus permit to conduct easily semantic inferences.  Some very stable semantic based ontologies like CIDOC-CRM, now an ISO standard, have been used successfully in the domain of cultural heritage for about 20 years32. However, the languages used in the semantic web technologies have a major limitation that prevents their usage for encoding metahistorical information. Indeed, expressed knowledge typically formalised with RDF triplets are not objects of the same order than the knowledge content (RDF resources identified with URIs) they link. It is for instance uneasy to document the source, the author or the uncertainty of given RDF statement. One way to compensate for this flaw, while respecting the W3C RDF norm, consists in transforming each triplet (subject predicate object) in three triplets (statement rdf:subject subject), (statement rdf:predicate predicate), (statement rdf:object object). Using this approach, it becomes possible to add new triplets with a given statement as subject, documenting additional paradata about this statement. Thus, the resulting knowledge base can include metahistorical information, i.e. information about historical information creation processes. This meta-information can document the choice of sources, transcription phases, coding strategies, interpretation methods and whether these steps are realized by humans or machines. Thus, each historical database built following this methodology includes two levels of knowledge. The first level provides the documentation about the origin, the nature and formalization used to encode historical data, the second level codes for the historical data themselves. Such kinds of specially designed linked data databases, extending the principle of the semantic web encoding are extremely well suited for our project.

Historial Geographical Information Systems

Apprenticeship contracts often document the place where the shop or the workplace is located. They could serve as a very interesting base for understanding the spatial patterns of the Venetian economic activities and their unfolding in time. For this purpose, Geographical Information Systems (GIS) offer powerful tools to store and reason about geographical datasets. However, the integration of time, especially long-term evolution, in such databases remaining challenging, as most systems assume implicitly that the data is a “photograph” of a given situation at a given time.

During the last ten years, Historical geographical information systems receive an increasing interest in the Digital Humanities community33. Various initiatives to create collaborative research frameworks were created34 and several focused studies have shown that interesting results can be obtained using such methodology35. As detailed in the next section, our project will benefit from a parallel undergoing research project currently modelling the urban evolution of Venice in time using a historical geographical information system.

  1. State of applicants’ research

Our interdisciplinary project includes two teams. The Swiss team, headed by Frédéric Kaplan (EPFL, DHLAB) will design a new computational approach for transcribing and encoding the contracts. The French team, headed by Valentina Sapienza (University of Lille3, IRHiS and MESHS) and Anna Bellavitis (University of Rouen, GRHIS), will be responsible for analysing the contracts in parallel with other sources from the Venetian Archives, in order to study the transmission of technical knowledge and skills. In addition, the presence, in the team, of historians of art, architecture, society, economy, gender and the family together with specialists of other towns and regions, will allow different kinds of analysis and comparison, and the best exploitation of the amount of information collected and organized during this research.

Prof. Frédéric Kaplan, principal Investigator of the project, is the leader of the “Venice Time Machine”, an international project in collaboration with the Ca’ Foscari University in Venice, aiming to model the evolution and history of Venice over a 1000 year period36. In this context, he is pioneering a massive digitization, encoding and modelling scientific program aiming at transforming one of the largest archive in the world, the Archivio di Stato into an open access information system. The Digital Humanities Laboratory (DHLAB), founded in 2012 by Frédéric Kaplan develops new computational approaches for digitization and modelling large-scale archives of ancient documents. Projects conducted at the lab range from building “Google maps of ancient places” to “Facebooks of the middle-ages”. Benefiting from EPFL’s strong technological expertise, the DHLAB conducts research projects in collaboration with prestigious patrimonial institutions and museums, all over Europe. The lab’s interdisciplinary team includes computational scientists, mathematicians, experts in geographical information systems and interaction designers – all with transdisciplinary backgrounds facilitating interaction with humanities’ scholars from all disciplines.

Several practical know-how and software components developed in the Venice Time Machine will be relevant for the present project. The project will benefit from the specific mass digitization program of ancient document series at the Archivio di Stato in Venice, that includes the Accordi dei Garzoni. The project will also reuse the know-how developed in the Venice Time Machine for building scalable document servers, a prerequisite for the other information systems of the project. This includes in particular the use of a “primary sources” server, suited for the storage, the organization and the search of historical document including a dedicated visualization interface adapted to browsing virtually, zooming and cropping such kind of documents.

The project will also benefits from the Historical Geographical Information system developed in the context of the Venice Time Machine, in partnership with the Visualizing Venice project37. This “Google map” of the past provides a mapping service that permits to reconstruct, year by year, hypothetical urban configurations of Venice until 1500. This mapping service combines information extracted from ancient Venetian maps and other administrative documents such as tax declaration. The methods used to reconstruct the maps differ for cadastral maps of the last two hundred years and older maps which provide relevant topological information but cannot be directly aligned with contemporary maps. The information extracted from the Garzoni series will be formatted in way that makes it compatible with this historical geographical information system, thus allowing for displaying the location of workshops using as the background the maps of the corresponding year. This last operation will allow an interesting comparison with the maps realized by the UNESCO team who worked, thirty years ago, on the fiscal records of Dieci Savi alle Decime di Rialto38.

Dr. Valentina Sapienza, co-Investigator of the project, from her PhD thesis that will be published next December, with the title: Leonardo Corona (1556-1596), pittore delle Sette Maniere, (Venice, Marsilio, 2014, 214 pages) works on the education of young painters in the bottega and more in general about the “fabrication of art” in Renaissance Venice (ateliers’ organization and construction sites). Last year she published an article about the ateliers of copyists in 16th century Venice: « ‘Tenendo quegli in casa un buon numero di Fiamminghi, quali occupava in far copie dei quadri di buoni maestri’ : riflessioni sul problema della formazione artistica a Venezia alla fine del Cinquecento », in C. Corsato, B. Aikema (eds), Alle origini dei generi pittorici fra l’Italia e l’Europa 1600 ca., Treviso, Zel Edizioni, 2013, p. 22-37. Her paper discusses the education of painters during the last decades of 16th century and analyses the case studies of Palma the Young and Leonardo Corona. The Accordi dei Garzoni that she studied for this article gave her also the opportunity to point out the presence, in Venice, of foreigner masters, especially Flemish and German, from 1573 and 1606.

V. Sapienza led a initial prestudy conducted on a subset of the Venetian archives, which can be considered a feasibility study for the project that is now proposed to the FNS-ANR, and that has been conducted since September 2013 by a team of graduates from the Universities of Venice-Ca’ Foscari and Lille3, under the supervision of Valentina Sapienza and that was funded by the MESHS (Maison Européenne des Sciences de l’Homme et de la Société) of Lille and the Universities of Lille 3 and Venice-Ca’ Foscari. The aim of this first step was a first recognition on the apprenticeship contracts of the Giustizia Vecchia, in order to define the fields of the future database and to do a first selection of the information that can be collected. In parallel, with the aim to build up a larger and more ambitious research programme, Valentina Sapienza put together an international research group of scholars, specialists in the history and art history of Venice and in the history of apprenticeship, of work, of education and of the transmission of technical knowledge, and proposed to the research group “Venice Time Machine”, headed by Frédéric Kaplan, to take part in the future project.

Prof. Anna Bellavitis, co-Investigator of the project too, is Professor of Early Modern History at the University of Rouen. Her researches and publications concern different aspects of the social history of Venice, and particularly the history of the family, gender history, and work history. She studied the Accordi dei Garzoni (1573-1625) in order to highlight the participation of women to Venetian economy and published three articles on this topic: « Maestre e apprendiste a Venezia tra Cinque e Seicento », in A. Bellavitis, L. Guzzetti (dir.), Donne, lavoro, economia a Venezia e in Terraferma tra medioevo ed età moderna, Archivio Veneto, 3, 2012, p. 127-144 ; “Apprentissages masculins, apprentissages féminins à Venise au XVIe siècle »,  Histoire Urbaine 15, 2006, (p. 49-73) ; « Le travail des femmes dans les contrats de la Giustizia Vecchia, à Venise, au XVIe siècle », in I. Chabot, J. Hayez, D. Lett (dir .), La famille, les femmes, le quotidien. Textes offerts à Christiane Klapisch-Zuber, Paris, Publications de la Sorbonne, 2006, p. 181-95. In her researches on the history of Venetian family, in the bourgeois’ and artisans’ milieus, she privileges a socio-economic approach and is particularly interested in the patterns of transmission of goods, responsibilities, knowledge. She directed several research programmes of the Ecole Française de Rome, about the history of the family, and apprenticeship and the transmission of technical knowledge was one of the main subjects of the research programme, Familles, savoirs, reproduction sociale (époque medievale et moderne), that she co-directed, from 2005 to 2007, in collaboration with the Universities of Palermo and Paris10-Nanterre. The outcomes of this research programme have been published in the volume: La justice des familles. Autour de la transmission des biens, des savoirs et des pouvoirs (Europe, Nouveau Monde, XIIe-XIXe siècle), Rome, École Française de Rome 2011, edited by A. Bellavitis and I. Chabot. In her article  « Education », in S. Cavallo, S. Evangelisti (eds.), A Cultural History of Childhood and Family in the Early Modern Age (1400-1650), Oxford-New York, Berg, 2010, p. 95-111, A. Bellavitis analysed the place of apprenticeship in the education system on Western societies. In her present research, she is studying apprenticeship in the context of the economic relations between members of the household, as one particular kind of “unpaid” work within the household. On this topic, she is currently codirecting the research programme (2012-2016): Travail en famille, travail non rémunére / Unpaid labour in family business (Europe, 16th-21st century) (Ecole Française de Rome, University of Rouen, University Paris7, and University of Urbino). In parallel, she has started a new research programme (2012-2015), funded by the region Haute – Normandie, about Femmes, droits, travail à l’époque moderne (Normandie/Europe) / Women, rights and work in Early modern Normandy and Europe, in which the study of apprenticeship’s contracts of women’s guilds of Rouen is an important topic. In 2015, the outcomes of this research programme will be presented in a documentary exhibition at the Archives Départementales of Rouen. A. Bellavitis has organized many international conferences in France and in Italy and, as a faculty member of the International Doctorate in gender history of the University of Naples-L’Orientale, she has organised in 2008 (Paris 10-Nanterre) and in 2013 (Rouen) two Weeks of Advanced Studies in gender history, for PhD students, in collaboration with the Universities of Naples, Madrid, Vienna and Dundee.

  1. Detailed Research Plan

The project is articulated around 4 research workpackages: one regrouping challenges in terms of computer science research, one corresponding to the historical investigations that can performed with de database, one for management and one for communication. As stated before, our project will benefit from the on going digitization campaign at the Archivio di Stato in the context of the Venice Time Machine project. Massive digitization on ancient and fragile document series asks calls for innovative solutions both in terms of digitization hardware and optimized logistics. By the end 2014, the Archivio di Stato in Venice will have completed a pre-study, coordinated by Frédéric Kaplan, to design new digitization pipeline allowing for rapid digitization of series. The “Accordi con i garzoni” have been selected as a chosen test set to develop the best practices for this particular set of documents. This means that, by the time our project starts, in the digitization of the 60 000 contracts will have already been performed and their computational and historical treatment could start immediately.

In line with the license of the Venice Time Machine project, the digitized image will be made open access, enabling the creation of three dedicated document servers, one in Venice, one in Lausanne and one in Lille, all the data produced during the project will be made freely downloadable to researchers worldwide and all the source code developed will be made open source.

A postdoc will be hired for the Swiss team and research engineer and an transcription/encoding team for the French team.

WP1 Computational methods

Task 1.1 Semi-automatic transcription and encoding interface

The goal of this task is to develop and evaluate a new computational method enabling a very efficient approach to the transcription of administrative documents like the Garzoni series. After a series of automatic pretreatment, the digitized images of the document will be analyzed using an unsupervised pattern matching algorithm which goal is to recognize clusters of similar looking words. This word spotting techniques has shown a matching rate around 80 % on Venetian scripts of similar periods. This initial clustering step should allow for a drastic reduction of the time needed to transcribe and encode the content of work contracts. Indeed, each time a word is transcribed many other transcriptions can be automatically inferred based on the visual similarity of the words.

An intuitive interface will be developed to efficiently transcribe the contracts. Based the automatic word segmentation performed by the algorithm, an interactive bounding box will be attached to each word of a scanned document. Once a user enter a transcription of this particular word, the algorithm immediately suggest the same transcription for similar-looking words associated with a probability corresponding to the average level of errors in such kind of automatic association. The user can also indicate that some bounding boxes correspond to specific encoding field like the name of the apprentice or the salary. As the work contracts follow rather regular structure, the algorithm should be capable of detecting regular patterns and infer the probability of some inferred word transcription based not only of the visual appearance of the word but also on the position of in the structure of the contract. The interface will be continuously showing the estimated uncertainty of each inferred word transcription permitting to spot rapidly the part of the contract where the user should pay a particular attention.

Milestones : The method will be developed in the first six months of the project by Frédéric Kaplan. The interface will be programmed and tested during M6-M12 in order for the transcription to start on M12.

Task 1.2 Metahistorical Database and web interface

The goal of is task is to design the metahistorical semantic database that will host the data for the project and the associated front-end interface to browse the content of the historical documents. The design of semantic ontologies corresponding of the structure of data has been partially established during the prestudy conducted by Valentina Sapienza. The metahistorical database will be directly connected to semi-automatic transcription and encoding interface (Task 1.1) in a way guarantying that any change in the transcription or encoding will be directly reflected in the database. In addition, the metahistorical database will document along with the historical data, the intrinsic uncertainty associated with the transcription method used, the authors of the transcription, etc. The front-end interface will present the extracted data as familiar semantic wiki interface. The user will be able to search and browse through the data and suggest corrections that could flow back to the transcription step.

Milestones: The semantic ontology will be developed in the first six months of the project by Frédéric Kaplan and Valentina Sapienza. The database and web interface will be programmed and tested during M6-M12 in order for the encoding to start on M12.

Task 1.3 Geolocalization and urban cartography

The goal of this task is to articulate the data extracted from the Garzoni contracts with the Venetian urban geography at the time the contract was written. It benefits from the historical cartographic services developed in the Venice Time Machine that can display urban reconstruction of Venice, year by year till the beginning of the XVIe century. The mapping service will be used for displaying the location of a particular workshop using as the background the maps of the corresponding year but also to conduct more global studies showing the urban evolution of the workshops, sestiere per sestiere, at the global Venetian scale.

Milestones: The articulation between with the Venice Time Machine mapping system will done in the second year of the project. Between M18 and M24, a testcase will be done on the Rialto sestiere only. The geolocalization of the entire dataset will start on M24.

WP2 Historical investigations

This workspackage groups all the historical investigations that will be conducted using the Garzoni database. They can be grouped in three complementary themes: The economy of apprenticeship, Apprenticeship, arts and architecture, Apprenticeship and family and gender roles.

If the historical investigation will concern principally Venice, via some case-studies (Antwerp, Piedmont, Liguria, Paris, London, etc.) and in collaboration with other prestigious international projects (see 2.5: Significance of the Planned Research), we shall also develop a comparative perspective. It was already on such grounds that we gathered together at first and it is our aim to profit of the members’ specific expertises in different areas (see calendar of tasks). We would also develop new statistical studies, based on the “Garzoni” database, organised by an expert hired by the French group (“ingénieur de recherche”: see his/her funding and calendar of tasks). He/she will be merging into our archives research, share the thrills of uncovering new documents and new archive bundles (such as the ones referring to “Arti” and “Milizia da Mar”). A bibliography related to apprenticeship, commented and organised in items (such as “General bibliography”, “Social History, “Economical History”, “History of the Institutions”, “Art History”, “Biographies”, “Edition of the Sources”) will be set as the first thing in the earliest phase of our project and it will be accessible from the Internet site and via the “Garzoni” database. Such bibliography will be a tool for the experts engaged in our project as well as for any outsider scholar with a specific interest on this topic. It will itemise not only the essential contributions about Venice and the period we study, but also it will take into consideration other contexts, with particular emphasis on the ones that will become samples into our comparative bunch. Iconographical sources will also be a tool, and an essential one: we will explore all possible images (paintings, sculptures, sketches, etc.) on the techniques of learning in the Early Modern period and in Venice, but not only, for all the areas we shall focus on. From the portal on arts and crafts at Saint Mark cathedral to the manuals of printed sketches on jobs in Venice (and elsewhere) dating from the 16th century onwards, such source will be a means to enlarge and enrich our knowledge in the practice of apprenticeship, an aspect that documents not always are very exhaustive about.

Task 2.1 The economy of apprenticeship

(A. Bellavitis, V. Sapienza, with: Michela Dal Borgo, archivist at the Venetian State Archives; Bert de Munck, Professor of Early Modern History University of Antwerp ; Corine Maitte, Professor of Early Modern History, University Marne-la-Vallée ; Marjorie Meiss-Even, Assistant Professor in Early Modern History, Univerisity of Lille 3; Camille Perez, Curator, Roanne museum; Luciano Pezzolo, Associate Professor of Early Modern History, University  Ca’ Foscari, Venice; Patrick Wallis, Associate Professor in Economic History, London School of Economics and Political Science)

Venetian guilds never played a central role in the case of Venice, nevertheless, according to their Statutes, apprenticeship was supervised and regulated by guilds’ hierarchy. The historical analysis of the contracts will highlight the intervention of guilds in the organisation of Venetian economy, in the control of the apprentices and in the supervision of the respect and enforcement of rules established by Statutes. In the same time, a comparison between the archives of the Giustizia Vecchia and the guilds’ archives will show the interactions and conflicts between the government and the guilds.

The origins of apprentices, duly registered in the contracts will show the evolution of migrations from the State and from abroad towards Venice. Was Venice still attractive for artisans and artists during the Early Modern Ages? Did artisans and artists profit of a education in Venetian workshops and artistic ateliers that they were then able to spend and invest elsewhere? Was the Republic of Venice still in the position to avoid the stealing of knowledge and technical secrets? In the guilds Statutes, the craft is called “mesterium”, a word that means “mestiere” (=profession), but that suggests also the meaning of “mystery”.

The conversion of the economy of Venice, from commercial to industrial activities is one of the most important topics of research in economic history of early modern Venice. An extensive quantitative research on the apprenticeship contracts will highlight the role played by young underpaid workers in the development of the manufactures in which, since the 16th century, Venetians traders invested the capitals accumulated in international commerce.

The research on the contracts will be conducted in parallel with a broader research on notary and guilds records, and in comparison with other European contexts, according with the specialization of the member of the research group (England, Flanders and France).

Task 2.2 Apprenticeship, arts and architecture

(V. Sapienza with: Sandra Bazin, Associate researcher, University of Lille 3, Martina Frank, Associate Professor of Early Modern Art History, university Ca’ Foscari, Venice ;  Michel Hochmann, Professor of Early Modern Art History, Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, Paris ; Matej Klemenčič, Assistant Professor in Early Modern Art History, university of Ljubljana ; Nina Kudis, Professor in Early Modern Art History, university of Rijeka ; Helena Seražin, Senior Research Fellow, Scientific Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts, Ljubljana ; Giorgio Tagliaferro, Assistant Professor in Early Modern Art History, université de Warwick ;  Damir Tulic, Associate Professor in Early Modern Art History, university of Rijeka ; Francesco Trentini, Post-doc, university Ca’ Foscari, Venice )

The transmission of artistic skills is a capital problem that will be at the core of the project. Due to the absence of an artistic “academy” the formation of young artists was entirely based on apprenticeship in the “bottega”. What were the consequences of this peculiar situation on the diffusion of techniques and artistic trends? What is the role of the master-apprentice relations in a context in which the “genius” is the fundament of the artist’s identity? How immaterial and material transmissions were related in artistic crafts (painting, sculpture, but also music and acting)?

By the end of 16th century, Venetian painters and their entourage (patrons and intellectuals too) seemed to understand the weakness of artistic training in the lagoon. As a matter of fact, when in May 1564, Guidobaldo II della Rovere, duke of Urbino, decided to take under his protection Palma the Younger, he sent him to Rome to complete his artistic training through the ‘disegno’ and the ‘copia’ of antique and modern works. This was at that time seen as the only opportunity to avoid him to become just a “pittore d’altro che di casse e forzieri” (a simple painter of chests as referred by Traiano Mario, Guidobaldo II’s ambassador in Rome). The study of the Giustizia Vecchia’s contracts will allow to define more exactly the role of apprenticeship for painters: how many garzoni completed their formation? How many garzoni became masters and had a successful career or simply a career? Was there any real change with the foundation of Collegio de’ Pittori (1682)? What about apprenticeship and circulation of models and new techniques? And what was the link with other theoretical debates which characterised other contexts and realities such as Florence, Rome, Bologna or Genoa and Milan?

The training of sculptors was also based on apprenticeship: single artists were trained initially as stonemasons, wood carvers or with masters that were explicitly defined as sculptors. Little is known about specifics of their training and about possible differences between those in stonemasons’, wood carvers’ or sculptors’ workshops. A comparison between a large number of apprenticeship contracts might reveal some data on this, as well as studies in organisational and social changes in early 1720s, when the Collegio de’ Scultori was established as a first step towards an academy.

The education of Venetian architects was essentially practical. Theoretical knowledge and a specific training within the magistrate of the “Savi ed esecutori alle acque” was required only for the environmental engineers, who were responsible of the preservation of the lagoon and therefore of the city itself. Architects, instead, must be looked for in the contracts of masters stonemasons (tagliapietra, scalpellini), masons, carpenters. Thus, many of the most celebrated Venetian buildings, as the Rialto Bridge or the church of Santa Maria della Salute, were designed by workmen without intellectual education and artists as Palladio, Longhena, Massari emerges from the background of a workshop. The study of the contracts will highlight the relations and degrees of permeability and communication between these different crafts, the existence of networks and the relations, conflicts or collaborations between apprentices of Venetian and of foreign origins.

More in general, the collected data will help to gather some statistical studies to compare the number of workshops and working masters in Venice, the number of apprentices employed in certain periods of time, as well as the information on artists that emigrated to other Venetian territories and abroad (Istria, Dalmatia, or Central Europe).

Task 2.3 Apprenticeship and family and gender roles

(A. Bellavitis, with: Francesca Medioli, lecturer Grade B, Dept. of Italian Studies, University of Reading; Beatrice Zucca Micheletto, associate researcher GRHIS, University of Rouen)

Historical researches on artisan families are often difficult due to a relative lack of information, a part from demographic sources (parish records etc.), but apprenticeship contracts can be a very useful starting point for a qualitative research on family relations. Why some children were put in apprenticeship and some others were not? What was the relation, between the parents’ craft and the craft chosen for their children? How many of them were orphans? Which role played a situation of “family stress” in the decision to send a boy or a girl out of his/her household? What kind of relations existed between the apprentices and the master’s family? In which cases apprenticeship could be considered a kind of “fosterage”? Which was the family situation of the girls that were sent in apprenticeship?

The research on the contracts will be conducted in parallel with a broader research on notary records, and in the archives of religious and charity institutions, in order to compare different kinds of education to work in Early Modern Venice.

1 Venice State Archives (ASVe), Giustizia Vecchia, Accordi dei garzoni, bb. 112-126, regg. 151-182 (1573-1772).

2 ASVe, Giustizia Vecchia, Accordi con i garzoni, b. 112, reg. 151, f. 18r.

3 A. Fanfani, Storia del lavoro in Italia (sec. XVI-XVII), Milan 1943, p. 126; E. Favaro, L’Arte dei pittori in Venezia e i suoi statuti, Florence, L. S. Olschki, 1975; W. Panciera, “L’economia: imprenditoria, corporazioni, lavoro”, in Storia di Venezia dalle origini alla caduta della Serenissima. 8. L’ultima fase della Serenissima, P. Preto and P. Del Negro eds., Rome 1998, pp. 479-555.

4 S. Epstein, Wage Labor and Guilds in Medieval Europe, Chapel Hill and. London, The University of North Carolina Press, 1991.

5 See, for example, the research programme of the Ecole Française de Rome (2005-2007), Familles, savoirs, reproduction sociale (époque médiévale et moderne), and La justice des familles. Autour de la transmission des biens, des savoirs et des pouvoirs (Europe, Nouveau monde, XIIe-XIXe siècles), A. Bellavitis and I. Chabot eds., Rome, Ecole Française de Rome, 2011.

6 On apprenticeship in different European contexts, see : B. A. Hanawalt, Growing up in Medieval London. The experience of childhood in history, New York-Oxford 1993; Apprentissages, « Revue d’histoire moderne et contemporaine”, 40-3, 1993, Nicole Pellegrin ed.; I. Krausman Ben-Amos, Adolescence and Youth in Early Modern England, New Haven-London 1994; Genre, métiers, apprentissage dans trois villes italiennes à l’époque moderne, “Histoire urbaine”, 15, 2006, Anna Bellavitis, ed.; Learning on the Shop Floor. Historical Perspectives on apprenticeship, B. De Munck, S. L. Kaplan, H. Soly eds., New York-Oxford 2007.

7 See B. Geremek, Salariati e artigiani nella Parigi medievale. Secoli XIII-XV, Florence, Sansoni 1975 ; F. Franceschi, « Famille et travail dans les villes italiennes des siècles XIII-XV », in The Household in Late Medieval Cities. Italy and Northwestern Europe Compared, Proceedings of the International Conference, M. Carlier and T. Soens eds., Leuven-Apeldoorn, Garant, 2001, pp. 105-119

8 See the papers by C. Lemercier, CNRS-CSO Sciences Po, Paris, “Qu’advient-il de l’apprentissage pendant la Révolution industrielle ? Contrats et rémunérations à Paris au XIXe siècle” and A. Bellavitis, Université de Rouen-GRHIS, “Les « salaires » des apprentis (Venise, XVIe-XVIIe siècle)” at the conference Travail en famille, travail non rémunéré/Unpaid labour in family business (16th-21st century). Économies familiales, normes et pratiques du travail productif non rémunéré en Europe du XVIe siècle à nos jours/Family economies and the norms and practices of unpaid productive labour in Europe from the 15th century to the present day, organised by A. Bellavitis and M. Martini, University Paris7, 16th september 2011.

9 C. Haru Croswton, Fabricating women: the seamstresses of Old Regime France, 1675-1791, Durham 2001

10 See P. Gavitt, Charity and Children in Renaissance Florence: The Ospedale degli Innocenti, 1410-1536, Ann Arbor 1990; F. Michaud-Fréjaville, “Enfants orphelins, enfants séparés, enfants élevés: gardes et apprentissage des mineurs d’âge à Orléans au XVe siècle”, in Education, apprentissage, initiation au Moyen-Âge. Les Cahiers du CRISIMA, 1, 1993, pp. 297-308; H. Tropé, “La formation des enfants orphelins à Valence aux XVIe et XVIIe siècles”, in La formation de l’enfant en Espagne aux XVIe et XVIIe siècles, A. Redondo ed., Paris 1996, pp. 215-226; Jeremy Goldberg, “Orphans and Servants: the socialization of young people living away from home in the English Later Middle Ages”, in Adoption et Fosterage, Mireille Corbier ed., Paris 1999, pp. 231-246.

11 For the relations within artisans’ families, see S. Cavallo, Artisans of the Body in Early Modern Italy: Identities, Families and Masculinities, Manchester, Manchester University Press, 2007.

12 For the transmission from wives to husbands see: D. Hafter, Women at Work in pre-industrial France, University Park-PA 2007.

13Croswton, Fabricating women, op. cit.

14 See A. Macfarlane, The Origins of English Individualism. The Family Property and Social Transition, Blackwell, Oxford 1978.

15 See for example, E. Todd, L’origine des sytèmes familiaux. Tome 1. L’Eurasie, Paris, Gallimard, 2011.

16 A. Trevisan, “Relazione d’Inghilterra (1498)”, in Ambasciatori veneti in Inghilterra, Luigi Firpo ed., Torino 1978, pp. 3-48.

17 G. M. Memmo, Dialogo del magnifico cavaliere messer Gio. Maria Memmo, nel quale dopo alcune filosofiche dispute, si forma un perfetto prencipe & una perfetta Republica, e parimente un senatore, un cittadino, un soldato & un mercatante, Venice 1563, pp. 121-122.

18 See I. dos Guimaraes Sa, “Up and Out. Children in Portugal and the Empire (1500-1800)”, in Raising an Empire: Childen in Early Modern Iberia and Colonial Latin America, O. E. Gonzalez and B. Premo eds., Albuquerque, University ofNew Mexico Press, 2007; M. Alaperrine-Bouyer, « L’éducation des élites indigènes au début du XVIIe siècle : la politique de la Couronne et ses effets », in Famille et éducation en Espagne et Amérique Latine, Juan-Luis Guerena ed., Tours, Université François Rabelais, 2002.

19 As one can read in an article published in 1880 in the “Annali di industria e commercio”, cited by S. Soterni, “Bambini al lavoro”, in La scoperta dell’infanzia. Cura, educazione e rappresentazione, Venezia 1750-1830, N. M. Filippini and T. Plebani eds., Venice 1999, pp. 221-233.

20 On the Giustizia Vecchia, see G. Monticolo, L’ufficio della Giustizia Vecchia a Venezia dale origini sino al 1330, Venice 1892; V. Lazzarini, “Antichi ordinamenti veneziani a tutela del lavoro dei garzoni”, in Proprietà e feudi, offizi, garzoni, carcerati in antiche leggi veneziane, Rome 1960, pp. 61-75; R. MacKenney, Tradesmen and Traders. The World of the Guilds in Venice and Europe, c. 1250-c. 1650, London-Sidney 1987; J. Shaw, The Justice of Venice. Authorities and Liberties in the Urban Economy, 1550-1700, Oxford 2006.

21 See S. Rappaport, Worlds within worlds: structures of life in sixteenth-century London, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1989.

22 See for exemple E. Favaro, L’Arte dei Pittori in Venezia, Florence, L. S. Olschki, 1975, in particular pp. 55-66 ; M. Hochmann, Peintres et commanditaires à Venise, 1540-1628, Rome, Ecole Française de Rome, 1992, in particular pp. 69-72; H. Seražin, M. Klemenčič, “I contratti di garzonato degli scultori, lapicidi e intagliatori veneziani (III)”, Acta historiae artis Slovenica, 9, 2004, pp. 185–204; “I contratti di garzonato degli scultori, lapicidi e intagliatori veneziani (II)”, Acta historiae artis Slovenica, 8, 2003, pp. 193–210; “I contratti di garzonato degli scultori, lapicidi e intagliatori veneziani (I)”, Acta historiae artis Slovenica, 7, 2002, pp. 167–187; H. Seražin, “I contratti di garzonato degli scultori, lapicidi e intagliatori veneziani (IV)”, Acta historiae artis Slovenica, 10, 2005, pp. 201‑214. On Italian Academies see : N. Pevsner, Academies of Art, past and present, New York, Da Capo Press, 1973 (1st ed. 1940); Z. Wazbinski, L’Accademia Medicea del Disegno a Firenze nel Cinquecento. Idea e istituzione, Florence, L. S. Olschki, 1987 ; K.-E. Barzman, The Florentine Academy and Early Moderne State. The Discipline fo Disegno, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2000 ; P. M. Lukehart ed., The Accademia Seminars. The Accademia di San Luca in Rome. C. 1590-1635, Washington, National Gallery of Art, 2009 ; I. Salvagni, « Pour l’histoire de l’Académie de Saint-Luc », in Revue de l’art, 2011, 171, p. 17-29. On artistic apprenticeship in Italy see also for example C. Dempesey, “Somes observations on the education of artists in Florence and Bologna”, in The Art Bulletin, 1980, 62, 552-569; S. Rossi, Dalle botteghe alle accademie: realtà sociale e teorie artistiche a Firenze dal XIV al XVI secolo, Milan, Feltrinelli, 1980, and more recently P. M. Lukehart, “Delineating the Genoese Studio: Giovani accartati or sotto padre?”, in P. M. Lukehart ed., The Artistist’s Workshop, Hanover and London, University Press of New England, 1993, pp. 37-57; G. Moly Feo, “Il piacere di apprendere: garzoni di bottega e progresso dell’arte secondo Albrecht Dürer”, and G. Stimato, “La formazione dell’artista rinascimentale nelle ‘Vite’ di Giorgio Vasari”, in O. Niccoli (ed.), L’istruzione dei fanciulli nel Rinascimento, VI Settimana di Alti Studi Rinascimentali, published in Schifanoia, 2005(2007), 28-29, pp. 41-48 and 87-94; P. Roccasecca, “Teaching in the Studio of the ‘Accademia del Disegno dei pittori, scultori e architetti di Roma’, in P. M. Lukehart ed., The Accademia Seminars, op. cit., pp. 123-160.

23 The foundation of the Academy is preceded by the foundation of the “colleges” of Arts, like the “Collegio dei Pittori” (1682) or the “Collegio degli Scultori” (1720 ca.). Their birth corresponds to the new status of painting and sculpture that become officially “arti liberali” with a special approval of Venetian Senate. See A. Manno, I mestieri di Venezia: storia, arte e devozione, Cittadella (Padova), Biblos, 2010, pp. 84-86.

24 On the Renaissance Venetian « botteghe » and transmission of familial brand see recently: G. Tagliaferro and B. Aikema, with M. Mancini and A. J. Martin, Le Botteghe di Tiziano, Sole 24 Ore – Alinari, Milan 2009; S. Mason, ”L’inventario di Gerolamo Bassano e l’eredità della bottega”, Notiziario dell’Associazione Amici dei Musei e dei Monumenti di Bassano del Grappa (special number), Bassano 2009; C. Corsato, “Il Battesimo di Cristo e l’eredità del brand Bassano nelle botteghe dei figli di Jacopo”, in Verona illustrata, 2011, 24, pp. 63-83; T. dalla Costa, “Eredità e sfruttamento di una maniera: i casi di Gabriele Caliari e Palma il Giovane, in Alle origini dei generi pittorici fra l’Italia e l’Europa 1600 ca., C. Corsato and B. Aikema eds, Treviso, Zel, 2013, pp. 38-53.

25 See the famous Marco Boschini’s “Distinzione di sette Maniere in certa guisa consimili” in the “Breve Istruzione” of Le Ricche minere della pittura veneziana, Venezia, Francesco Nicolini, 1674. Concerning the artistic crisis at the end of 16th century see D. Rosand, “The Crisis of Venetian Tradition”, in L’Arte, 1970, 11-12, pp. 4-53, and more recently idem, “Ultra quid faciam. La crisi degli epigoni”, in B. Paul ed., Celebrazione e autocritica. La Serenissima e la ricerca dell’identità veneziana nel tardo Cinquecento, International Symposium, Venice, 14-15 dicember 2006, Rome, Viella, 2014, pp.177-192.

26 See Deegan and Tanner p.32-33 for a synthetic discussion of these advantages. Deegan, Marilyn, and Simon Tanner. 2002. Digital Futures: Strategies for the Information Age. New York : London: Neal-Schuman Publishers ; Library Association Pub.

27 Kaplan. F. (2013), Les “Big data” du passé, Bulletin SAGW, num. 4, p. 54-55, 2013.

28 Kavallieratou, E., and E. Stamatatos. 2006. “Improving the Quality of Degrated Document Images.” In Proeeedings of the Second International Conference on Document Image Analysis for Libraries (DIAL’06), 340–349. Washington DC, USA: IEEE Computer Society. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/DIAL.2006.23

29 See for instance : Kornfield, E.M., R. Manmatha, and J. Allan. 2004. “Text Alignment with Handwritten Documents.” In First International Workshop on Document Image Analysis for Libraries (DIAL), 195–209. Palo Alto, CA, USA: IEEE Computer Society.. Zimmermann, M., and H. Bunke. 2002. “Automatic Segmentation of the IAM Off-Line Database for Handwritten English Text.” In Proceedings of the 16th International Conference on Pattern Recognition (ICPR’02). Vol. 4. Washington DC, USA: IEEE Computer Society.

30 Bentkowska-Kafel A., Denard H., and Baker D. 2012. Paradata and Transparency in Virtual Heritage. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.

31 Nussli, M-A. and Kaplan. F. (2014), Encoding metaknowledge for historical databases, Proceeding of Digital Humanities 2014. Lausanne.

32 Doerr, M. “The CIDOC CRM – an Ontological Approach to Semantic Interoperability of Metadata.” AI Magazine 24, no. 3 (2003).

33 Gregory, I., and P. S. Ell. Historical GIS: Technologies, Methodologies and Scholarship. Cambridge: Cambridge UP., 2007 and Bodenhamer, D., J. Corrigan, and T. Harris, eds. The Spatial Humanities: GIS and the Future of Humanities Scholarship. Indiana University Press, Indiana, 2010

34e.g. EventMap (Nakhimovsky 2010), Visual Eyes (http://www.viseyes.org/), Pleiades (http://pleiades.stoa.org) or Pelagios project (http://pelagios-project.blogspot.ch/)).

35 e.g. the recent projects deconstructing Ptolemy’s geography. Tsorlini, A. Higher Order Systematic Effect in Ptolemy’s Geographia Coordinate Description of Iberia. e-Perimetron 4(2): 2009 : 117-130. and Leif, I. Ptolemy’s Geography and the Birth of GIS. Proceedings of the Digital Humanities Conference 2012.

36 A short video introduction of the project can be found here : http://www.ted.com/talks/frederic_kaplan_how_i_built_an_information_time_machine

37 Visualizing Venice project.

38 E. Concina, Venezia nell’età moderna. Strutture e funzioni, Venice, Marsilio, 1989.


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