Launch of Early Modern Festivals Books Database

On Friday 4 May 2012 the Deputy Director of the Bodleian, Dr Richard Ovenden, launched the Early Modern Festival Books Database in the Divinity School in Oxford. The database is a freely available online resource to enable researchers to access more than three thousand descriptions in twelve languages of early modern festivals at courts and cities throughout Europe (

Launch of Early Modern Festival Books DatabaseThese works are often splendidly illustrated accounts of coronations, christenings and weddings, of tournaments, ballets, and operas and are a vital source of information for art historians, musicologists and historians of the period. Dr Ovenden commented: ‘How wonderful to be standing in a 15th century building, launching a 21st century research tool that will enable scholars to use 16th, 17th and 18th printed books!’

Fortunately Marie Antoinette and Maria Amalia, Queen of Naples (Charlotte Marshall of St Catherine’s and Nicola Deboys of Pembroke, both Second Year students of German sole, were able to attend.

Here they are with Dr Ovenden and with Professor Helen Watanabe-O’Kelly, principal researcher on the project.

Dr Madeleine Brook, Research Assistant on the project, demonstrated the database.

Dr Madeleine Brook demonstrates the database










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