Dr C Dondi, OSI

Secretary of the Consortium of European Research Libraries (CERL)


Apr. 2014–Mar. 2019 ERC Consolidator Grant for the project 15cBOOKTRADE: An Evidence-based Assessment and Visualization of the Distribution, Sale, and Reception of Books in the Renaissance. http://15cbooktrade.ox.ac.uk/

Mar. 2009– Secretary of Consortium of European Research Libraries (CERL)

Oct. 2009–11 British Academy Research Development Award (BARDA) with Prof. Nigel Palmer, Faculty of Modern Languages, Univ. of Oxford: “The Venetian Book-trade in the 15th Century: material evidence for the economic and social history of the Renaissance”.

Oct. 2002–Sept. 2005 Lyell Research Fellow in the History of the Early Modern Printed Book, University of Oxford. Research Fellow, Lincoln College, Oxford.

Oct. 2002–Sept. 2005 Consultant, Incunable Project, Bodleian Library, Oxford.

June 1996–Sept. 2002 Assistant Librarian, Incunable Project, Bodleian Library, Oxford.

Oct. 1993–Oct. 2000 PhD History, King’s College, London.

1987–1992 BA Hons. History, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milan.


4 Dec.  2017: Presentation of the honour of “Cavaliere” of the Order of “Stella d’Italia” (OSI) conferred by His Excellency The Ambassador of Italy Pasquale Terracciano on behalf of the President of Italy. 



DPhil supervision, Dept. of Medieval and Modern Languages: Martyna Grzesiak


DPhil joint supervision with Prof. Martin Maiden, Dept. of Medieval and Modern Languages: Constanta Burlacu


Marie Curie Fellowship Supervision, CERL London. Laura Carnelos (University of Venice Ca’ Foscari), PATRIMONiT. From Cheap Print to Rare ephemera: 16th-Century Italian ‘Popular’ Books at the British Library. Partner organisations are the British Library, London (Dr Stephen Parkin) and ICCU, Rome (Dott. Sara Servello) 


DPhil joint Supervision with Prof. Henry Woudhuysen, Rector of Lincoln College, Dept. of Medieval and Modern Languages: Angeline Rais, The Dispersal and New Acquisition of Books in Switzerland During the First Half of the 19th Century. The Swiss Part of Sir Thomas Phillipps’ Library.


DPhil Supervision,  Dept. of Medieval and Modern Languages: Matilde Malaspina, Fifteenth century-printed Italian editions of Aesopian texts. An analysis of the textual and iconographic transmission within the 15cBOOKTRADE Project (funded by ERC Project)


MPhil Supervision, Dept. of Medieval and Modern Languages: Clementina Piazza, Cataloguing images in incunabula: Johannes Hamman’s illustrated editions of Horae: ad usum Romanum.


DPhil joint Supervision with Marc Lauxtermann, Bywater and Sotheby Professor of Byzantine and Modern Greek Language and Literature, Dept. of Medieval and Modern Languages: Geri Della Rocca de Candal, Bibliographia Historica Byzantina: a historical and bibliographical description of the early editions of the Corpus Historiae Byzantinae (1556-1645).


DPhil joint Supervision with Richard Sharpe, Prof. of Diplomatic, Dept. of History: Matthew Cheung Salisbury, The secular liturgical office in late Medieval England (Liturgical primary sources, manuscript and printed)


I have been teaching history of the early printed book for the MSt course in Medieval and Modern Languages and Medieval Studies (with Prof. Nigel Palmer, Prof. Juan Carlos Conde, and Dr Daniela Mairhofer and Prof. Henrike  Lähnemann) and giving tutorials in Humanist and Renaissance Palaeography, Textual Criticism, and Continental Bibliography for Oxford Graduate Students working under the supervision of Martin McLaughlin, Manuele Gragnolati, and Nicola Gardini.

Lately I concentrate on the impact of the introduction of printing on early modern European society: transmission of texts in print, the circulation, use and later collecting of early printed books, the price of printed books in the 15th century,the formation and dispersal of libraries, the development and application of digital tools (databases, visualization, image-matching) to enhance historical research on 15th-century printed material.

Outside Oxford, I gave seminars on the Introduction of Printing in Europe at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London, for the Master Course in History of Design, Royal College of Art and V&A, Part of the Option: ‘Renaissance and Early Modern – Technological Cultures’, Convenor: Simona Valeriani (2014), and on ‘Techniques of scholarship’ at the Warburg Institute, London, for the Masters in Cultural and Intellectual History 1300-1650, and on Art History, Curatorship and Renaissance Culture (2013-2014).

Database Creation

Material Evidence in Incunabula (=MEI) http://data.cerl.org/mei/_search

An international database specifically designed to record and search the material evidence of 15th-century printed books: ownership, decoration, binding, manuscript annotations, stamps, prices, etc.

The collaborative enterprise of over 400 European and American libraries, it contains over 45,000 high quality records and the identification of 16,000 former owners. Locating and dating any material and documentary element enables the movement of books across Europe and the US to be tracked throughout the centuries, from place of production to the books’ present locations. More information at http://15cbooktrade.ox.ac.uk/distribution-use/


TEXT-inc http://textinc.bodleian.ox.ac.uk

Continuing the pioneering text descriptions of the Bodleian catalogue of incunabula, Bod-inc, this database is designed to host and make searchable the corpus of texts printed in the 15th century, including secondary works and paratext. Over 8,000 editions described so far. More information at http://15cbooktrade.ox.ac.uk/texts/

Visualisation Suite and Videos


A promotional video introducing the work of the 15cBOOKTRADE Project, the collaboration of the over 400 European and American libraries and 140 editors who contributed to it, and the Venice EXHIBITION where results will be shared with the general public (see below).



The visualization of the circulation of 15th-century printed books over time and space, using live data from MEI and TEXT-inc. [Created in collaboration with Simon Walton].


PRINTING REVOLUTION. 1450-1500, Fifty Years that Changed Europe

Venice, Correr Museum 1 Sept. 2018 – 7 Jan. 2019; Sale Monumentali della Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana 1 – 30 Sept. 2018



21 Dec. 2018: ERC Website, feature story and podcast


18 Dec. 2018: La Repubblica, C’era una volta Amazon a Venezia (by Marino Niola)

26 Aug. 2018: Il Sole 24 Ore, Caccia ai libri, l’italiana di Oxford che unisce scienza e umanesimo (by Stefano Salis)

9 Jan. 2018: The Financial Times, Birth of the Knowledge Economy (by James Pickford)

3 Jan. 2018: The Wall Street Journal, The Hunt for Centuries-Old Books Reveals the Power of the Printed Word (by Jennifer Clark)

4 Dec. 2017: Il Corriere della Sera, p. 23, Cristina e i ragazzi di Oxford “Noi cacciatori di libri antichi” (by Luigi Ippolito)

2 Sept. 2017: Broadcasting BBC World Service, First Impressions: The Printing Press, The Forum, http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/w3csv0rr Rajan Dattar is joined by art historian Hala Auji (American University of Beirut), publisher Michael Bhaskar, scholar Cristina Dondi and the writer John Man.



Printing Revolution 1450-1500. Fifty Years that Changed Europe (Venice: Marsilio, 2018).

Printed Books of Hours from Fifteenth-Century Italy. The Texts, the Books, and the Survival of a Long-Lasting Genre, Biblioteca di Bibliografia Italiana, 204 (Florence: Olschki, 2016).

Catalogue of Books Printed in the Fifteenth Century now in the Bodleian Library, ed. A. Coates, K. Jensen, C. Dondi, B. Wagner, and H. Dixon, with the assistance of C. White and E. Mathew; blockbooks by N. Palmer, and an inventory of Hebrew incunabula by S. Schaeper, 6 vols (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005).

The Liturgy of the Canons Regular of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem: A Study and a Catalogue of the Manuscript Sources, Bibliotheca Victorina, 16 (Turnhout: Brepols, 2004).


In preparation:

–Commented edition of the account book of the Venetian bookseller Francesco de Madiis which, between 1484 and 1488, registers the sale of 25,000 printed books with their prices; with Neil Harris (2018)



[with Alessandra Panzanelli Fratoni], ‘Researching the origin of Perugia’s Public Library (1582/1623) before and after Material Evidence in Incunabula’, in Library History: Why? What? How? CERL Annual Seminar 2015, University of Antwerp, in Quaerendo 46, 2016, pp. 129-150.

‘CERL’s work and vision for provenance research I: CERL Thesaurus, Material Evidence in Incunabula, and the 15cBOOKTRADE Project’, in ‘Catalogues, libraries and copy-specific evidence. An International dossier on provenance databases’, La Bibliofilía, n. 3, CXVII, 2015, pp. 317-21.

[with Neil Harris], ‘Exporting books from Milan to Venice in the 15th century: evidence from the Zornale of Francesco de Madiis’, in Incunabula. Printing, Trading, Collecting, Cataloguing, Milan, 10-12 Sept. 2013, ed. Alessandro Ledda, La Bibliofilía, nn. 1-3, CXVI, 2014, pp. 121-148.

‘15cBOOKTRADE: An Evidence-based Assessment and Visualization of the Distribution, Sale, and Reception of Printed Books in the Renaissance’, in Gazette du livre medieval, 60 (2013) [Nov. 2104], pp. 83-101.

[with Ingeborg Versprille and Marian Lefferts], ‘The Consortium of European Research Libraries (CERL): twenty years of promoting Europe’s cultural heritage in print and manuscript’, in 027.7 Zeitschrift für Bibliothekskultur, 2,1 (2014): Konsortien & Konsorten, pp. 30-40 [online journal of the University of Basel, Switzerland, http://www.277.ch ] ISSN 2296-0597


‘Collecting and researching the Material Evidence of Incunabula: The MEI Database’, in Z Badan nad Ksiazka i Ksiegozbiorami Historycznymi (= Studies into the History of the Book and Book Collections), published by the University of Warsaw, vol. 7-8 (2013-2014), pp. 233-248 http://www.lis.uw.edu.pl/badan/

‘Provenance records in the CERL Thesaurus and in Material Evidence in Incunabula’, in ‘PROVENIO: The Methodology of Book Provenance Research, themed issue of Sborník Národního muzea / Acta Musei Nationalis Pragae, series C – Historia Litterarum, vol. 58, 2013, no. 3-4, pp. 15-19.

[with Neil Harris] ‘Best Selling Titles and Books of Hours in a Venetian Bookshop of the 1480s: the Zornale of Francesco de Madiis’, in La Bibliofilìa, CXV, 2013, pp. 63-82.

Libri da compagnia printed in 15th- and 16th-century Italy’, in Quaerendo [Quarterly Journal from the Low Countries devoted to Manuscripts and Printed Books], vol. 41/1-2, 2011, 183-192.

[with Alessandro Ledda], ‘Material Evidence in Incunabula’, in La Bibliofilìa, 113 (2011), pp. 375-81.

‘Incunaboli: fonti storiche’; Editorial for L’Almanacco Bibliografico, no. 12, Dec. 2009 issue, pp 1-4 [electronic journal].


[with Alan Coates], ‘The Passau Diurnal presented by Francis and Rupert Sheppard’, Bodleian Library Records, 19,2 (2007 for Oct. 2006), pp. 216-222.

‘Custodi del canto’, in Jerusalem, special issue of the magazine Amadeus, edited by G. Baroffio, December 2005, pp. 29-31.

‘Printers and Guilds in Fifteenth-Century Venice’, La Bibliofilia, 106 ([2005 for] 2004), pp. 229-265.

‘Hospitaller Liturgical Manuscripts and Early Printed Books’, Revue Mabillon, n.s. 14 = t. 75 (2003), 225-56.

‘Per un Censimento di Incunaboli e Cinquecentine Postillati dei Rerum Vulgarium Fragmenta e dei Triumphi [of Petrarch] VIII. Oxford: Bodleian Library’, Aevum, 74 (2000), 675–707.

‘L’Ordine dei Cavalieri Templari in Area Modenese nei Secoli XII°–XIV°’, Aevum, 68 (1994), 339–66.



‘Origine della liturgia degli Ordini religiosi militari di Terrasanta’, in I Templari. Grandezza e caduta della “militia Christi”, ed. G. Andenna, C. D. Fonseca, E. Filippini, Milan, Editore Vita e Pensiero, 2016, pp. 147-161.

[with Neil Harris], I romanzi cavallereschi nel Zornale di Francesco de Madiis (1484-88): profilo merceologico di un genere, in Carlo Magno in Italia e la fortuna dei libri di cavalleria. [Atti del Convegno internazionale, Zurigo, 6-8 maggio 2014], a cura di Johannes Bartuschat e Franca Strologo, Ravenna, Longo editore, 2016 (Memoria del tempo, 51), pp. 251-299. ISBN 978 88 8063 841 4

How much did books cost in fifteenth-century Venice? in Emprynted in thys manere: Early Printed Treasures from Cambridge University Library, ed. Ed Potten and Emily Dourish, Cambridge, CUP, 2014, pp. 72-3.

[With Neil Harris], ‘Oil and Green Ginger. The Zornale of the Venetian Bookseller Francesco de Madiis, 1484-1488’, in Documenting the Early Modern Book World: Inventories and Catalogues in Manuscript and Print, Acts of the Third St Andrews Book Group Conference. 7–9 July 2011, edited by Natasha Constantinidou and Malcolm Walsby, Leiden, Brill, 2013, pp. 341-406.

‘Il contesto Europeo delle banche dati bibliografiche di ricerca’, in Il Libro antico tra catalogo storico e catalogazione elettronica, ed. Roberto Rusconi, Rome, Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, anno CDIX, 2012 (Contributi del Centro linceo interdisciplinare «Beniamino Segre» n. 127), pp. 19-29.

‘The integration of Provenance Data for the Reconstruction of the Dispersed European Book Heritage’, in Safeguard of Cultural Heritage: A Challenge from the past for the Europe of Tomorrow, COST Strategic Workshop, Florence 11-13 July 2011 (Florence, 2011).

‘The Venetian Booktrade: a Methodological Approach to and First Results of Book-based Historical Research’, in Early Printed Books as Material Objects, IFLA Pre-Conference, Munich August 2009, ed. B. Wagner and M. Reed, Munich, Saur, 2010, pp. 221-29.

‘The European Printing Revolution’, in The Oxford Companion to the Book, 2 vols, ed. Michael F. Suarez and Henry Woudhuysen (Oxford, 2010), I 53-61.

reprinted in The Book. A Global History, ed. Michael F. Suarez and Henry Woudhuysen (Oxford, 2013), pp. 80-91.

Printers, Traders, and their Confraternites in Fifteenth-century Venice, in ‘Urban Networks and the Printing Trade in Early Modern Europe (15th — 18th century). Papers presented on 6 November 2009, at the CERL Seminar hosted by the Royal Library of Belgium, Brussels, ed. Renaud Adam, Ann Kelders, Claude Sorgeloos, and David Shaw, London: Cerl Papers X, 2010, pp. 97-108.

‘Liturgies of the Military Religious Orders’, in The Genius of the Roman Rite: Historical, Theological and Pastoral Perspectives on Catholic Liturgy, 11th CIEL Colloquium, Oxford, Merton College, 13-16 Sept. 2006, ed. Uwe Michael Lang (Chicago, Illinois, Hillenbrand Books, 2010), pp. 143-58.

La liturgia del Santo Sepolcro di Gerusalemme: origine, adozione da parte degli ordini religiosi (e militari) e sopravvivenze, in We sing a Hymn of Glory to the Lord, ed. Kevin Alban, Rome, Edizioni Carmelitane, 2010, pp. 71-83.

Liturgie’, in Prier et combattre. Dictionnaire européen des ordres militaires au Moyen Âge, ed. Nicole Bériou and Philippe Josserand, Paris, Librairie Arthème Fayard, 2009, pp. 547-51.

‘Missale vetus ad usum Templariorum’, in Il Messale dei Templari di Reggio Emilia, ed. Dolores Boretti (Reggio Emilia, Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Reggio Emilia Pietro Manodori, 2008), 70-127.

Coluccio Salutati e l’invenzione dell’umanesimo, Firenze, Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana, 2 novembre 2008 – 30 gennaio 2009, ed. Teresa De Robertis and Stefano Zamponi, Florence, Mandragora, 2008. One entry for the catalogue with Stefano Baldassarri, Oxford, All Souls College, MS 94.

‘Liturgical Policies of the Hospitallers Between the Invention of Printing and the Council of Trent: the Evidence of the Early Printed Breviaries and Missals’, in The Military Orders Volume 3 History and Heritage, ed. Victor Mallia-Milanes (Aldershot, Ashgate, 2008), 63-71.

‘La circolazione europea degli incunaboli veneziani documentata dalle edizioni conservate alla Biblioteca Bodleiana, Oxford’, in The Books of Venice / Il libro veneziano, ed. Lisa Pon and Craig Kallendorf, Miscellanea Marciana, 20 (2008 for 2005-2007), 179-190.

‘Pathways to Survival of Books of Hours Printed in Italy in the Fifteenth Century’, in Books on the Move: Tracking Copies through Collections and the Book Trade, London, 1-2 Dec. 2006, ed. Robin Myers, Michael Harris, and Giles Mandelbrote (New Castle, De, and London, Oak Knoll Press and the British Library, 2007), pp. 113-132.

[With Kristian Jensen], ‘The Book of Hours’ in The Catholics of Sutton Park, ed. Brian Taylor (Guilford, 2005), pp. 164-172.

Seneca: Una vicenda testuale, Firenze, Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana, 2 aprile – 2 luglio 2004, ed. T. De Robertis and G. Resta (Florence, Mandragora, 2004). Five entries (nos 7, 35, 71, 106, 118) for the Catalogue: Cambridge, CCC, MS 406; London, BL, Additional 116; Additional 13454; Harley 2616; Oxford, Balliol College, MS 130.

‘Books of Hours, the Development of the Texts in Printed Form’ in Incunabula and Their Readers: Printing, Selling, and Using Books Printed in the Fifteenth Century, ed. K. Jensen (London: British Library, 2003), 53-70, 212-23.

‘Manoscritti Liturgici dei Templari e degli Ospitalieri: le Nuove Prospettive Aperte dal Sacramentario Templare di Modena (Arch. Capitolare O.II.13)’, in I Templari, la Guerra e la Santità, ed. S. Cerrini – F. Cardini (Rimini: Il Cerchio, 2000), 85–131.



[With Lavinia Prosdocimi and Dorit Raines], ‘Tracing the dispersed incunable collection of the Benedictines of San Giorgio Maggiore, Venice’, in How the Secularization of Religious Houses Transformed the Libraries of Europe, 16th–19th Centuries’, Proceedings of the Conference held in Oxford 22-24 March 2012, ed. C. Dondi, D. Raines, and R. Sharpe, Turnhout, Brepols, 2017 (Bibliologia ***)



La stampa romana nella città dei Papi e in Europa, ed. Cristina Dondi, Andreina Rita, Adalbert Roth, Marina Venier, Rome, Vatican Library, 2016 (Studi e Testi, 506 – CERL Papers XII)

How the Secularization of Religious Houses Transformed the Libraries of Europe, 16th–19th Centuries’, Proceedings of the Conference held in Oxford 22-24 March 2012, ed. Cristina Dondi, Dorit Raines, and Richard Sharpe, Turnhout, Brepols, 2017 (Bibliologia ***)


Frédéric Barbier, Gutenberg’s Europe. The Book and the Invention of Western Modernity, transl. into English by Jean Birrell, Cambridge, Polity Press, 2017 [first printed in French in 2006]; for Journal of Modern History 2018, pp. 668-670

Palaeography, Manuscript Illumination and Humanism in Renaissance Italy: Studies in Memory of A.C. de la Mare, ed. Robert Black, Jill Kraye & Laura Nuvoloni (London: Warburg Institute, 2016). ISBN: 9781908590510. For AMARC Newsletter 2017

The saint between manuscript and print: Italy 1400-1600, ed. Alison Frazier, Toronto, Univ. of Toronto, 2015 (Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies, Essays and Studies, 37). For The Catholic Historical Review, Vol. 102, No. 3, 2016, pp. 603-4.

Gli incunaboli e le cinquecentine della Biblioteca Comunale di San Gimignano, ed. Neil Harris, 2 vols, San Gimignano, 2007, for The Library, 7th series, vol. 10, no. 4, Dec. 2009, pp. 417-21.

Andrew Pettegree, The French Book and the European Book World, Leiden and Boston, 2007, for Journal of Ecclesiastical History, 60, 2009, pp. 831-32.

A.-E. Urfels-Capot, Le sanctoral du lectionnaire de l’office dominicain (1254-1256). Édition et étude d’après le ms. Rome, Sainte-Sabine XIV L1, Paris, École des Chartes, 2007, for Journal of Ecclesiastical History, 60, 2009, pp. 800-01.

Medieval manuscripts from the collection of T. R. Buchanan in the Bodleian Library, Oxford. By Peter Kidd. Oxford, Alden Press for the Bodleian Library, 2001, for The Library, 5, 2004, pp. 317-18.

J. C. Higgitt, The Murthly Hours. Devotion, literacy and luxury in Paris, England and the Gaelic west, The British Library Studies in Medieval Culture (London, 2000), for Journal of Ecclesiastical History, 53, 2002, pp. 359-60.

Subscribe to Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages