Arthur der Weduwen - historian

published on 26 feburary 2019

the bookshop of the world. Making and trading books in the dutch golden age

The untold story of how the Dutch conquered the European book market and became the world's greatest bibliophiles


available with brill


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ongoing projects

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the library - A Fragile history

Today we take the existence of libraries for granted, but behind the sober facades of modern institutions lies a fascinating story of constant evolution, upheaval and destruction. From the days of the first codices, books were subject to revolutionary transformations, and so were libraries and their readers, often with catastrophic consequences for the inherited collections of a previous age. In The Library. A Fragile History, I will offer a radical new interpretation of book collecting. Co-written with Andrew Pettegree, The Library. A Fragile History will appear in 2021.

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selling the republican ideal

Well before the age of democracy, politics was not the prerogative of the few. This was never more true than in the boisterous public politics of the Dutch Republic, where the ruling regents were confronted by a highly literate and politically active citizenry. Despite the aristocratic nature of government, the authorities of the Dutch Republic went to great lengths to explain the law and justify their policies. Based on my doctoral thesis, I am preparing a study of these political communication practices of the Dutch Golden Age.

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the birth of modern advertising

The first survey of the birth of newspaper advertising, including an English paraphrase of all advertisements placed in Dutch newspapers between 1620 and 1675.

Featured Publications

My most notable publications - see the publications page here for a full overview.

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Published by brill, may 2017

A comprehensive survey of the first century of Dutch newspaper publishing in the Low Countries, featuring 49 newspapers and documenting over 16,000 surviving issues in more than 80 libraries and archives around the world.

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to appear with Yale University Press and Atlas contact, 26 February 2019

Co-written with Professor Andrew Pettegree - the first study of the rich book culture of the Dutch Golden Age. 


published in 2018 - freely available online

A radical re-assessment of what was published in the seventeenth-century Dutch Republic, published in Livre, a new open-access book history journal.