Competition and Collaboration in the Venetian Book World from 1469 to the Early Sixteenth Century - Université de Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines Access content directly
Journal Articles Les Annales. Histoire, Sciences Sociales (English Edition) Year : 2021

Competition and Collaboration in the Venetian Book World from 1469 to the Early Sixteenth Century

Abstract

The early history of printing in Europe is one of great economic and commercial success, but also of significant risks taken by those involved. The supply of paper, essential to the functioning of a press, could cause conflicts and required constantly available capital: the profitability of the book industry depended on the growth of the market. In Venice, anyone could set up as a printer, creating competition that was strongly criticized by printers and booksellers in the late fifteenth and early sixteenth century. This prompted them to formulate the economic risks they faced in supplica addressed to the Venetian authorities, and to conceptualize the realities of their situation, especially in terms of competition. This word, always used in a pejorative sense, is nevertheless rare in both theoretical and practical documents of the time. However competitive this economic milieu was, it was counterbalanced by the necessity of collaboration, a phenomenon that can be studied through social network analysis. Trust was restored through the constitution of dense collaborative networks, in which competitors became partners. Yet this also enabled some actors to establish strong consortia , leading to the kind of oligopolistic economy typical of industries without state regulation.

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History
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Dates and versions

hal-04415595 , version 1 (24-01-2024)

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Catherine Kikuchi. Competition and Collaboration in the Venetian Book World from 1469 to the Early Sixteenth Century. Les Annales. Histoire, Sciences Sociales (English Edition), 2021, 73 (1), pp.179-205. ⟨10.1017/ahsse.2020.6⟩. ⟨hal-04415595⟩
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