In this session, we are going to transform an academic paper into an academic blog post, closely examining the opportunities and challenges afforded by this medium of communication.
(1) Methodological: Digital methods can aid us in our book historical research by (a) expanding the community of scholars with whom we engage and (b) expanding and reshaping the archival material at our disposal to access new sources.
(2) Historical: taking into account the history of editions of the Janua as well as bibliographical evidence such as signatures found on the back and front covers and interleaving of blank pages, I hypothesise that the Taylorian edition of the Janua had multiple ‘lives’. These lives reflect the broader historical context in which this edition was published, namely the ccity of Hanau during the refugee crisis of the early 17th-century. They also reveal Johann Amos Comenius’ educational philosophy in practice, through ‘material evidence’ of the reader’s engagement with the text.
Ulrich Schafer, the bibliographical consultant of the Deutschen Comenius-Gesellschaft has written to the Bodleian Libraries that they may have a unicum in their midst.
(1) Schafer has never seen or heard of an edition like this one
(2) It is entirely in Latin which would ‘be interesting too because all (except two) others were multilingual.
(1) Is this text a unicum, e.g. is it the only copy of this edition?
(2) Is the text entirely in Latin?
(3) Are there any features that distinguish it from other editions of the Janua?
(1) What is the Janua? ‘Gateway of languages unlocked’, Latin-language textbook
(2) How is it structured? 1000 sentences, 100 topics; bilingual
(3) Why is it significant? – Commonplace books, pedagogical innovations, progressive learning
(4) How was it received? – used throughout Europe, including by royalty; eighty editions in multiple languages
Section 3: Methodology
To solve this mystery, we need to:
(1) Establish the bibliographical data
(2) Compare the Taylorian Janua with other editions of the Janua
This calls for a mixed methods approach, combining traditional book history scholarship with digital humanistic tools.
Our bibliographical entry now reads:
Author: Johannes Amos Comenius
Title: JANUA LINGUARUM RESERATA AUREA: Sive SEMINARIUM LINGUARUM ET
SCIENTIARUM OMNIUM. Hoc est: Compendiosa Latinam (& quam libet aliam) Linguam, unà
cum scientiarum, artiumq; omnium fundamentis, perdiscendi Methodus, sub Titulis centum,
periodis mille comprehensa.
Published: Hanoviae : Typis et Sumptibus Jacob Lasché, circa 1650 – 1662
Editor / Printer: Jacob Lasché
Other forms of publisher name: Jakob Lasché
Category/Subject: Language learning*, textbook
Call number: VET.MISC.I.A.1