PATRIMONiT is a database of rare or unique sixteenth-century Italian popular editions held today in the British Library (i.e. not surviving in any Italian libraries). It is modelled on the Material Evidence in Incunabula (MEI) database and constructed using international standards for describing the material, textual, and visual characteristics of sixteenth-century Italian popular books and their provenance history.

During the course of the next two years, the database will describe hundreds of sixteenth-century Italian popular books.

POPULAR BOOKS are those books or publications read or ‘listened to’ by everyone during the Early Modern Period characterized by LOW COSTS and PRICES (printed in a hurry, cheaply, with poor quality materials and therefore with a short life expectancy) and A WIDE CIRCULATION (often sold directly to buyers in the street). The study of the history of these books and the analysis of their characteristics (material, textual, visual) reveals important social and cultural aspects of the country where they were produced and of the country/city/collection where they have been preserved.

All the evidence of provenance in these books (i.e. former ownership, binding, decoration, manuscript annotations, etc.) is studied and recorded in PATRIMONiT, in order to understand why and how these books came to survive to the present day, to outline in detail their routes from Italy to other countries and to grasp their cultural and historical value for foreign book collectors, librarians and bibliophiles.

For further information please contact Dr Laura Carnelos at

How to cite PATRIMONiT records: es. PT02015030.

Read more about this database on the CERL Website...