Producing Paper for Venice: The Valley of Papermills (Valle delle Cartiere)

One of the pleasures of being a legal historian concerned with topics from the Early Modern period is the possibility to get to handle and work with historical books, often originals printed in the 16th and 17th century. Too often, we tend to concentrate exclusively on the content of a book, not taking into account the wealth of information stemming from the materiality of the book: who printed it, how it was printed, and how the materials carrying all the precious content were produced. Between the 15th and 17th century, the largest part of paper for the many book prints of Venice was produced in a small valley near Lake Garda, known until this day as the Valley of Papermills, the Valle delle Cartiere.

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