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NEWSLETTERS:  WHAT’S IN A NAME?

The Euronews Project is dedicated to shedding light on the birth of news, as discovered in the newsletters of early modern times.  Here our P.I., Brendan Dooley, explains the object of our quest.

As we work through thousands of examples over the next few months and years, chronicling the latest developments about the past, we will keep viewers updated with OUR latest news!

We hope you enjoy watching, and we are glad to receive any comments or suggestions at our project address, euronewsprojectucc@gmail.com .

Lesson 2:

THE MANY FACES OF NEWS

By the late sixteenth century the handwritten newsletter was already fairly well established as a genre, with its own characteristics, distinguished from personal or diplomatic correspondence per se.  But throughout our period handwritten news in general came in many varieties.  Apart from the subtly changeable newsletter structure itself, there were many types of writing that might accompany or illustrate the weekly news.  Project P.I.  Brendan Dooley, in this video, shows a few examples from among the many we have found.

There are many more types in the documents we are studying, and from time to time we will be featuring them for the light they shed on the development and diffusion of early modern news.

Lesson 3:

THE MANY FACES OF (THE SAME) NEWS, OR, COPIES OF COPIES

As news became a commodity in early modern times, to be bought and sold for a profit, handwritten newsletter writing was to all effects a business.  Shops specializing in news writing acquired news, often in newsletter form, and made copies to be distributed piecemeal or to subscription lists.  Evidence of this practice is present in the archive, as Brendan Dooley, our Project P.I., explains in this video demonstrating some of our tools of textual analysis.

By comparing thousands of examples of text reuse, paraphrases, summaries and the like, we will be tracing the connections between newsletters to reveal conceptual maps to go along with the geographical reconstructions we are working on, of the European diffusion of news.

Lesson 4:

HEROES OF EARLY NEWS, I – BUONDELMONTI’S COPY BOOK

Every newsletter was written by someone!  And as far as we can tell, motives differed as widely as the words and sentences on the page.  In this video Brendan Dooley, Project P.I., illustrates the example of the early seventeenth-century Florentine newsletter writer Ippolito Buondelmonti, whose life was at least as exciting as that of the personage by the same name from a century before, whose love affair became the subject of a famous opera!

As we work through thousands of newsletters and their thousands of writers, insofar as we are able to identify them, remarkable cases emerge, as we build the growing gallery of early newswriters that will be appearing on this site.  From such microhistories we find the hidden trends, the underlying causes, the wheels of change, within a world far away.

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