Historical Perspectives On Contemporary Issues
Technology Then and Now
A forum held online in collaboration with the Newberry Library on June 18th, 2020.
What is the relationship between technological change and economic development? Do the roots of the 'knowledge economy' lie in sixteenth century Europe? Explore these issues and more beginning with an in-depth look at Johannes Stradanus's Nova Reperta [ca. 1590], an engraved series of prints depicting inventions such as the printing press, gunpowder, and guaiacum, a plant used to treat syphilis. Join our speakers as they discuss the relationship between local and global knowledge, the role of collaboration for invention, and the positive and negative impacts of new technology over the past five centuries.
Join us for a conversation with Lia Markey, Director of the Center for Renaissance Studies at the Newberry Library, Paula Findlen, the Ubaldo Pierotti Professor of Italian History at Stanford University, and Joel Mokyr, the Robert H. Strotz Professor of Arts and Sciences and Professor of Economics and History at Northwestern University.
Technology Then and Now is presented in collaboration with the Newberry Library and its exhibition Renaissance Invention, open August 28, 2020–November 25, 2020.
Questions or comments about this event or others like it? Let us know.
Insights from the Collections
The Consortium's collections provide many opportunities to learn more about the history of technological and economic development.
Our cross-instiutional search tool allows researchers to investigate materials across multiple institutions from a single interface. With more than 4.4 million catalog records of rare books and manuscripts, the Consortium's search hub offers scholars and the public the ability to identify and locate relevant materials.
Search the Consortium search hub.
Some archival materials related to this topic include:
Anthony F.C. Wallace Papers, American Philosophical Society
Eugene Shallcross Ferguson Papers, Hagley Museum and Library
Papers [ca. 1940s], relating to Filarete, American Philosophical Society
Related publications from our speakers:
Early Modern Things: Objects and their Histories, 1500-1800, edited by Paula Findlen; Routledge, 2013.
Empires of Knowledge: Scientific Networks in the Early Modern World, edited by Paula Findlen; Routledge, 2018.
The New World in Early Modern Italy, 1492-1750, edited by Elizabeth Horodowich and Lia Markey; Cambridge, 2017.
Captured Objects: Inventories of Early Modern Collections, edited by Jessica Keating and Lia Markey, Journal of the History of Collections, 2011.
A Culture of Growth: The Origins of the Modern Economy, by Joel Mokyr; Princeton, 2018.
See also recent work from our fellows:
Homo-Musicus: The Early Modern Sciences of the Human Body, Edward Barnet