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Bibliotheca Digitalis
Reconstitution of Early Modern Cultural Networks
From Primary Source to Data
DARIAH / Biblissima Sum...
Aurélien Ruellet
(Le Mans University)
Bibliotheca Digitalis Summer School, July 4‐8, 2017, Le Mans
Biblissima / Humanities...
 1. Prosopogaphy & social network analysis
 2. The « relational turn »
 3. Assessing the soundness of prosopographical ...
 ‘prosopography’ is derived from the Greek ‘prosôpôn‐graphia’ ´(προσπων‐
γραφα), from ‘(to) prosôpon’ and ‘graphia’. 
 P...
 ‘prosopography’ is derived from the Greek ‘prosôpôn‐graphia’ ´(προσπων‐
γραφα), from ‘(to) prosôpon’ and ‘graphia’. 
 P...
Set of metrics & specific
vocabulary coming from
graphs theory.
Clusters
Density
Connectivity
Centrality…
From the foundin...
Common broad theoretical grounds:
‐At odds with an atomized view of society (market
models theory) where individuals are n...
A few common assumptions:
‐Social networks exist and
constitute a ressource for action
and a « social capital » which can
...
 Thinking in terms of « social network » could flatten
the social interactions: all relationships in Facebook
are labelle...
Michel Popoff, Prosopographie des gens 
du Parlement de Paris (1266‐1753), Paris, 
Le Léopard d’Or, 1996.
Formal instituti...
Abraham Tessereau, Histoire chronologique de la grande
chancellerie
The Grande Chancellerie
Michael Hunter, « The social basis and changing fortunes of an early scientific institution: 
an analysis of the membershi...
David J. Sturdy, Science and Social Status: The Members of the Academie Des Sciences 
1666‐1750, Woodbridge, the Boydell P...
 HENRY ROGERS an eminent Theologist of his time, a Ministers Son, and a Herefordshire man by
birth, was admitted scholar ...
What about unformal institutions ?
What about unformal institutions ?
‐ Republic of letters
‐ unformal academies (sodalitates, 
gatherings…)
‐ specialized cu...
What about unformal institutions ?
‐ Republic of letters
‐ unformal academies (sodalitates, 
gatherings…)
‐ specialized cu...
 1. Dates 
 2. Father
 3. Nationality
 4. Education
 5. Religion 
 6. Scientific Disciplines 
 7. Means of Support ...
 1. Dates 
 2. Father
 3. Nationality
 4. Education
 5. Religion 
 6. Scientific Disciplines 
 7. Means of Support ...
 A forerunner in the use of prosopographical data in history
of culture
 The goal: investigate shift in vocational inter...
 « On the basis of the foregoing study, it may
not be too much to conclude that the
cultural soil of seventeenth‐century ...
 « On the basis of the foregoing study, it may
not be too much to conclude that the
cultural soil of seventeenth‐century ...
 The case of book dedications
William Oughtred, The  circles of proportion 
and the horizontall instrument, London, 
Thom...
Franklin B. Williams, Index of dedications and commendatory verses in English
books before 1641, London, Bibliographical S...
 Numerous dedications « To the King », « to the 
Queen » with general discourse  mere prefatory
devices ?
 Parodic / ag...
 Different state variants and issues of the same
edition can bear different dedications
‐ WINGATE, Edmund. L’usage de la ...
Daniel Browne, A New Almanach and Prognostication for the Yeare of God 1624,
London, 1624, f. C2rv.
What kind of links can...
A lazy dedication in France (Didier Henrion)
Lazy dedications in England
Dedications tell us things not so much about 
maecenasship networks…
Dedications tell us things not so much about 
maecenasship networks…
But rather about rhetorical strategies, letter‐
writi...
Dedications tell us things not so much about 
maecenasship networks…
But rather about rhetorical strategies, letter‐
writi...
Aurélien Ruellet, La Maison de Salomon: contribution à l’histoire du patronage scientifique et technique, 
France, Anglete...
Aurélien Ruellet, La Maison de Salomon: contribution à l’histoire du patronage scientifique et technique, 
France, Anglete...
 Sir George Wharton, 1st Baronet (4 April 1617 – 12 
August 1681)
 Astrologer and poet, made a baronet after the 
Restor...
George Wharton, Calendarium
Ecclesiasticum, London, 1657.
TITLE DATE  DEDICATEE
Hemeroscopeion 1649 Charles I
Hemeroscopei...
Wenceslas Hollar, Long View of London from Bankside, 1647. 
‐ A Royal castle
‐ A Prison
‐ Headquarters of the Mint
‐ Headq...
Wenceslas Hollar, Long View of London from Bankside, 1647. 
‐ A Royal castle
‐ A Prison
‐ Headquarters of the Mint
‐ Headq...
Wenceslas Hollar, Long View of London from Bankside, 1647. 
‐ A Royal castle
‐ A Prison
‐ Headquarters of the Mint
‐ Headq...
Wenceslas Hollar, Long View of London from Bankside, 1647. 
‐ A Royal castle
‐ A Prison
‐ Headquarters of the Mint
‐ Headq...
Wenceslas Hollar, Long View of London from Bankside, 1647. 
‐ A Royal castle
‐ A Prison
‐ Headquarters of the Mint
‐ Headq...
Marin Mersenne
(1588‐1648)
Born in Oizé near Le Mans, 
educated in La Flèche, 
Minim friar, lived and worked
most of his l...
 More than 1100 letters sent or received by Mersenne, kept in 
many libraries across Europe
 Most of the « passive » cor...
 Long and painstaking editorial process, from the 1930’s 
to the 1980’s
 17 volumes ; carefully transcribed, annotated a...
 Long and painstaking editorial process, from the 1930s 
to the 1980s
 17 volumes ; carefully transcribed, annotated and...
An ever‐expanding network ?
Younger and younger correspondents
Mapping the correspondence network
Les correspondants de Mersenne,
1625‐1637
Les correspondants de Mersenne 
1617‐1624
Pierre Bourdieu, La distinction, critique sociale du jugement. Paris, 
Minuit, 1979. 
Pierre Bourdieu, Raisons pratiques, 
Paris, Seuil, 1994, p. 21.
Sets of correlation
Approximated in a 2‐
dimensions graph
 1 – Individuals
 location
 2 – University in  the town of the individual ?
 3 – demographic rank
 4 – country of res...
 Not a social reality…
 Because of all pieces of data which are not certain, which
are just inferred, which are reconstr...
New Metadata
We aim to create a central repository of sixteenth‐, seventeenth‐, and
eighteenth‐century correspondence popu...
 The network of data is not a social network, but a 
reconstructed network of nodes and links based on 
occurrences in a ...
Aurélien Ruellet, « Quelques liens entre la communauté réformée parisienne, les 
sciences et l’entreprise dans les premièr...
 The network of data is not a social network, but a 
reconstructed network of nodes and links based on 
occurrences in a ...
Bibliotheca Digitalis Summer school: Prosopographical data and Cultural networks in the Early Modern Europe - Aurélien Rue...
Bibliotheca Digitalis Summer school: Prosopographical data and Cultural networks in the Early Modern Europe - Aurélien Rue...
Bibliotheca Digitalis Summer school: Prosopographical data and Cultural networks in the Early Modern Europe - Aurélien Rue...
Bibliotheca Digitalis Summer school: Prosopographical data and Cultural networks in the Early Modern Europe - Aurélien Rue...
Bibliotheca Digitalis Summer school: Prosopographical data and Cultural networks in the Early Modern Europe - Aurélien Rue...
Bibliotheca Digitalis Summer school: Prosopographical data and Cultural networks in the Early Modern Europe - Aurélien Rue...
Bibliotheca Digitalis Summer school: Prosopographical data and Cultural networks in the Early Modern Europe - Aurélien Rue...
Bibliotheca Digitalis Summer school: Prosopographical data and Cultural networks in the Early Modern Europe - Aurélien Rue...
Bibliotheca Digitalis Summer school: Prosopographical data and Cultural networks in the Early Modern Europe - Aurélien Rue...
Bibliotheca Digitalis Summer school: Prosopographical data and Cultural networks in the Early Modern Europe - Aurélien Rue...
Bibliotheca Digitalis Summer school: Prosopographical data and Cultural networks in the Early Modern Europe - Aurélien Rue...
Bibliotheca Digitalis Summer school: Prosopographical data and Cultural networks in the Early Modern Europe - Aurélien Rue...
Bibliotheca Digitalis Summer school: Prosopographical data and Cultural networks in the Early Modern Europe - Aurélien Rue...
Bibliotheca Digitalis Summer school: Prosopographical data and Cultural networks in the Early Modern Europe - Aurélien Rue...
Bibliotheca Digitalis Summer school: Prosopographical data and Cultural networks in the Early Modern Europe - Aurélien Rue...
Bibliotheca Digitalis Summer school: Prosopographical data and Cultural networks in the Early Modern Europe - Aurélien Rue...
Bibliotheca Digitalis Summer school: Prosopographical data and Cultural networks in the Early Modern Europe - Aurélien Rue...
Bibliotheca Digitalis Summer school: Prosopographical data and Cultural networks in the Early Modern Europe - Aurélien Rue...
Bibliotheca Digitalis Summer school: Prosopographical data and Cultural networks in the Early Modern Europe - Aurélien Rue...
Bibliotheca Digitalis Summer school: Prosopographical data and Cultural networks in the Early Modern Europe - Aurélien Rue...
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Bibliotheca Digitalis Summer school: Prosopographical data and Cultural networks in the Early Modern Europe - Aurélien Ruellet

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Bibliotheca Digitalis. Reconstitution of Early Modern Cultural Networks. From Primary Source to Data. DARIAH / Biblissima Summer School, 4-8 July 2017, Le Mans, France.

2nd day, July 5th – Establishing Prosopographical data.

Prosopographical data and Cultural networks in the Early Modern Europe.
Aurélien Ruellet – Early Modern History Lecturer, University of Maine, Le Mans.
Abstract: https://bvh.hypotheses.org/3310#conf-ARuellet

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Bibliotheca Digitalis Summer school: Prosopographical data and Cultural networks in the Early Modern Europe - Aurélien Ruellet

  1. 1. Bibliotheca Digitalis Reconstitution of Early Modern Cultural Networks From Primary Source to Data DARIAH / Biblissima Summer School Le Mans, 4-8 July 2017 Prosopographical data & Cultural networks in the Early Modern Europe 2nd day, July 5th – Establishing Prosopographical data Aurélien Ruellet Early Modern History Lecturer, University of Maine, Le Mans
  2. 2. Aurélien Ruellet (Le Mans University) Bibliotheca Digitalis Summer School, July 4‐8, 2017, Le Mans Biblissima / Humanities at Scale
  3. 3.  1. Prosopogaphy & social network analysis  2. The « relational turn »  3. Assessing the soundness of prosopographical data  4. Working with heterogeneous data  5. Making sense of the place  6. Dealing with epistolary networks  7. EMLO: a major achievement  8. Conclusion
  4. 4.  ‘prosopography’ is derived from the Greek ‘prosôpôn‐graphia’ ´(προσπων‐ γραφα), from ‘(to) prosôpon’ and ‘graphia’.   Prosôpon’ is derived from ‘proshoraô’ (πρφοσ‐ρω: to behold) and literally  means ‘face’, ‘that which is beheld’ ;  ‘Graphia’ means ‘description’.  prosopography is the ‘description of  external/material individual characteristics.
  5. 5.  ‘prosopography’ is derived from the Greek ‘prosôpôn‐graphia’ ´(προσπων‐ γραφα), from ‘(to) prosôpon’ and ‘graphia’.   Prosôpon’ is derived from ‘proshoraô’ (πρφοσ‐ρω: to behold) and literally  means ‘face’, ‘that which is beheld’ ;  ‘Graphia’ means ‘description’.  prosopography is the ‘description of  external/material individual characteristics. “Prosopography is the investigation of the common background characteristics of a group of actors in history by means of a collective study of their lives. The method employed is to establish a universe to be studied, and then to ask a set of uniform questions – about birth and death, marriage and family, social origins and inherited economic position, place of residence, education, amount and source of personal wealth, occupation, religion, experience of office, and so on”. Lawrence Stone, “Prosopography”, Daedalus, Vol. 100, No. 1, Historical Studies Today (Winter, 1971), pp. 46‐79.
  6. 6. Set of metrics & specific vocabulary coming from graphs theory. Clusters Density Connectivity Centrality… From the founding fathers Simmel and Durkheim to  the computerized formalization in the 80s Ronald Burt: ‐Toward a Structural Theory  of Action: Network Models of  Social Structure, Perception,  and Action. (1982).  ‐Structure Software
  7. 7. Common broad theoretical grounds: ‐At odds with an atomized view of society (market models theory) where individuals are not reacting to specific ties but to a whole and separate context using a radical free agency. ‐ at odds as well with radically structuralist models were people automatically follow patterns of behaviour according to their position in society. ‐ Both prosopography and SNA go beyond the agency vs structure debate and agree loosely on the meso‐social level as the best way to observe social phenomena.
  8. 8. A few common assumptions: ‐Social networks exist and constitute a ressource for action and a « social capital » which can used by individual to foster their position ‐ Individuals are consciously networking to increase this « social capital » ‐ Networking can challenge social boundaries and traditional hierarchies
  9. 9.  Thinking in terms of « social network » could flatten the social interactions: all relationships in Facebook are labelled « friendship » in an undiscriminating way.  Contentious to historians, especially those dealing with early modern period: ‐ Data sometimes too fragmentary to go through formalization process ‐ Challenges the commonly held narrative about early modern societies: organicist view of society, with strong bounds of solidarity, communal ideal, etc.
  10. 10. Michel Popoff, Prosopographie des gens  du Parlement de Paris (1266‐1753), Paris,  Le Léopard d’Or, 1996. Formal institutions specially suit prosopography…
  11. 11. Abraham Tessereau, Histoire chronologique de la grande chancellerie The Grande Chancellerie
  12. 12. Michael Hunter, « The social basis and changing fortunes of an early scientific institution:  an analysis of the membership of the Royal Society”, 1660‐1685, NRRSL, 1976, 31, pp. 9‐114. The Royal society
  13. 13. David J. Sturdy, Science and Social Status: The Members of the Academie Des Sciences  1666‐1750, Woodbridge, the Boydell Press, 1995. Académie des Sciences de Paris
  14. 14.  HENRY ROGERS an eminent Theologist of his time, a Ministers Son, and a Herefordshire man by birth, was admitted scholar of Jesus Coll. in 1602 aged 18 years, took the degrees in Arts, holy orders, and soon after was cried up for a noted preacher. At length being made Vicar of Dorston in his own Country, and Residentiary of the Cath. Ch. of Hereford, he proceeded in Divinity. This person having several years before fallen into the acquaintance of a Yorkshire man named John Perse alias Fisher a Jesuit, with whom he several times had disputes, the said Fisher did at length without Rogers his consent publish certain matters that had passed between them: whereupon our Author Rogers put out a book entit.  An answer to Mr. Fisher the Jesuit his five propositions concerning Luther, with some passages by way of dialogue between Mr. Rogers and Mr. Fisher‐‐‐printed 1623. qu. to which is annex'd Mr. W. C. his dialogue concerning this question, Where was the Church before Luther? discovering Fisher's folly. Afterwards came out a Reply by Fisher or some other Rom. Cath. which made our Author Rogers to publish,  The protestant Church existent, and their faith professed in all ages and by whom. Lond. 1638. qu. To which is added A catalogue of Counsels in all ages who professed the same. [Note: Clar. 1641. ] What other things he hath written or published I cannot tell, nor any thing else of him, only that, as his Son in Law hath told me by Letters, he was buried under the Parsons seat in the Church of Wellington about four miles distant from the City of Hereford, but when, he added not, or that he was beneficed there. Yet that he died in the time of the civil War, or Usurpation, those of his acquaintance have informed me.  Wood, Anthony à, Athenae Oxonienses an exact history of all the writers  and bishops who have had their education in the most ancient and famous  University of Oxford, 1692. Universities’ biographical catalogs
  15. 15. What about unformal institutions ?
  16. 16. What about unformal institutions ? ‐ Republic of letters ‐ unformal academies (sodalitates,  gatherings…) ‐ specialized cultural fields (« (al)chemists »)
  17. 17. What about unformal institutions ? ‐ Republic of letters ‐ unformal academies (sodalitates,  gatherings…) ‐ specialized cultural fields (« (al)chemists ») ‐ No list of members ‐ Boundaries not precisely defined ‐ membership always contentious
  18. 18.  1. Dates   2. Father  3. Nationality  4. Education  5. Religion   6. Scientific Disciplines   7. Means of Support   8. Patronage   9. Technological Involvement  10. Scientific Societies ‐A web‐hosted catalogue of 16th and 17th century scientists compiled in 1995 by Richard W. Westfall ‐ 631 detailed biographies  built mainly from secondary sources and reference tools (Oxford DNB, Dictionary of  scientific biographies, etc.) ‐ 10 categories
  19. 19.  1. Dates   2. Father  3. Nationality  4. Education  5. Religion   6. Scientific Disciplines   7. Means of Support   8. Patronage   9. Technological Involvement  10. Scientific Societies …More or less all contentious ‐A web‐hosted catalogue of 16th and 17th century scientists compiled in 1995 by Richard W. Westfall ‐ 631 detailed biographies  built mainly from secondary sources and reference tools (Oxford DNB, Dictionary of  scientific biographies, etc.) ‐ 10 categories
  20. 20.  A forerunner in the use of prosopographical data in history of culture  The goal: investigate shift in vocational interest to highlight the expanding interest in scientific endeavours in 17th century  Method: a sampling prosopography based on « the least objectionable source »  the Dictionary of National Biography.  Records « doubtful instances », consults other materials  Raise of science as vocational occupation ; rising prestige of medicine ; relative decline of arts  Movement backed by the increasingly popular puritan values  tendency investigated by the following chapters. so‐called « Merton Thesis ». Whatever works…
  21. 21.  « On the basis of the foregoing study, it may not be too much to conclude that the cultural soil of seventeenth‐century England was peculiarly fertile for the growth and spread of science »
  22. 22.  « On the basis of the foregoing study, it may not be too much to conclude that the cultural soil of seventeenth‐century England was peculiarly fertile for the growth and spread of science » Prosopographical data may be difficult to consolidate. Focus on links and relationships might be equally fragile…
  23. 23.  The case of book dedications William Oughtred, The  circles of proportion  and the horizontall instrument, London,  Thomas Allen, 1632.
  24. 24. Franklin B. Williams, Index of dedications and commendatory verses in English books before 1641, London, Bibliographical Society, 1962. A wealth of information regarding patronage  networks ?
  25. 25.  Numerous dedications « To the King », « to the  Queen » with general discourse  mere prefatory devices ?  Parodic / aggressive dedications  I know no one so worthy of (so fit for) this my dedication, as your self ; it is the usual way of those that make books, to chose a Patron that doth affect the Subject, but contrary to that custom, have I shrouded this my little Lark under your Protection, not doubting but you‘ll trim his feathers, (whether he have need or not) what though you have professed your self an utter enemy to the Subject I treat of, yet my more Christian thoughts will not suffer me to conclude, the Sun shall set, before your wroth be over  John Gadbury, Animal Cornutum, Londres, 1653, f. A3, dedication to Thomas Gataker.  Dedications to administrative bodies or trading companies  “To the right worshipfull Sir Morris Abbott Knight, Governour ; the Worshipfull Chrostopher Cletherow, Deputy, the worthy treasurers and Committies of the Honourable Company of Merchants of London, trading to East Indies”  Thomas Addison, Arithmetical Navigation, Londres, 1625.
  26. 26.  Different state variants and issues of the same edition can bear different dedications ‐ WINGATE, Edmund. L’usage de la reigle de proportion. Paris : Melchior Mondière, 1624 dedicated to  Gaston, duke of Orleans but copy from Sainte‐Geneviève public library (8 V 144 INV 2178) dedicated  to Jacques Alleaume. ‐ Many occurences compiled in Franklin B. William, Index of dedications  How should we treat and formalize these outliers ?
  27. 27. Daniel Browne, A New Almanach and Prognostication for the Yeare of God 1624, London, 1624, f. C2rv. What kind of links can we capture ?
  28. 28. A lazy dedication in France (Didier Henrion)
  29. 29. Lazy dedications in England
  30. 30. Dedications tell us things not so much about  maecenasship networks…
  31. 31. Dedications tell us things not so much about  maecenasship networks… But rather about rhetorical strategies, letter‐ writing models, teaching and bookselling marketplace…
  32. 32. Dedications tell us things not so much about  maecenasship networks… But rather about rhetorical strategies, letter‐ writing models, teaching and bookselling marketplace… Is this source totally discarded for the  investigation of cultural networks ?
  33. 33. Aurélien Ruellet, La Maison de Salomon: contribution à l’histoire du patronage scientifique et technique,  France, Angleterre, ca. 1600‐ca. 1660, Thèse, Tours, 2014, p. 124. Commendatory verses (gray lines) et dedications (black lines) among English astrologers (1630‐1666) without isolated individuals (one‐degree nodes).
  34. 34. Aurélien Ruellet, La Maison de Salomon: contribution à l’histoire du patronage scientifique et technique,  France, Angleterre, ca. 1600‐ca. 1660, Thèse, Tours, 2014, p. 124. Commendatory verses (gray lines) et dedications (black lines) among English astrologers (1630‐1666) without isolated individuals (one‐degree nodes).
  35. 35.  Sir George Wharton, 1st Baronet (4 April 1617 – 12  August 1681)  Astrologer and poet, made a baronet after the  Restoration.  Staunch royalist ; political, anti‐parliamentarian  prophecies ; jailed and fined during the Interregnum ;  lived in Berkshire county.
  36. 36. George Wharton, Calendarium Ecclesiasticum, London, 1657. TITLE DATE  DEDICATEE Hemeroscopeion 1649 Charles I Hemeroscopeion 1650 W.P. [Knight] Hemeroscopeion 1652 Wharton, Thomas Hemeroscopeion 1653 Bakehouse, William Hemeroscopeion 1654 Davies, John [Armigero] Hemerologium 1655 Robinson, John Ephemeris 1655 Wroth, John Calendarium ecclesiasticum 1657 Bishop, William Calendarium ecclesiasticum 1658 Hyde, Francis [Esq.] Calendarium ecclesiasticum 1659 Mason, Robert Calendarium ecclesiasticum 1660 Lewkener, John [Esq.] http://www.british‐history.ac.uk/cal‐treasury‐books/vol9/pp1537‐ 1556#highlight‐first
  37. 37. Wenceslas Hollar, Long View of London from Bankside, 1647.  ‐ A Royal castle ‐ A Prison ‐ Headquarters of the Mint ‐ Headquarters of the Ordnance Office ‐An Armoury
  38. 38. Wenceslas Hollar, Long View of London from Bankside, 1647.  ‐ A Royal castle ‐ A Prison ‐ Headquarters of the Mint ‐ Headquarters of the Ordnance Office ‐An Armoury Henry Percy, 9th earl of Northumberland
  39. 39. Wenceslas Hollar, Long View of London from Bankside, 1647.  ‐ A Royal castle ‐ A Prison ‐ Headquarters of the Mint ‐ Headquarters of the Ordnance Office ‐An Armoury Henry Percy, 9th earl of Northumberland Thomas Aylesbury
  40. 40. Wenceslas Hollar, Long View of London from Bankside, 1647.  ‐ A Royal castle ‐ A Prison ‐ Headquarters of the Mint ‐ Headquarters of the Ordnance Office ‐An Armoury Henry Percy, 9th earl of Northumberland Thomas Aylesbury Robert Norton
  41. 41. Wenceslas Hollar, Long View of London from Bankside, 1647.  ‐ A Royal castle ‐ A Prison ‐ Headquarters of the Mint ‐ Headquarters of the Ordnance Office ‐An Armoury Henry Percy, 9th earl of Northumberland Thomas Aylesbury Robert Norton
  42. 42. Marin Mersenne (1588‐1648) Born in Oizé near Le Mans,  educated in La Flèche,  Minim friar, lived and worked most of his life in the Parisian convent of Place des Vosges Wrote many books on theology,  anti‐protestant controversy,  music theory, mechanics,  mathematics… Animated a vast network of  epistolary correspondence
  43. 43.  More than 1100 letters sent or received by Mersenne, kept in  many libraries across Europe  Most of the « passive » correspondence (i.e. received letters) kept in French National Library.  A fragmentary corpus  Several stages of destruction ‐ Mersenne sorted the letters he has received and probably got rid of some ‐ His friend, and fellow Minim friar Hilarion de Coste, sorted them again after his death and had them bound together in 4  books ‐ In the late 18th century or early 19th century, one of the books  disappeared ; three other ones bought by BnF in 1888.
  44. 44.  Long and painstaking editorial process, from the 1930’s  to the 1980’s  17 volumes ; carefully transcribed, annotated and  commented letters.  Abstracts ; chronological, alphabetical, thematic tables  ; biographies in footnotes…
  45. 45.  Long and painstaking editorial process, from the 1930s  to the 1980s  17 volumes ; carefully transcribed, annotated and  commented letters.  Abstracts ; chronological, alphabetical, thematic tables  ; biographies in footnotes…  Database almost ready !
  46. 46. An ever‐expanding network ?
  47. 47. Younger and younger correspondents
  48. 48. Mapping the correspondence network
  49. 49. Les correspondants de Mersenne, 1625‐1637 Les correspondants de Mersenne  1617‐1624
  50. 50. Pierre Bourdieu, La distinction, critique sociale du jugement. Paris,  Minuit, 1979. 
  51. 51. Pierre Bourdieu, Raisons pratiques,  Paris, Seuil, 1994, p. 21.
  52. 52. Sets of correlation Approximated in a 2‐ dimensions graph
  53. 53.  1 – Individuals  location  2 – University in  the town of the individual ?  3 – demographic rank  4 – country of residence  Social characteristics  5 – difference of age at the time the individual started to exchange letters with Mersenne  6 – religious order ? Cleric ?  7 – noble ?  8 – teacher ?  9 – patronized ?  10 – Government official ?  11 – Cleric ? Cultural properties 12 – religion ? 13 – publications ? 14 – Interest in experimentation ? 15 – Interest in mathematics ? 16 – Interest in music theory ? 17 – Interest in theology ? 18 – Interest in literature ? Relational properties 19 – Le correspondant est‐il lié à  d'autres membres du réseau  Mersenne ?
  54. 54.  Not a social reality…  Because of all pieces of data which are not certain, which are just inferred, which are reconstructed and assumed.  A quite practical and efficient representation of the properties of (some of) the correspondents of Mersenne as they are recorded in the critical edition of his letters.  It only confirms what we already knew: Mersenne was in epistolary communication with various circles which reflect his expanding « network » in the Republic of letters.
  55. 55. New Metadata We aim to create a central repository of sixteenth‐, seventeenth‐, and eighteenth‐century correspondence populated with metadata drawn from the widest variety of sources worldwide, and increasingly representative of the early modern Republic of Letters as a whole. We are pursuing this aim by perimenting with a variety of methods and approaches to metadata aggregation simultaneously: Ingesting the digital catalogues of major scholarly projects in this field and linking through to their digital archives where available; Ingesting the digital catalogues of collections and archives with rich holdings of relevant material; Collecting the digital files of recent and forthcoming printed editions and inventories of correspondence, from which metadata can be extracted efficiently and accurately; Scanning existing printed inventories of correspondence and outsourcing their keying; Piloting controlled crowd‐sourcing of metadata for key correspondences via a distributed community of EMLO Digital Fellows; Publishing digital images of corpora of learned correspondence within EMLO and inviting collaborators to catalogue these letters directly within the editorial interface.
  56. 56.  The network of data is not a social network, but a  reconstructed network of nodes and links based on  occurrences in a sometimes fragmentary and biased documentation  Those links have to be labelled  A network does not have to be about people ; it can be between archival documents, names, places…
  57. 57. Aurélien Ruellet, « Quelques liens entre la communauté réformée parisienne, les  sciences et l’entreprise dans les premières décennies du XVIIe siècle », Revue  d’histoire du protestantisme, janvier 2016.
  58. 58.  The network of data is not a social network, but a  reconstructed network of nodes and links based on  occurrences in a sometimes fragmentary and biased documentation  Those links have to be labelled  A network does not have to be about people ; it can be between archival documents, names, places…  Pitfalls everywhere but formalization helps think about categories, abnormal occurrences and help  refine the conceptual tools.

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