Archived Landscapes and Archival Landscapes: Architectures of Political Record-Keeping in Early Modern Western Europe, 1450-1700
The materiality of pre-digital documentary sources means that their preservation and organization in archives involved at least two simultaneous and separate architectonic contexts. Archivists sought to place physical documents within ordered spaces in a legible way; at the same time, as conveyers of information, documents were equally part of larger conceptual architectures, which were often spatially conceived in early modern Europe. This talk builds on the seminal contributions of Peter Rück, who captured this duality with the term “ideal-topographical”, but will move beyond the mapping relationships that Rück identified as the most common way of ordering archives from the 14th to 17th centuries. Examining several notable creations of dedicated archival architecture, from 15th century Savoy to Simancas to the Haus- und Hofarchiv in Vienna in the 1740s, it will examine how the architecture of physical archives provided for but also constrained landscapes of domainal space by projecting them onto archival containers. In doing so, archiving supported shifting architectures of dominion by providing a stable site where such landscapes could be delineated and differentiated, as in the production of maps or cadasters.
The talk is part of the lecture series Built Order: Spaces of Power and will be held in English and virtually. The event will be recorded and will be available on our website afterwards.