The Plantin Press Online
Christophe Plantin was born near the French town of Tours, probably around 1520. After working in Caen and Paris he moved to Antwerp, then one of the most important commercial cities in Europe, where he established a successful publishing house. In 1576, he purchased a building on the Vrijdagmarkt where his family and descendants lived and worked for three hundred years. The last owner, Edward Moretus, sold the house to the City of Antwerp in 1876 and it is now the Plantin-Moretus Museum, the building and its contents on the UNESCO World Heritage list.
Since 1876 successive Museum Directors have researched and published on different aspects of the Plantin-Moretus firm. Max Rooses, the first Director, edited Plantin’s correspondence and wrote the first history of Plantin and the publishing house (1919 French edition). Perhaps the most enduring work is the six-volume bibliography of the Plantin Press compiled by Leon Voet (Director 1950-1982) and Jenny Voet-Grisolle.
The Museum, in collaboration with Brill publishing, have now launched an online open access research tool, based on the Plantin Press bibliography. As well as detailed information on all publications printed and/or published by Plantin (in Antwerp and Leiden) this incorporates the latest bibliographical findings and corrections to the print edition. It includes references to typographical material, woodblock and copperplate collections, correspondence, and the Plantin archive still preserved in Museum Plantin-Moretus in Antwerp, as well as links to digital reproductions and references to recent research. The dataset has been and will be continuously updated and complemented by scholars working on Christophe Plantin and his printed legacy.
Julianne Simpson, Council Member