Too Much to Know
An examination that aims to incorporate intellectual history and material studies – and that may ultimately fall into the space between them (ah, yes, a gap in the literature). Focuses on works of reference (see chapter on genres) and how ‘scholars’ (how are they to be defined? how is a scholar different from an author? an amateur? is it necessary to distinguish? Probably not) in Early Modern Europe managed large amounts of information (i.e. on different slips of paper that are either copied or cut from their point of origin – see the chapters on note-taking and compilers). While there is a clear connection between the two topics, the book starts out by emphasizing the human element (behavior/culture), but switches midway through to center the works of reference (the data). Wide-ranging and intellectually rigorous, with an impressive bibliography, it is also clear in its presentation – and its limitations. An invaluable reference.