This year's John Seltzer and Mark Seltzer Memorial Lecture, delivered by Margaret E. Schotte's via Zoom on Thursday November 5, is now available online on the Fisher's YouTube channel, or by clicking on the video below.
Her lecture, titled "For Merchants and Mariners: The Business of Nautical Manuals," focused on the 16th and 17th centuries, which saw an explosion of printed manuals dedicated to the science of navigation. But it took some time before there was a sizeable audience for such a technical subject.
In this talk, Dr. Schotte explored the diverse marketing strategies used by Dutch, English, and Spanish publishers to attract readers. In certain regions, sailors were viewed as too illiterate to buy books, but in others, they were the expert authors. As this lecture demonstrated, booksellers, publishers and authors alike worked to develop robust markets across maritime Europe, ultimately profiting from the spread of new nautical knowledge.
Dr. Schotte, who worked for a number of years in the antiquarian book trade, is currently an associate professor of history at York University. She teaches courses on early modern history, science, and the history of the book.