Decree Establishing the Venetian Guild of Printers and Booksellers, Venice (1549)

Source: Venice, Archivio di Stato: ASV, CX, Com, reg. 18, 197v-198r.

Decree Establishing the Venetian Guild of Printers and Booksellers, Venice (1549), Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900), eds L. Bently & M. Kretschmer,

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Full title:
Decree of the Council of Ten Establishing the Venetian Guild of Printers and Booksellers

Full title original language:

Decree chartering the establishment of the Guild of Printers and Booksellers. It provided that all those concerned with printing or selling books should join in the corporation, which would restore order within the trade and offer some assistance to the Three Deputies over Heresy in policing the authors and printers of unauthorized writings. In addition to providing for censorship, the establishment of the Guild was also a further measure (after Decrees of 1517, 1527 and 1545) to regulate the printing trade in order to restore the commercial importance of the Venetian book trade by standardizing and improving its procedures. However, the commentary argues that the Guild's regulations were not rigidly enforced and the censoring of the book trade continued to rely upon the governmental decrees and proclamations. In fact, the Guild was not granted the exclusive control over published works until 1603 when it finally secured the right to grant and register copyrights.

1 Commentary:

  • Mackenney, Richard. Tradesmen and Traders: The World of the Guilds in Venice and Europe, c. 1250-c. 1650 (London: Croom Helm, 1987).

  • Infelise, Mario. 'Gli editori veneziani del secondo Cinquecento', in Da Pozzo (ed.), La ragione e l'arte, 27-33.

  • Hirsch, Rudolf, Printing, Selling and Reading, 1450-1550 (Wiesbaden: Harrasowitz, 1967).

  • Chechetti, Bartolomeo. 'Stampatori e librari', Archivio Veneto 29 (1885)

  • Brown, Horatio Fortini, The Venetian Printing Press 1469-1800: An Historical Study Based upon Documents for the Most Part Hitherto Unpublished (London: John C. Nimmo, 1891).

Related documents in this database:
1618: Book trade regulations and incorporation of the Parisian book trade
1545: Venetian Decree on Author-Printer Relations
1549: Statutes of the Venetian Guild of Printers and Booksellers
1557: Stationers' Charter

Author: N/A

Publisher: N/A

Year: 1549

Location: Venice

Language: Italian

Source: Venice, Archivio di Stato: ASV, CX, Com, reg. 18, 197v-198r.

Persons referred to:

Places referred to:

Cases referred to:

Institutions referred to:
Venetian Council of Ten

Venetian decree establishing the 'Università di Stampatori e Librai' (1549)

Università di Stampatori e Librai (Venetian Guild of Printers and Booksellers)
guild regulation
immoral works
public good

Responsible editor: Joanna Kostylo

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