Saskia Limbach

Saskia Limbach

MA (University of Cologne)

Contact Details

Thesis title: 'Government Use of Print in the Holy Roman Empire in the 16th Century'
Supervisor: Prof. Andrew Pettegree

Research interests
My research interest lies in the history of the book, with a focus on books produced in the early modern period. I also have an interest in intellectual and medical history in Europe.

This thesis will focus on the economic importance of single-sheet items (broadsheets) for the German publishing industry in the 16th century. The production and the distribution of such items were essential components of the early modern printing business.  Ephemeral publications such as broadsheets provided printers with much or their most lucrative business. Many were straightforward commissions from the local state and ecclesiastical authorities: proclamations, ordinances or indulgence certificates.  These could be swiftly executed, and were paid for by a single client: the printer had none of the usual problems of distribution and sales associated with the book world.  One can easily see why printers were happy to receive this sort of work, and many depended on it for survival.

I have had the chance to undertake significant preparatory work with a trial survey for my German master’s dissertation. This work raised a number of questions of more general application. Who printed broadsheets and why? Was it common for printers to receive monopolies on printing specific items such as disputations or ordinances? How much broadsheet material was sold commercially and how much distributed free?

‘Tracing Lost Broadsheet Ordinances Printed in Sixteenth-Century Cologne’ in Andrew Pettegree and Flavia Bruni (eds.), Lost Books. Reconstructing the Print World of Pre-Industrial Europe (Leiden, Brill, 2016)
‘Propaganda im Druck - Politische Kommunikation beim 'Armen Konrad' in Peter Rückert (ed.), Der 'Arme Konrad' vor Gericht. Verhöre, Sprüche und Lieder in Württemberg 1514 (Stuttgart, Kohlhammer, 2014), pp. 40-47

Hanno Wijsman, ‘Von der Handschrift zum gedruckten Buch: Ein langer Wandel in der europäischen Buchkultur’ in Christine Beier (ed.), Geschichte der Buchkultur: Gotik (Graz, Adeva, 2016)

Invited Seminar Papers
July 2015 ‘‘Dem gmeinen Nutz unsers Fürstenthumbs zu gut.’ Policeyordnungen und Buchdruck im Herzogtum Württemberg des 16. Jahrhunderts‘, Kolloquium Forschung zur Kulturgeschichte, Universität des Saarlands
May 2015 ‘Amtsdrucke und Policeyordnungen. Der Schlüssel zum Erfolg für die Tübinger Drucker des 16. Jahrhunderts’, Frühneuzeit Kolloquium, Universität Tübingen

Conference Papers
January 2015 ‘Government Use of Print in the Holy Roman Empire in the Sixteenth Century’, Postgraduate Conference, German Historical Institute London
November 2014 ‘Governing the German City. Print, Consent and Oral Culture in the Sixteenth Century’, Reformation Studies Weekend of University of St Andrews and University of Aberdeen, The Burn (Scotland)
September 2014 ‘The Function of Early Modern Ordinances’, German History Society Annual Conference, Maynooth (Ireland)
June 2014 ‘Tracing Lost Broadsheet Ordinances Printed in Sixteenth-Century Cologne’, Lost Books - The St Andrews Book Conference, St Andrews

Grants and Awards
Erasmus Scholarship (2009), University of Cologne
Holbeck Charitable Trust History Scholarship (2012-2015), University of St Andrews
Ph.D. AHRC studentship (2012-2015)
Research Travel Grant, Royal Historical Society (2014)
Research Travel Grant, Bibliographical Society (2014)
University of St Andrews School of History Annual Discretionary Funding (2014, 2015)
Research Travel Grant, German History Society (2015)
Innovation Grant from CAPOD (St Andrews) for the organisation of the workshop: “Illuminating Incunabula” (Taking place in St Andrews, November 2015)

Teaching Experience
Tutor, Early Modern Europe 1450-1770 (MO1007), University of St Andrews (Autumn 2014)