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Cook, Harold

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Harold J. Cook, born in Evanston, Illinois, USA. Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. John F. Nickoll Professor of History, Brown University, Providence.

KB Fellow (1 September 2012 – 31 January 2013)

KNOWLEDGE NETWORKS? COMMUNICATING BY LETTER IN THE 17th CENTURY

The reading, research, and writing I was able to pursue at NIAS and the KB, and the many conversations I was able to have with other early modern historians and others, have been of great benefit to my research. My main interests are two-fold: 1) questions about how knowledge and information could move from place to place via the process of translation; and 2) the relationships between economic development and science (or the "information economy") in early modern Europe. The information I gathered from the Cuper papers in the KB, the reading and conversation around them, and the writing produced from them, will be of fundamental importance to my future research on these topics. There are over 140 volumes of Cuper papers in the KB, with additional ones in the NA, and they illuminate beautifully the connections between the Dutch Republic and the Republic of Letters at the end of the Golden Age. I held my KB Lecture entitled Assessing the Truth: Correspondence and Information at the End of the Golden Age in the Koninklijke Bibliotheek on 16 January 2013.

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