Dissertation Project

I am working in the field of newspaper history. I have conducted research within libraries in order to build up a complete and up-to-date bibliography for all printed newspapers between 1605 and 1620. I used this data for my master’s thesis that dealt with the production and the consumption of newspapers; this brought to light the fact that Dutch newspapers were read in a very different way from German newspapers because of their distinctive typographical design.
My PhD research expands this coverage to the entire 17th century. My intention is to explore how readers integrated newspapers into their everyday lives. I want to focus on the general reading public, since more is known about newspaper consumption among the social elites. My research prompts the following questions:

  • In which circumstances was it worthwhile for the common man in seventeenth century to be informed?
  • Why was it more likely for readers to turn towards newspapers instead of consulting other media?
  • Is the need for newspaper constant throughout the whole period or do political or economic events have an impact on newspaper reading?
  • How did the standardization of newspaper typography shape the reading process of newspaper? Do different modes of reading develop?
  • Is change caused by popular demand or led by printers seeking to find the most appropriate form for their content?

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