Holy Women, Holy Books & the New World Market: The Press of Maria Fernandez in 17th Century Alcala

Karen Weaver
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Maria Fernandez (fl.1640-1671), was the widow of printer Antonio Vazquez (fl. 1632-1643), and University Printer at Alcala de Henares during much of the 17th century. For many years the University of Alcala, just outside of Madrid, was considered the most important center of humanistic learning in Golden Age Spain. Founded by Cardinal Cisneros, and receiving the patronage of the Kings of Spain, the University of Alcala was best known for printing the famous Complutensian Polyglot Bible. Recent bibliographical & historical scholarship continues to shed new light on the role of women in religious convents, missionary orders emigrating to the New World who were first trained in Spain, also fueled new demands for religious books. Royal and religious patronage, dedications, special printers marks and her book sellers are considered. While associated mostly for her printing at the University of Alcala, Maria Fernandez was also the aunt of a mystical Beata or holy woman who helped raise her young children and may have influenced her to found a convent for poor girls.

Keywords: History of the Book, Printing History, Cultural Heritage, Women Printers, Spanish Bibliography
Stream: Publishing
Presentation Type: Virtual Presentation in English
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Karen Weaver

Adjunct Faculty, I-School, College of Information Science & Technology, Drexel University &  Duquesne University, Gumberg Library
Pittsburgh, PA, USA

Karen Weaver has an MLS from the University at Albany, NY Rockefeller College of Information Science & Policy, & BA in History/French from Hunter College, City University of New York. She has attended doctoral study at the University of Pittsburgh and currently an Adjunct Faculty at Drexel University I-School in Philadelphia PA where she currently teaches graduate courses in Cataloging & Classification. She has experience in archives, libraries & museums for many years including the Morgan Library, the American Museum of Natural History Library, Carnegie Museum, Franklin Roosevelt Museum & Presidential Library, & Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, working with electronic/digital resource collections. She has a growing interest in conservation & improving bibliographic access to special collections, archives, rare books & manuscripts, and has attended Rare Book School at the University of Virginia. In addition to Maria Fernandez, she is researching several women involved in early printing, and recently received a Historical research grant from the Printing Historical Society, London.

Ref: B07P0099