An inventory in an inventory
Object of the Month
Johannes Casse was one of Marseille's most famous merchant-patricians of the second half of the fourteenth century. When he died in 1391 after a long and eventful life, he left an extensive estate to his widow, Raynauda, for her life. When she died, his assets were to be transferred to the Hospital of Saint-Jacques-de-Gallice. A parchment instrument of the inventory was drawn up and preserved in the records of the hospital, where it was studied in 1907 by Henri Villard for his biography of...
Inside a Brothel
Inventory of the Month
The sale of sex in late medieval Marseille was legal, although not respectable, and the city’s statutes mandated that sex workers ply their trade in licensed brothels. The beds, mattresses, multiple blankets, and bed curtains (cortina) in the inventory make plain the central economic engine of the house. With only the curtains separating the beds from each other, there was little investment in hiding that work. The witnesses in this comanda agreement showcase the close relationship between...
When Jehan de Graincourt, the master of the school attached to the collegiate church of Saint-Amé in Douai, in Flanders, died in 1451, he left a favorite item of clothing to a poor student: "to Haquin from Bailleux, currently wearing the cloak of the Bons-Enfants, a black houppelande which the deceased wore every day" (a Haquin de Bailleux pour lors portant le cappe des Bons Enfans une noire houpplande que portoit ledit deffunct a toute jour).✱ The student's friend Lyonnel, apparently not...READ MORE
ALME is a collaborative, cross-disciplinary project that seeks to increase our understanding of Europe’s material horizons during the later Middle Ages, an era when changing patterns of production and consumption altered the material world and transformed the relationship between people and things.
DALME has developed a novel methodology that focuses on the extraction of information about material culture from documentary sources, such as household or estate inventories, in a manner that makes it possible to seamlessly integrate textual objects with their tangible counterparts from archaeological excavations and museum collections.
Drawing upon cross-disciplinary practice and advances in digital scholarship, the project aims to make vast amounts of material culture accessible online as open, well-structured and machine-actionable datasets readily amenable to computational analysis, together with the necessary tools, standards, and documentation to enable new research and facilitate dissemination.
Based in the Department of History at Harvard University, DALME brings together a growing network of researchers from institutions across the US and Europe.
We are grateful to the following organizations for supporting the project.