A sack of documents
Object of the Month
Early in the year 1376, a resident of Avignon named Catarina Cabesse, contemplating her impending death, decided to donate her estate to the Almonry of the Carpenters' quarter. It was a momentous year in the history of Avignon, and indeed all Latin Christendom, since it was only a few months later, in September of 1376, that Pope Gregory XI chose to abandon Avignon as the seat of the popes and return to Rome. His death in 1378 launched the Papal Schism that roiled Christendom for decades to...
A cosmopolitan fisherman
Inventory of the Month
On the 7th of June in the year 1394, a Massiliote fisherman (piscator) named Andreas de Garda breathed his last, having made a last will and testament in which he named his wife, his two sons, and his step-son as his universal heirs, each for a fourth part. A month later, his wife Hugueta appeared in court to request permission to compile an inventory of his estate for herself, their two sons, Jacmetus and Ludovicetus, and her son by previous marriage who was named Bertrandus. Andreas had...
Poems of Household Goods: Gendered Inventories of Economic and Social Capital
From the late Middle Ages, peculiar inventories have survived within so-called "poems of household goods." At least twelve of these poems have been handed down in German since the 14th century.✱ Similar poems in French already existed in the 13th century.✱ From today's perspective, they may seem quite strange. Resembling actual inventories, their detailed descriptions of household goods on the one hand give us vivid insights into the material furnishings of late medieval and early modern...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.