Object of the Month
In a Florentine household inventory from 1391, we find a large chest with two clasps or locks (1 cassone a due serrame) located in the entryway of a house belonging to the estate of Allexandro dell'Antella. Several treasured items were stored in the chest, among them two capoletti or decorative fabric panels (singular, capoletto) which would presumably have been affixed at the head (capo) of the bed (letto) for decorative purposes. Capoletti might also be understood more generally as...
The woman merchant, Resens Cambale
Inventory of the Month
Resens Cambale, also known in Latin by the name "Rixendis," was one of Marseille's great women-merchants of the early fifteenth century. The archives preserve a number of notarial acts and court cases arising from her activities. When she died in 1410, her estate passed to her grand-daughter, Jacmoneta, the daughter of her deceased son, Jacme. Immediately after the inventory was made, the little girl's guardian and step-father did something unusual: he auctioned off elements of Resens's...
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.