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17th May 2012

Professor Helen Watanabe-O’Kelly launches the Early Modern Festival Books Database

Last Friday evening the Deputy Director of the Bodleian, Dr Richard Ovenden, and Professor Helen Watanabe-O’Kelly, Exeter College Fellow in German, launched the Early Modern Festival Books Database in the Divinity School in Oxford.

The database is a freely available online resource to enable researchers to access more than 3,000 descriptions in 12 languages of early modern festivals at courts and cities throughout Europe. These works are often splendidly illustrated accounts of coronations, christenings and weddings, of tournaments, ballets, and operas, and are a vital source of information for art historians, musicologists and historians of the period.

Professor Watanabe-O’Kelly is principal researcher on the project. She was delighted that Maria Antonia, Archduchess of Austria and Queen of France, better known as Marie-Antoinette, and Maria Amalia, Princess of Saxony and Queen of Naples, condescended to drop in to the launch party (pictured above, with Professor Watanabe-O’Kelly and Dr Richard Ovenden).

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