Colloquium: Digitized Research Methods for Solving Pseudonymity

Noster TheophilusTo close out the first academic year of the Junius Institute Colloquium series, Dr. Ted Van Raalte of the Canadian Reformed Theological Seminary gave us an inside look at the research method pursued in his discovery of the identities behind a pseudonymous publisher in the 1580s. His findings were published as “‘Noster Theophilus’: The Fictitious ‘Printer’ Whose Anti-Jesuit Volumes Issued from Various Presses in Geneva between 1580 and 1589,” Bibliothèque d’Humanisme et Renaissance 74, no. 3 (2012): 569-91.

Here is a screencast of Dr. Van Raalte’s presentation from May 9, 2013, “Digitized Research Methods for Solving Pseudonymity: A New Discovery of Ten Volumes Printed under a Fictitious Name and Place in the 1580s.”

And for those with a deeper interest in these sorts of studies, the journal Quarendo has recently published an investigation of the identity of Spinoza’s printer.

Digital Research Is Not Optional


Church History

“We believe that the newer technology, understood broadly, is no longer optional. The scholar who neglects current technological advances in the manipulation and accessing of sources puts himself or herself in the position of the student who refuses to adopt the methodological advances of the Enlightenment; they become, by definition, precritical. The areas in which students can safely ignore the new methods and source mediums are becoming fewer, and even those scholars working in areas as yet untouched by this technology can still benefit from an exposure to the conceptual elegance of unimpeded research, and exhaustive, near-perfect bibliographies.”

–James E. Bradley and Richard A. Muller, Church History: An Introduction to Research, Reference Works, and Methods (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1995), p. 74.