A Diplomatic Narrative in the Archive: The War of Cyprus, Record Keeping Practices and Historical Research in the Early Modern Venetian Chancery

Just as critical approaches to diplomatic records should be mindful of their form and physicality, so too must they consider the context of their initial storage, preservation, and arrangement within a wider collection of texts. The recent ‘archival turn’ in historical studies has illustrated the pivotal role of record keeping institutions in the transmission of historical information across the centuries, and how their physical and organisational structures dictate the relationship between the historian and their sources. This paper focuses on the Secret Chancery of the Republic of Venice, and its role in shaping contemporary historical narratives of the outbreak of the War of Cyprus in 1570. It demonstrates that changes in record keeping practices corresponded with a shift in historical paradigms, by analysing how individual dispatches were organised and relayed from the archive by state historians to the reading public; and it examines the early development of the diplomatic record from a political tool into a historical and cultural artefact.

Link: earlymoderndiplomacyevents.wordpress.com/2019/01/31/fabio-antonini-birkbeck-college-university-of-london-a-diplomatic-narrative-in-the-archive-the-war-of-cyprus-record-keeping-practices-and-historical-research-in-the-early-moder