A book by Laurie Nussdorfer, professor of history and letters, will be discussed Dec. 16 in Rome. Her book, Brokers of Public Trust: Notaries in Early Modern Rome (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2009), examines the emergence of the modern notarial profession — free market scribes responsible for producing original legal documents and their copies.
Nussdorfer chronicles the training of professional notaries and the construction of public archives, explaining why notarial documents exist, who made them, and how they came to be regarded as authoritative evidence. In doing so, she describes a profession of crucial importance to the people and government of the time, as well as to scholars who turn to notarial documents as invaluable and irreplaceable historical sources.
The event is sponsored by the Biblioteca di storia moderna e contemporanea, and the speakers will be Professor Mario Ascheri, historian of law, and Professor Renata Ago, historian of seventeenth-century Rome. The director of the library Simonetta Buttò and the director of the American Academy in Rome Christopher Celenza will also give brief remarks.
Professor Irene Fosi is coordinator the event.