The historical map of Florence
wasn’t built in a day.

DECIMA is the collaborative product of a dedicated team of researchers from the Department of History and the Centre for Medieval Studies at the University of Toronto. With the help and continued support of a network of international collaborators, DECIMA has continued to grow. Ongoing technical development is made possible thanks to the support of the Information and Instructional Technology Services (IITS) at the University of Toronto.

Below are listed the DECIMA contributors and supporters, and you can also certainly contact us.

Nicholas Terpstra

Nicholas Terpstra

Principal Investigator

I teach renaissance and early modern History at the University of Toronto.  My research lies at the intersections of politics, gender, religion, and charity, and has explored how Renaissance cities handled orphans, abandoned children, criminals, and the poor in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.  One recent book, Cultures of Charity: Women, Politics, and the Reform of Poor Relief in Renaissance Italy (Harvard University Press, 2013) won prizes from the Renaissance Society of America and the American Historical Association. The most recent monograph, Religious Refugees in the Early Modern World:  An Alternative History of the Reformation (Cambridge University Press, 2015) asks how we might re-interpret the Reformation if we recognize it as the time in European history when the religious refugee emerges as a mass phenomenon. My current research into sensory conceptions of space in Renaissance Florence was the impetus for creating DECIMA as a digital tool mapping social, sensory, and built environments.

Colin Rose

Colin Rose

Co-Principal Investigator

I am an historian of early modern Italy, and my research interests focus on how communities constituted and managed themselves in unstable worlds of poverty, precarious work and potential violence. I teach at Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario, where I am Assistant Professor of European and Digital History. As the Lead RA and now Co-Principal Investigator for DECIMA, I have been responsible for overseeing project design and execution, and for GIS cartography. HGIS allows me to better understand the role of physical space, and movement through it, in shaping the daily lives of early modern city dwellers. Whether looking at the residential patterns of particular professions or the prosecution of violent crime, location mattered in early modern Europe, and I am always interested in flexible and dynamic ways to explore the relationships between space, social action and spatial representations of behaviour. I have previously published on the roles HGIS can play in the study of early modern Florentine history, on vendetta and its prosecution in Bologna, and on petitioning in Parma.

Justine Walden

Justine Walden

Post-Doctoral Researcher

My Ph.D. is in History and Renaissance Studies from Yale University (2016). My research is heavily archival-based, and includes social history through the study of books and manuscripts, the construction of orthodoxy in the late 15th century, Renaissance anti-semitism and conceptions of religious ‘others’, and Renaissance letters networks. My dissertation examined the relationship between late medieval religion and the state in late-fifteenth-century Florence through an examination of lively exorcism manuscripts written by Vallombrosan monks. At DECIMA, I am working on visualization, or the transition from two dimensions into three, and on mapping specific sectors, such as the houses of religious orders and areas where Jews lived and worked.

Daniel Jamisomn

Daniel Jamisomn

Lead Research Assistant

I am currently a doctoral candidate in the Centre for Medieval Studies at the University of Toronto, where I specialize in the political and economic history of late medieval Lucca. My dissertation uses the records of the gabella maggiore, the Lucchese customs tax, to contextualize the decision-making process of the city’s fiscal legislators at the end of the fourteenth century. Although my material differs vastly from sixteenth- and seventeenth-century censuses, I have tried to bring my zest for administrative documents to the Florentine ricerche at the core of the DECIMA project. Beginning in 2011, I helped transcribe and encode the 1561/2 data, and I am currently leading a team of RAs working on censuses from 1551 and 1632. My chapter in Mapping Space, Sense, and Movement in Florence focused on the role played by institutional landlords in the urban property market.

Hana Suckstorff

Hana Suckstorff

Research Assistant

I am a PhD student in History at the University of Toronto, where my work examines the relationship between humanism, Neoplatonism, and religion in the Italian Renaissance. Before coming to Toronto, I completed a BA in History from Northwestern University as well as a Masters of Divinity from Duke Divinity School. As part of the DECIMA team, I transcribe and enter data from the 1632 census records to chart who lived where in seventeenth-century Florence following the significant plague of 1630.

Eric Pecile

Eric Pecile

Research Assistant

I am a PhD. student at the University of Toronto. I hold my BA and MA from U of T as well. My dissertation research focuses on fifteenth century Florentine merchants and how social capital played a role in shaping their commercial relations with specific attention as to how it was negotiated. On the DECIMA team I am responsible for the process of 3D visualization of Florence and developing a fully interactive digital urban space.

Steven Teasdale

Steven Teasdale

Research Assistant

I am a PhD candidate in the Department of History at the University of Toronto. My research centers on early modern Genoese merchant networks in the Mediterranean and Atlantic worlds of the fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries, in particular examining the intersections of slavery, banking, commerce and humanism. I am interested in how Genoese merchants interacted with European, African, and Asian communities within the framework of a moral economy predicated on the exchange of social, material, financial and intellectual capital, illustrating the strong connections between early modern Mediterranean and Atlantic worlds. As part of the DECIMA team I am working on transcribing entries from various census documents and developing a robust data model for the project. With regards to digital humanities, I am also involved in the development of a database of Genoese merchants from 1348 to 1528 as well as a portal for the digitized versions of the Rerum Italicarum Scriptores with the ITER gateway team.

Spirit Waite

Spirit Waite

Research Assistant

I am a PhD student in the History Department at the University of Toronto. My main research interest is the relationship between sensory and spatial experience and the confluence of clerical, social and civic religious reforms in early modern Italian cities. On the DECIMA project I work as a researcher, transcribing entries from the manuscript and creating unique digital files for each householder or institution listed in the census.

Jasmine Proteau

Jasmine Proteau

Research Affiliate

I have a BA Honours double major in French and History from the University of Guelph, an MA in History from the University of Ottawa, and a Masters of Museum Studies from the University of Toronto. I have worked with DECIMA as the primary researcher in a project called ‘Guided’ which maps the routes taken by tourist guidebooks through Florence. This project starts with the first guide, written by Francesco Bocchi in 1591, and will grow to include more layers as the project advances. I have also assisted DECIMA with the facilitation and development of the redesigned DECIMA website.

Julia Rombough

Julia Rombough

Research Affiliate

I am a social historian completing my PhD at the University of Toronto. My research examines sound, noise and sensory experiences in early modern Florence. In particular, my work studies the soundscapes of enclosed women’s institutions (convents, asylums and refuges) and the complex religious, civic and social politics which surrounded them. My work as part of the DECIMA team has focused on entering census data on Florentine nuns into the larger map and system. Using this data, we seek to explore the lives of Florentine women asking questions about how they experienced life within the historical city.

Acknowledgements

Computing in the Humanities & Social Sciences (CHASS),
Faculty of Arts & Science, University of Toronto

  • Philip Wright
  • Andreea Georghe

Map and Data Library, University of Toronto Libraries, University of Toronto

Geography and Planning, Faculty of Arts & Science, University of Toronto

Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz / Max-Planck-Institut, Florence

I Tatti, Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies, Florence

Monografik, Toronto

  • Andrew Robinson

Faculty of Information (iSchool), University of Toronto

  • Colin Furness
  • Caeleigh Moffat
  • Liz Murray
  • Hana Nagel
  • Abayomi Osamiluyi

This research was supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada

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