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 at the University of Toronto and the Department of History at Brock University. 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.
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.
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 Associate 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.
Post-Doctoral Researcher, 2018-present
I hold a doctorate from the Centre for Medieval Studies at the University of Toronto, where I specialized in the political and economic history of late medieval Lucca. My dissertation used 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.
Communications Manager, Research Assistant
I am a doctoral candidate in the University of Toronto’s Department of History. My work utilizes sensory, social, and emotional history, focusing on the relationship between popular culture and the civic rituals of public execution in 15th and 16th century Venice and London. I completed a BA in Medieval Studies at the University of Toronto, and a Masters in Medieval Studies at the University of Toronto’s Centre for Medieval studies. On the DECIMA team I work as a researcher and filmmaker, transcribing entries from 17th century census documents and creating videos to increase public engagement.
I am beginning my doctoral studies at the University of Toronto’s History department. My research interests center around broader histories of gender and sexuality, bodily history, sensory history, and the history of medicine and health. In my PhD, I plan to examine histories of reproductive and sexual health, with a particular interest in gynaecological practices in premodern Tuscany.
I completed my PhD in the Department of History at the University of Toronto in 2022. My research centered 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. As part of the DECIMA team I have worked on transcribing entries from various census documents and developing a robust data model for the project. I was 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.
Emeritus DECIMA Researchers
I am a PhD student at the University of Toronto’s Centre for Medieval Studies, where I also completed my MA. Before moving to Toronto, I graduated with a BA in History and French from Simon Fraser University. At the Centre, my research focuses on the intersection of material culture and lay religiosity in late medieval and Renaissance Bologna. I am particularly interested in exploring the extent to which objects drove Bolognese poor relief and in turn fostered and consolidated communal bonds. As a DECIMA research assistant, I am tasked with transcribing data from a seventeenth-century tax census taken in Livorno and populating a database. This data will facilitate the creation of a 3D, interactive map of seventeenth-century Livorno.
I am an undergraduate geography student at the University of Waterloo specialising in geomatics. I represented Canada twice at the International Geography Olympiad, placing third worldwide in 2019. I am passionate about investigating history through a spatial lens using digital tools and maps, and over the pandemic I acquired an extensive background in GIS, web development, and database design to facilitate this interest. Previous projects of mine include the Bayfield Historical Web Map, which I created for my local museum in 2021, and the Local History Atlas of Canada, an ongoing project which I launched in June of 2022. I am very excited to be joining the DECIMA project as a co-op student for the fall semester of 2022.
Post-Doctoral Researcher, 2016-2018
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 worked 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.
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 am currently enrolled in a doctoral programme at Oxford University. 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.
I completed my doctorate at the University of Toronto in 2019 and am currently an assistant professor at Cape Breton University. 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.
The Archivio di Stato di Firenze
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
- Andrew Robinson
Faculty of Information (iSchool), University of Toronto
- Colin Furness
- Caeleigh Moffat
- Liz Murray
- Hana Nagel
- Abayomi Osamiluyi
- Michael Luubert
- Krista Amolins
- David Kossowsky
This project is supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada
Archivio di Stato di Firenze
Archivio di Stato di Livorno