The Antwerp
Printing Industry Through The Ages

An online, curated and linked knowledge graph of data on producers involved in the book printing industry in Antwerp from 1481 until the present day.

the producers

A knowledge graph with data on printers, engravers, booksellers and many others. Not complete but work in progress!

the trades

A knowledge graph of professions and company types that, all together, form the industry. Not complete but work in progress!

the houses

A knowledge graph of Antwerp houses and streets, past and present. Not complete but work in progress!

Watch the introductory video here:

Click on the image to watch a general introduction by TAPITTA’s founder Guido Thys.

Play Video
The history

The missing catalogue

Collectors are a weird species in more than one respect, one of their more peculiar oddities being that they are equally interested in what is missing in their collection as in the objects that are.
In short, they want to browse through catalogues in order to gauge the completeness of their collection.
Book collector Guido Thys is one of them. When he couldn’t find a catalogue of Antwerp printers, he built one.

The content

A unique collection
of data

Information on the Antwerp printing industry is uniquely abundant… but scattered over thousands of publications and dozens of databases. As more and more data are becoming available online through digitisation, TAPITTA goes one step further: by offering a platform to bring all these bits and pieces together, it makes research a lot more efficient. And that is what digitalisation is all about.

The format

Unique technology

Graph databases are designed to render relationships between data in the most efficient way. Neo4j and its SQL-like programming language Cypher were used as a platform. It is the technology underlying the work of the investigative journalists of the Panama Papers.


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