On the archival rhetoric of inventories: Some records of the Valois Burgundian court

Christina Normore*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


While the value of inventories as sources for data relating to objects is well known, the practical and conceptual implications of their rhetoric have been underestimated. This paper examines the 1404 inventory of Duke Philip the Bold of Burgundy and the 1405 inventory of Duchess Margaret of Flanders, comparing them with each other, with contemporary inventories of Burgundian subjects, and with other forms of accounting. This analysis reveals the highly specific nature of the content and forms of these inventories, together with the important role they performed in consolidating social order and in negotiating moments of transition. The political role of Valois Burgundian inventories in their own time is considered in relation to their modern role as historical monuments, and it is argued that attention to the mediation and selectivity which they display imposes practical limitations on some aspects of their use, while also opening new avenues for research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)215-227
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of the History of Collections
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Conservation
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts
  • Museology

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