Do seventeenth-century collectors reveal the origins of the texts they copied? If so, how specific are these references (do they supply only the author's name or a proper reference including title and page)? Are readers becoming more aware of the need to give credit to their sources, or is this an idiosyncratic decision, depending on the reader’s personality, gender, age or education?
In this talk, we will meet one reader who was very concerned with crediting his sources, while remaining anonymous himself: David de Moor. We will also witness the other end of the spectrum, with an author who did not mention a single author, but put herself to the fore as the creator of the collection: Margarita Mels. Finally, an anonymous collector can be situated somewhere in between these two: he or she did supply references, albeit very briefly, and put his (or her) name on the cover, albeit in initials. Of course much more research is needed to be able to judge how representative these collectors are. In any case, it is safe to say that there is no ‘growing awareness to give credit’, nor ‘changing attitudes to authorship and ownership’, for the most meticulous collector is also the earliest one, and the most appropriative collector is the later one. The explanation for different systems of referencing should therefore be searched elsewhere: in the profession or education of the collector, or perhaps (related to this) the gender.