The first steps of my work consisted of analyzing the book “Theatrum Machinarum Molarium” by Johann Matthias Beyer more deeply and extracting a list of keywords (such as “mill”, “mill order”, “law of mills“, “machine“, “paper mill“, “mill construction”,…).
Then it was time to make use of the search engines provided. First I tried working with Xenotheka which could not bless me with useful information. I entered my keywords without much success. Either it couldn’t find any connections or it spat out seemingly unrelated articles. It repeatedly showed me “A History of Future Cities” by Brook and “the city of tomorrow” by LeCorbusier. These are undoubtedly interesting books, but they have very little in common with “Theatrum Machinarum Molarium”.
I continued my research on Alice where I found more results. There were many texts that had the word “mill” in it, interestingly most of them were biblical or otherwise christian texts. under “mill architecture” I finally caught a logical connection. It was “The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci” by Edward MacCurdy, which entails thoughts about technologies from Da Vinci, some of them about mills.
After changing Alice’s brain to the Xenotheka Library I finally found another match: “Art in Theory 1648-1815” by Harrison Wood Gaiger. This book is a collection of theories of arts and architecture from 1648 to 1815. There are many articles about the technology and beauty of contemporary mills in it.