During the 17th and the 18th centuries, the Venetian guild of printers and booksellers did not represent all the world of books. Relations, ties, conflicts and solutions between corporate bodies and «contraffacenti» (non-guild members or those who worked outside their professional class) have been reconstructed through archival research for a period of over two hundred years. This was a constant cohabitation - imposed on some guild-members, but for others a useful source of cooperation - that led to the development of complementary systems of book production and trade. The fact that laws were issued by both the State and the guild left workers room to practice, experiment and illegally. In this essay the author analyzes people who learned trade their job without necessarily following the training required by the guild and, in most cases, managed to get into the publishing market.
Keywords: Guilds; Venice; 17th-18th century; printers; booksellers; illicit workers