Reading like something from a Borges text, the New York Times has reported on a the theft of thousands of volumes from the Girolamini Library in Naples by the former director, Marino Massimo De Caro. In fact, De Caro quoted Borges's Ficciones during his trial in what history may prove to be the very first defense by way of deconstruction, but that's for another blog post.
About a year ago we blogged about the first volume to be printed in Venice by Aldus Manutius. I return to this most celebrated of printers today, with a later book from his press that we hold in three copies.
Another work in Greek, the Epistolae diversorum philosophorum, oratorum, rhetorum sex et viginti is a collection of the correspondence of various Greek philosophers and orators, including Plato, Aristotle, Demosthenes, Apollonius and Pythagoras (although much of the authorship is now cited as "pseudo").
If you've never delved into the publishing history of Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass (I had not, until recently), it can be quite an interesting and involved pursuit. One small, but very fine part of the story is represented by one of the several editions of the book that may be found in Special Collections.
In 1881, some twenty-six years after the first edition of…
There is no friend as loyal as a book.
— Ernest Hemingway
Let’s define “a good weekend.” It includes a Saturday during which you get to freely roam through fully stocked rare book dealer booths from rare book dealers from across the nation and some of Europe.
Why is that so awesome? Because you get carte blanche to hold, smell and admire more rare books than you’d get to anywhere else.
I am pleased to report that the first 100 incunabula (books printed before 1501) from the Cardiff Rare Books Collection have now been now been added to Cardiff University's online library catalogue as part of the ongoing rare books project. We are lucky to hold nearly 200 of these books dating from the first 50 years of printing and each one is being fully catalogued, recording all the copy-specific details which turn each of these earliest books into a unique historical artefact.
A cursory glance across 17th and 18th Century German esoteric tracts reveals a great fondness for impenetrable diagrams, symbols and to be honest, some quite bonkers looking cosmology. Influenced by the works of their own Heinrich Khunrath and mystic apprentice shoemaker Jakob Böhme ( Jacob Boehme or any other number of versions; his name has as many different spellings as cabala, kabbalah, qab...
As cataloguing of our early printed books continues, I have been discovering more and more manicules in the margins. These wonderful little pointy hands, so useful for early readers to draw attention to important text, have been turning up in books from the 1470s right up to the 1700s, in ever-more varied forms.
Our copy of Gilbert Burnet's An exposition of the Thirty-nine articles of the Church of England…