Index Bibliothecae. Francesco BARBERINI, Cardinal.
Index Bibliothecae...

Index Bibliothecae...

Engraved vignette on title & another — emblematic — vignette on final leaf of Vol. II. 2 p.l., 646 pp., one leaf with the Barberini arms, otherwise blank; 2 p.l., 596 pp. Two vols. Folio, cont. vellum over boards. Rome: Typis Barberinis, Excudebat M. Hercules, 1681.

The rare catalogue of the vast library created by the enormously rich Cardinal Francesco Barberini (1597-1679), a great patron of the arts due to his status as one of the chief beneficiaries of the exorbitant nepotism practiced by his uncle Pope Urban VIII. The cardinal built a rich library at the Palazzo Barberini which included ancient Greek and Roman manuscripts, and he supported numerous European intellectuals, scholars, scientists and artists including Jean Morin, Gabriel Naudé, Gerhard Johann Vossius, Heinsius and John Milton.

“The Barberini library, which was catalogued in 1681 (the catalogue of manuscripts that was to form the third volume was never published), remained in private hands until 1902, when it passed into the Vatican library. Such acquisitions of private libraries by institutions are especially characteristic of Italian library history. The Barberini catalogue has enjoyed a special importance because it is a rather early and very large book and appears to have been widely circulated.”–Taylor, Book Catalogues, p. 23. Taylor describes this catalogue as “virtually unobtainable” (p. 228) and considers it an important work in bibliographical history (p. 129). The catalogue is alphabetically arranged and contains more than 60,000 books.

Barberini’s catalogue was for many years one of the principal bibliographical reference works at the disposal of scholars, second in rank only to Thomas Hyde’s third catalogue of the Bodleian Library (1674) with which it shared the then revolutionary alphabetical arrangement under the authors’ surnames, but was richer in books printed in Italy.

This catalogue is truly rare on the market.

A very fine set.

❧ Ottino & Fumagalli 3701. Peignot, p. 79. Pollard & Ehrman, pp. 262 & 263.

Price: $22,500.00

Item ID: 2593

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