A Tool of Monumental Scope & Practical Reliability
Bibliotheca Instituta et Collecta Primum…deinde in Epitomen redacta & novorum Librorum accessiones locupletata, iam vero postremo recognita, & in duplum post priores editiones aucta, per Josiam Simlerum…
Woodcut printer’s device on title. 6 p.l. (last a blank), 691,  pp. Thick folio, cont. vellum over boards (single wormhole in upper outer blank corner starting at p. 551-end), traces of ties. Zurich: C. Froschauer, 1574.
Second edition of Gesner’s Bibliotheca Universalis, issued for the first time with this title, and edited by the author’s younger friend, Josias Simler (1530-76). Our edition has been greatly enlarged and revised; it now includes approximately 35,000 titles.
“Gessner’s Bibliotheca universalis is not only a bibliography in the true sense of the term, nor is it merely a more or less comprehensive description of books, listing title, place and date of publication, and publisher. What distinguishes this work over and against the later extracts (Epitomes) and makes it a unique document of the Renaissance resides in the indications relating to the work, life, and significance of the individual authors. The Bibliotheca is, e.g. in the case of Zwingli, Calvin, and Gessner himself, even today a biographical source of considerable value. Thus the Bibliotheca may be seen also as a work of universal biography, a lexicon of writers, such as had never previously existed…”–Hans Fischer, “Conrad Gesner (1516-1565) as Bibliographer and Encyclopedist” in The Library, 5th Series, Vol. XXI (1966), pp. 269-81.
A nice copy with some interesting contemporary annotations. Lightly browned or foxed. This copy is quite unusual: the final leaf PP6 in this copy is blank. In what seems to be a later, corrected issue, the entry for Theodor Zwinger, overlooked in the initial printing, has been printed on the upper half of the recto of PP6.
❧ Besterman, The Beginnings of Systematic Bibliography, pp. 15-21. Grolier Club, Bibliography, 14–(1st ed. of 1545). Printing & the Mind of Man 73–(1st ed.). Wellisch A 16.5.a-d.
Item ID: 5107