Early Books & MSS. in Strasbourg

Catalogus Librorum Impressorum [& Codicum Manuscriptorum] in Bibliotheca…Ordinis Sancti Johannis Hierosolymitani asservatorum Argentorati, ordine alphabetico, nova grataque methodo contextus a Johannes Nicolao Weislinger.

4 p.l., 262, [4] pp.; 56, [8] pp. Two parts in one vol. Folio, cont. sheep (upper joint cracked but strong, three corners somewhat worn, minor foxing), vellum lettering piece on spine. Strasbourg: typis S. Kürsner, 1749.

[bound after]:

WEISLINGER, Johann Nikolaus. Armamentarium Catholicum perantiquæ, rarissimæ ac pretiosissimæ Bibliothecæ, quæ asservatur Argentorati in…commenda…ordinis Melitensis Sancti Johannis Hierosolymitani…Notis…interspersis illustratum ex ejusmodi libris, qui ab anno Christi M. CCCC. LXIII. ordine chronologico prodierunt usque ad annum M.D. XXII. quo prodiit primò Martini Lutheri Novum Testamentum… Engraved frontis. port. of the author. Title printed in red & black. 16 p.l., 824, [30] pp., one leaf of errata. Small folio (final leaves of index with some dampstaining). Strasbourg: J.F. Le Roux, 1749.

I. The catalogue of the printed books and manuscripts in the library of Strasbourg’s St. John’s Commandery; this is the best and only record of the contents of the library. The library was originally located in the former monastery of the Trinity at Grünen Wörth, of which the Order of St. John of Jerusalem (or Johannites) took possession in 1371, thanks to the funds provided by the Strasbourg patrician and mystic Rulman Merswin. The Order of St. John (the Knights of Malta) organized a system of commanderies throughout Europe during the medieval and early modern period.

Although a prestigious commandery, it was expelled in 1633 as it became necessary to strengthen city fortifications at that site. In 1687, the order found a new home in the old monastery of St. Mark; in 1789 the Revolution put an end to the community and brought about the dispersion of its wealth.

The library was clearly formed largely before 1600, and the vast majority of the ca. 6000 titles listed are 15th and 16th century. The library also had an important collection of early manuscripts, here compiled by Johann Jacob Witter; about 2000 are listed in the second part.

As we learn from the title-page, the arrangement of books is alphabetical, with columns for author, title and format, place of publication and date, printer, and shelf-mark.

II. This bibliography, here also compiled by Weislinger (1691-1755), a Catholic polemical writer, was written to champion the Roman church. He gives extensive polemical criticism of Luther’s Bible and works of the early Protestants. Besterman 5043-44 considers it to be the first bibliography of printing in Strasbourg, describing about 500 early printed books.

Very good copies.

Price: $2,500.00

Item ID: 6664