Bibliotheca bibliothecarum manuscriptorum nova. 2 vols., folio
Paris: Briasson, 1739. Montfaucon, Bernard de (1655-1741). Bibliotheca bibliothecarum manuscriptorum nova . . . 2 vols., folio. , ccli, 708; , 709-1669pp. Paris: Briasson, 1739. 390 x 250 mm. Blind-stamped vellum ca. 1739, leather spine labels, vellum on spines cracked and peeling with some loss in Vol. 2, light soiling. Occasional faint foxing but very good. Bookplate of the Ramsgate Monastery in each volume. $ First Edition of the first continent-wide union catalogue of manuscripts, compiled by Bernard de Montfaucon, a scholar and Benedictine monk best known for founding the discipline of paleography with his Palaeographia Graeca (1708; see Printing and the Mind of Man 175). The 1669-page Bibliotheca bibliothecarum catalogued all the manuscript libraries in France and Italy with which Montfaucon was familiar, as well as a few in Germany, the Netherlands and England. Its emphasis was on medieval and Renaissance texts. Montfaucon began with a list of all the libraries, institutional and private, for which he published holdings. These included the well-known collections and those of medieval monasteries such as Bobbio, Corbie and Fulda, as well as lesser-known monastic libraries. This was followed by a 250-page index of authors and codices, and then with a list of the manuscript contents of libraries by country beginning with Italy and the Vatican Library. The work ended with another 160-page index of authors and "rerum" (things). The comprehensive indices make it possible to locate manuscript texts by author and subject. As such it remains the most useful tool for checking the distribution of manuscript texts in European libraries, and their survival in institutions up to the first third of the eighteenth century. $3750.
(Inventory #: 42504)
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