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Incunable Collection

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The Kislak Center holds over 560 exemplars of books printed in Europe from movable type before 1501. Sixty-six of these titles are the only recorded copies in North America. These volumes contain texts in religion, philosophy, and ancient and modern literature. This collection group includes includes incunables from the Henry Charles Lea Library and the Yarnall Library of Theology.

Collection strengths

A few notable exemplars include the Aldine Aristotle (Venice 1495-1498), which complements the Department's many other early printed editions of and commentaries on Aristotle, as well as its manuscript commentaries on Aristotle; Boccaccio's De claris mulieribus in German, Von etlichen frowen (Ulm: Johann Zainer, [not before 15 August 1473]), a copy with beautifully hand-colored illustrations; the Inamoramento di Carlo Magno ([Venice:] Georgius Walch, 20 July 1481), one of the only two known surviving copies of this vernacular (Italian) verse romance on the life of Charlemagne; one of two recorded copies in North America of the editio princeps of Horace (Venice, ca. 1471-2); and a number of titles "not in Goff"—not listed, that is, in Incunabula in American Libraries: A Third Census, comp. and ed. Frederick R. Goff (New York 1964)—such as the Summa in virtutes cardinales et vitia illis [con]traria . . . [Paris: Ulrich Gering and Guillermus Maynyal, 16 August 1480] (Hain 15173), a treatise on the virtues and vices that is part of a collection of texts on this subject.

  • Boccaccio, Hie nach volget der kurcz sin von etlichen frowen [German translation of De mulieribus claris]
    Boccaccio, Hie nach volget der kurcz sin von etlichen frowen [German translation of De mulieribus claris], Ulm: Johannes Zainer, [ca. 1474]

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