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Early Italian Collection

6,000 items

An extremely valuable collection of early Italian books, including three 15th century editions of Dante's Divina Commedia - the Vendelin da Spira edition from Venice in 1477, and the first illustrated edition of Landino's commentary produced by Nicolo di Lorenzo in Florence in 1481, and the first fully illustrated edition of 1491 from Pietro di Piasi in Venice - and 34 other editions printed before 1600, including two copies of the first Aldine edition of 1502, together with one of the most complete series of editions of Castiglione's Il Libro del Cortegiano extant (see more on Castiglione). The important Dante collection now totalling over 5,000 volumes is based on the original bequest of Dr Henry Clark Barlow in 1876. It has been supplemented by other Dante editions from the Morris Library, Mocatta Library, the Whitley Stokes collection, the Sir John Rotton Library, the Sir Herbert Thompson collection presented in 1921, which contained two incunabula, and 1500 books belonging to Huxley St John Brooks purchased in 1949. The Castiglione collection also came from Thompson and contains five Aldine editions between 1528 and 1547. Barlow's papers, only recently fully catalogued, were found to contain a fascinating collection of travel journals, sketchbooks, and diaries accumulated over many years as well as letters and research papers, providing an unrivalled source of material for Dante and Italian studies.

Handlist: J. Golden, A list of the papers and correspondence of Henry Clark Barlow, M.D. (London,1985)