Archives and Book Culture in Early Modern Florence

It was a pleasure to participate in the Archives and Book Culture in Early Modern Florence seminar organized jointly by MAP, the Medici Archive Project, and ISI Florence on June 10 – 15, 2019.

Biblioteca Riccardiana, Sala di Direzione

Together with Prof. Stefano Baldassarri, I escorted an enthusiastic group of postgraduate students to the Biblioteca Riccardiana and the Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale to consult a selection of manuscripts.

Biblioteca Riccardiana

These works ranged from Ugolino Verino‘s autograph of his epic Carlias to the magnificent presentation copy of the same poem for King Charles VIII of France; dedication manuscripts of a poem for Pope Leo X and autograph volumes by Ficino, Bruni, and Poliziano. The highlight, however, was a deluxe volume of inscriptions compiled by Fra Giocondo, written by his friend Bartolomeo Sanvito and once owned by Palla Rucellai.

Biblioteca Nazionale di Firenze

Our library visits were supplemented with a practical seminar on compositorial errors encountered in early printed books with special emphasis given to the typographical problems in the First Folio of Shakespeare’s works (1623): a special addition to an otherwise packed program which I hope will be repeated in the near future.


Paul GWYNNE, Ph.D.
Professor of Medieval and Renaissance Studies
Director, Interdisciplinary Studies, The American University of Rome