Pictures and History of One of the Oldest Book in our Library

| October 27, 2011

While compiling a list of books that were published before the 1700s, I came across a record in EDUCAT of what I believe is the oldest item in the Gottesman Library. If anyone can find an older item than this one, then by all means feel free to blog about it here. Now before looking at the pictures, read up on a little history of the library’s oldest book.

The date that this book was published was December 16 1499, it is titled De nuptiis Philologiae et Mercurii de gramatica, the publisher was Henricus de Sancto Ursio and it was published in Vicenza, Italy. The author Martianus Minneus Felix Capella was a pagan writer and an early developer of the system of the seven liberal arts that structured medieval education.

The title is Latin and part of it translates to “On the Marriage of Philolgy and Mercury”, it seems that this book is part of a set of encyclopedic books. I think this particular book might deal with grammar although I might be wrong I’ve never really brushed up on Latin. Now that you know a little more about the book, here are some pictures of the item itself:

Here’s the spine of the protective cover for the item:

The call number we have for the book, it’s not a Library of Congress number but we’ll have that for it soon:

The actual cover:

The spine:

Some notes on the first blank page:

Very first page:

The middle of the book:

The very last page: