The Vatican Library in Andrea Fulvio’s De bibliothecis antiquis: a new model of librarian reality

Diego Baldi

Abstract


The publication of the Antiquaria Urbis in 1513 and Antiquitates Urbis in 1527 by Andrea Fulvio was important for the emerging history of libraries. Both of these books were inspired by the De mirabilibus Urbis by Francesco Albertini, so, as the pamphlet of the florentine priest did, they reserved a specific chapter to the ancient libraries. In these chapters Fulvio shows important new concepts, such as the etymological definition of the noun bibliotheca and the identification of a historical continuity among the Greek libraries, those in ancient Rome and the Vatican library. The story of the Scholars’ expedition and the designation of the Vatican library as the heir of the ancient libraries are important parts of a innovative model of ideal library proposed by Fulvio. The scholar shows that a modern library have to be active, not only a guardian of the tradition, and its main task should be building culture thanks to its books. In his masterpiece, therefore, the scholar not only identifies some of the key points of the reflection about libraries, but, pointing to the Vatican library as the supreme example for the contemporary libraries, anticipates much of tasks and features that the same library later would claim as its own.

Keywords


Andrea Fulvio; Francesco Albertini; Vatican Library; Sistine Hall; History of Libraries

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DOI: 10.6092/issn.2283-9364/5794

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