Laurent Ferri

We recently had the opportunity to speak with Laurent Ferri, Curator of the pre-1800 Collections Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, at Cornell University. RBD: Within the scope of your definition of a book [“a closed/bound container of ideas and symbols which reflects and supports the intentions and worldview of its “author(s)”], what are some […]

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The production of richly illuminated manuscripts continued well after the invention of the printing press. A good example of their value for research in cultural history, in particular the history of portraits1 , is provided by the sumptuous manuscript of Petrarch’s poems in Italian (4648 Bd. Ms 24+) produced in Florence around 1465-70 and acquired […]

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One of the most beautiful art journals ever printed was Ver Sacrum, published in Vienna from 1898 to 1903. Ver Sacrum was a team effort led by Gustav Klimt, who was the first president of the Vereinigung Bildender Künstler Österreichs, the Viennese avant-garde movement, with offshoots in Paris, Brussels, and Munich. Born in Vienna in […]

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The Lombard Gradual

by Laurent Ferri on March 21, 2014

Rare Books Digest is pleased to host Laurent Ferri, Curator of Pre-1800 Collections at Cornell University Library’s Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, presenting the Lombard Gradual. Graduals are large books from which choirs of monks, friars, or nuns chanted prayers and portions of the mass during medieval times. This Latin manuscript on vellum originated […]

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Books of inventions are a little-known category of Renaissance books: an excellent example is the 1578 the Théâtre des Instruments Mathématiques et Mécaniques de Jacques Besson, Dauphinois, Docte Mathématicien, published for the first time in 1571 or 1572 (Cornell University, Kroch Library, Division of Rare Books and Manuscripts, History of Science TJ144 B55 1578++). Born […]

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It is never easy to deliver a new idea, a new invention, or a new product. In his famed article, “Is Google Making us Stupid?”[1] Nicholas Carr notes that Guttenberg’s invention was met with anxiety by many, who worried that “cheaply printed books would undermine religious authority, demean the work of scholars and scribes, and spread […]

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