Colloquium – “The Vatican Library: the Making and Unmaking of its Collections”

The fall 2015 colloquium series opens October 21, 2015, with Dr. Massimo Ceresa, and “The Vatican Library: the Making and Unmaking of its Collections.”

Abstract: Since the fifteenth century, the Vatican Library has enriched its collections through acquisitions, gifts, or annexations. From the beginning, collectors of major libraries entrusted them to the Vatican as gifts, while in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, state laws favored the acquisition of monastic and religious libraries. In the twentieth century, impoverished noble families often sold off their collections to Library. At the same time, however, the Vatican Library collections suffered considerable losses due to its position as the papal library and its international reputation as a treasure trove of incomparable riches. This lecture aims to show how, through gains and losses, the collection stands in its current form.

About the speaker: Dr. Massimo Ceresa recently retired as Reference Librarian from the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, where he worked for 40 years. He is the author of numerous articles and books on the history of printed books and of libraries. His recent book is an edited volume entitled, La Biblioteca Vaticana tra riforma cattolica, crescita delle collezioni e nuovo edificio (1535-1590) (Città del Vaticano, 2012), the second in the series, Storia della Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, for which he won the Premio Borghese in 2014. For many years he taught at the Vatican Library School and the University of Tor Vergata (Roma 2), one of Rome’s three universities. He currently serves as Adjunct Professor in the Department of History at the Catholic University of America where he teaches a course on the “History of the Book.”

The event will get under way at 6 PM in the Byron Auditorium, Room 204, in the Columbus School of Law.  All are welcome. Please contact David Shumaker by October 14 to request disability accommodations.

Flyer (pdf)

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