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Galileo Galilei

Legacy Libraries

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Aug 5, 2013, 2:37pm Top

I've come across a listing for the books Galileo held in his library at Villa il Gioiello in Pisa, indentified from inherritance records by the Galilean scholar Antonio Favaro. He lists 500 - 600 books in both Italian and Latin. Some of the books have even survived and are held by the Library of Florence.

It makes for an interesting read, and would also help fill out the 17th century / scientist catagories so I've started cataloging the books at Galileo Galilei.

Aug 5, 2013, 2:43pm Top

Wonderful. If you need any help just give a holler. Both my Latin and my Italian are rusty, but I think I can still manage typing out entries.

Aug 5, 2013, 2:58pm Top

Oooh, nice one!

Aug 5, 2013, 6:12pm Top

Thanks Matt, though it seems pretty straight forward.

The inherritance records give the titles or general descriptions of the books, possible or definite dates, but not a single author. There'll be a lot of googling towards the end for those, otherwise a library of 'sine loco' and 'sine nomine's, the words of failure.

Also, thanks for the lifetime status Jeremy. You've saved me a begging e-mail :)

Aug 7, 2013, 10:39am Top

Looking forward to this one!

Sep 2, 2013, 3:19pm Top

I've finished cataloguing Galileo's library. It includes all the volumes identified to date as being from his personal library, one that was considerably large at the time. The works are taken from the inheritance records and from Galileo's correspondence so there are errors in the spelling, notably the Latin. I've left these in for posterity. All other typographical errors can be attributed to me :)

In the catalogue I've provided links to the digitised images of those particular works where possible. They link to the Museo Galileo, a primary resource for all things Galilean. I've also gone through several books and included a small history of what happened to the library after his death. It went through some turbulent times.

There's very little evidence to suggest that Galileo inherited a large book collection, so it's interesting to think that his library was purpose-built. It's very much a working library, with of course an emphasis on the sciences.

I'll be coming back to this soon once I've gathered enough information for a bio on how his library was formed, and if I can find details of the marginalia.

Edited: Sep 3, 2013, 9:23am Top

Fabulous work, much appreciated, ColmGuerin!

ETA I see I share 3 titles with Galileo, always interesting to me as the titles are necessarily old and I do not in any sense specialise in either science or classical works.

Sep 4, 2013, 12:02pm Top

Thanks elenchus :)

Ha, that's pretty cool. I had hopes for this one, but unfortunately I only share Dante's Comedy.

Sep 4, 2013, 12:04pm Top


Sep 4, 2013, 12:11pm Top

Yeah, I love this one. I also share Don Quixote with him, which is great fun!

Sep 4, 2013, 12:23pm Top

Don Quixote and Palladio's Four books on Architecture for me.

Great work Colm.

Jan 15, 2014, 12:22pm Top

In the 3rd graf of the bio, I think "a project that ever materialised" should be "...never materialised".

Jan 17, 2014, 5:50am Top

Thanks Muscogulus. Well spotted, and now fixed :)

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