Collection News / Penn Libraries

Early European Books: Biblotheque Nationale de France

This product is the fifth collection of Early European Books that the Library has purchased.  This is the first collection to include material from the Bibliotheque Nationale; earlier collections have material from the Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Firenze, the Koninklijke Bibliotheek, the Wellcome Library and the Kongelige Bibliotek.

This collection is distinguished by its wealth of French-language content, including original works, as well as translations from classical literature and contemporary works in other languages.  It has strengths in editions of classical texts such as Homer, Aristotle, Virgil and Cicero as well as contemporary texts, including works of La Fontaine, Giordano Bruno, Savonarola, Pascal and Descartes.  Topics covered include science, medicine, alchemy, politics, agriculture and French regional folklore.

The database features full-colour, high-resolution (400 ppi) facsimile images scanned directly from the original printed sources.  Each item is captured in its entirety, complete with its binding, edges, endpapers, blank pages and any loose inserts, providing scholars with a wealth of information about the physical characteristics and provenance histories of the original artifacts.



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