Every Tuesday, we share photographs from our recent or long-ago travels, or just everyday stuff that appealed to our mindful eye and sharp sensibilities as captured through fleeting images.
Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana in Firenze (Florence), Italy
I saw this library featured in the New York Times as part of “The Hidden Treasures in Italian Libraries.” And so, while I was in Florence with my family, last year, we made sure that we visited the place.
Designed by Michelangelo, the interior of the library was described as “austere.” While we did not have time to go inside, I took lots of photos of the courtyard that is also part of the Parrocchia di San Lorenzo.
It took us awhile to get to this place, mainly because we got lost. But it was truly worth the trek. Even just outside of the edifice itself, I was in awe.
According to their official website:
The Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana, belonging to the Italian Ministero dei Beni e delle Attività Culturali e del Turismo is an international research library specializing in the conservation and study of its manuscript and rare book collections.
The library has a collection of nearly 11,000 manuscripts, and specializes in rare manuscripts.
Also from their official website:
Amongst the treasures of the Laurenziana are listed some of the most ancient or unique manuscripts containing Tacitus, Pliny, Aeschylus, Sophocles and Quintilian, the codex of Vergil, corrected in 494 by Turcius Rufius Apronianus Asterius, and the oldest extant copy of Justinian’s Corpus Iuris, copied just after its promulgation.
The Laurenziana also preserves one of the three complete collections of Plato’s Dialogi in so called carta bona, given by Cosimo the Elder to Marsilio Ficino to translate, the Squarcialupi codex, the only existing source for the study of profane music between the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, some autographs of Petrarch and Boccaccio, the Storie by Guicciardini with notes by the author as well as the autograph biography of Benvenuto Cellini.
The papyri collection, which counts around 2,500 items, is certainly an unusual sight amongst Italian and foreign libraries alike. It’s origin can be ascribed to the various campaigns which Italian papyrologists organized in Egypt at the beginning of the twentieth century.
This definitely counts as one of the highlights of our trip, while we were in Florence, Italy.