INVENTION and DISCOVERY:
Printed Books from Fifteenth-Century Europe
An Exhibition at Bridwell Library, February 1 – May 3, 2010
|FIFTEENTH-CENTURY LIBRARIANS AT WORK||
38. THOMAS À KEMPIS (1380–1471). Imitatio Christi. [With:] JEAN GERSON (1363–1429. De Meditatione cordis. [Ulm: Johann Zainer], 1487.
The Imitatio Christi (“Imitation of Christ”) is one of the most influential devotional manuals in the history of the Christian faith. First printed in 1473, it appeared in at least 80 editions during the fifteenth century. Over the subsequent centuries it has been translated into nearly every language, and it is still widely read today.
This copy of the Imitatio Christi
once belonged to Adolf Rusch (fl. 1470–1489), a highly successful printer in
Strasbourg and a bookseller of international importance. The first blank
leaf bears an inscription that lists the contents and states that the book
was donated to the Carthusian monastery of St. Margaretental in Basel by
“the venerable master Adolf Rusch, citizen of Strasbourg.” The inscription
was entered by the monastery’s librarian, Jakob Louber, along with the
book’s original shelf mark, “I/iii.” The fifteenth-century catalogue of St.
Margaretental’s library and its register of donors (both still preserved at
Basel University) likewise record Rusch’s donation, and that the book was
shelved third in cabinet I, reserved for the monastery’s small-format books.
may not be published without the permission of Bridwell Library.