The Library of Ulisse Aldrovandi (†1605): Acquiring and Organizing Books in Sixteenth-Century Bologna
- The Library: The Transactions of the Bibliographical Society
- Oxford University Press
- Volume 16, Number 2, June 2015
- pp. 133-161
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This article uses various documents in Bologna’s Biblioteca Universitaria to explore the strategies that Ulisse Aldrovandi used in relation to acquiring books and keeping them in order. The first section is devoted to the physical arrangement of the Bolognese scholar’s library in his home, where it sat in contiguous spaces to his natural museum. This study then examines how Aldrovandi’s collection of books grew, how he managed to keep control over its contents through four different catalogues, and how it fared after his death. The third section outlines his interest in the libraries of other scholars, both in Bologna and elsewhere. Finally, we discuss how Aldrovandi was concerned to grow his library throughout his lifetime, through networks of printers, friends, and former students. Aldrovandi seems to have been particularly interested in the potential of collaborative research to help find books and manage the information they contained.