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The shape of the book: from roll to codex (3rd century BC –– 19th century AD)

10 feb 2015

The shape of the book: from roll to codex (3rdcentury B.C.-19th century AD), Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana, 10 February - 27 June 2015
Monday – Saturday 9,30 – 1,30 p.m. (closed: Sundays, April 6th, May 1st, June 24th)

Exhibition Catalogue: Mandragora

Due to the great success of its previous edition in 2008 the Library reproposes the exhibition The shape of the book: from roll to codex (3rd century BC –– 19th century AD)” introducing the general public to the different materials and shapes that written records, and books in particular, have known in time and space: a selection of 40 items kept by the Library is on display here and illustrate book production in the Eastern and Western world from 3rd century BC to the 19th century AD. The exhibition has been divided into two separate sections. The first one comprises material from Antiquity. It offers a virtually complete range: from ostraca to fragments of papyrus rolls with literary, juridical, liturgical and administrative texts; lead and waxed wooden tablets; papyrus and parchment codices; and the fragment of a parchment codex from the 4th century AD. The second section displays items from the Middle Ages onwards. The examples shown come from production centres ranging from the monastic scriptorium of Corbie to the imperial one in Constantinople and to high-quality workshops in Italy (and particularly 15th-century Florence), Europe and Asia, the latter represented by a sumptuous Persian manuscript. The manuscripts also illustrate, with extremely significant examples, the interaction between book format and function.