The library of the Centre Culturel Irlandais holds hundreds of fifteenth- and sixteenth-century printed books from all over Europe. Initially collected by private individuals, they made their way into Parisian institutional libraries over the following centuries before being gathered in this library. The volumes bear the marks of the often complex journeys that led them here. By examining them carefully it is possible to recreate the world of their previous owners. How were books collected in the Renaissance? How did people seek to preserve them for future generations? How were the volumes transformed by successive owners? What can we say of the sometimes tumultuous journeys that they undertook over the centuries? Malcolm Walsby, a book historian, will answer these questions by uncovering the intricate story of these volumes. By analysing the clues left on the bindings and in the books, he will shed new light on the lives of Renaissance books and on those who used them.
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