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EMBLEM BOOKS

  • In the Autumn 1977 issue of the Chronicle, the Princeton Emblem Bibliography project was announced. The project involves the census of emblem books at Princeton (and elsewhere), as well as several other related projects.

    The Project is described in detail by William S. Heckscher's article, and includes compiling a list of mottoes which are cross-referenced to their original source, building up an exhaustive listing of secondary materials on emblem-books, etc. (Note: This latter list is now published and available for purchase. A reference copy is in the Kane (Munger) Room.) Checklists of emblem books in other university libraries are being collected, and kept up to date. See: William S. Heckscher, "The Princeton Emblem Bibliography. A Progress Report" in the Princeton University Library Chronicle XL, 2 (Winter, 1979) pp. 188-190 [ full text] .

    The census has located more than 800 emblem books in various Princeton collections as well as in the Speer Library (Princeton Theological Seminary), and the Institute for Advanced Study. There are 51 Alciati editions at Princeton, including the 1531 (first) edition of Emblematum Liber. An early task of the project was the annotation of the following bibliography for holdings at Princeton. Mario Praz. Studies in Seventeenth Century Imagery. Second edition. (Rome, 1964) [(ExB) N7710. P89].

    The first fruit of the Project is now available. It is the Emblem Books in the Princeton University Library -- A Short Title Catalogue. Published in December, 1984, the printed catalogue has over 105 pages, containing 801 entries and 5 indexes giving access to the books by place, date and other circumstances of publication. A permanent reference copy is shelved in the Munger (Kane) Room.

    A major addition was made to the Princeton collection in 1956 with the gift of Mr. Sylvain S. Brunschwig of some 50 volumes. Twelve are various editions and translations of Alciati's Emblematum Liber. The gift is described in the following article: Howard C. Rice, "More Emblem-Books" in the Princeton University Library Chronicle XVIII, 2 (Winter, 1957) pp. 77-83 [full text] . In the Princeton University Library Chronicle see the section titled Recent Acquisitions for materials acquired during the prior academic year.

    Further references: The Graver and the Pen: Renaissance Emblems and their Ramifications; Catalogue of the Exhibition held in the Princeton University Library. (Princeton, 1954). [(ExB) 0639.739. no. 12]. [full text] . This catalogue is in typescript form; 165 volumes are listed and described, with photographs and illustrative material bound in.

    Also see: William S. Heckscher, "Renaissance Emblems: Observations Suggested by Some Emblem-Books in the Princeton University Library" in the Princeton University Library Chronicle XV, 2 (Winter 1954) pp. 55-68 [full text] . Professor Heckscher states that the Library "...harbors an exceptionally fine collection of emblem-books." Also see: William S. Heckscher, "Heliotropes and Romantic Ruins. Recent Emblematic Acquisitions" in the Princeton University Library Chronicle XLV, 1 (Autumn, 1983) pp. 33-40 [ full text] .

       See also the entry: ALCIATI, ANDREA in this Guide.

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