Rare books and the Franciscan special collection in Ostra Vetere

I enjoy using the British Library‘s Incunabula Short Title Catalogue (ISTC). If you know Le Marche, try typing in the name of a comune and see what comes up. Ostra Vetere has 80 incunabula. That’s about¬† one for 42 inhabitants. You can also find some amusement in seeing what other large and famous libraries have copies of little Ostra Vetere’s books: Bodley and the British Library have copies of Marchesinus’ 1489 Mammotrectus.

Mammotrectus; Nuremburg, 1489
Marchesinus, Johannes,. Mammotrectus super Bibliam. (Nuremberg: George Stuchs, 24 January 1489). Quarto. Notes on the copy: Cardinal’s coat-of-arms, coloured, on the frontispiece. Frati Minori .

The library also has a 1481 Mammotrectus, printed in Milan by Leonardus Pachel and Uldericus Scinzenzeler,¬† but I couldn’t photograph it as it wasn’t on display. In fact they hadn’t displayed any other incunabula.

Ostra Vetere’s collection of antiquarian books derives from the Frati Minori, or Franciscan Friars Minor, whose collection the comune took over at the time of the unification of Italy, when many religious houses were suppressed, as happened in Mondavio. As you would expect,the friars had many medical books, for they were expected to doctor the townsfolk. In my previous post I showed you one book by Jean Fernel, and here is another.

Jean Fernel Medicina
Jean Fernel Medicina