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Rare Book Collections: Facsimiles



A "facsimile" edition of a manuscript is literally the result of the attempt to "make [a copy] like" the original, usually by photographic reproduction. However, to produce the 1786 facsimile edition of the Codex Alexandrinus, made before the invention of photography, a special set of type was created, to reproduce in print all the letter forms of the original manuscript. And the modern deluxe facsimile of the Book of Kells recreates not just the individual folios of this biblical manuscript with the full-color medieval illuminations, but also the same details of binding that the original has.

Gonzaga University owns a generous number of facsimile editions of ancient and medieval manuscripts of classical, liturgical, and biblical texts, including both of those just mentioned. Many of these facsimiles are in The Gonzaga Collection. In addition, several sophisticated research tools are housed in Special Collections. A partial list is given here. Unless otherwise indicated, the works are in Special Collections. For additional works, use the Foley library online catalog to search for "facsimile facsim. Faksimile facs. faks." [any of these] as KEYWORD ANYWHERE. To restrict your search to Special Collections, use the "Add Limit" option.

Facsimile editions:

a. Classical text:

     Il codice mediceo di Virgilio...

b. Biblical texts:

     Bibliorum Sacrorum graecus Codex vaticanus

     Codex Sinaiticvs ... [1911 facsimile]

     Codex Sinaiticvs ... [1922 facsimile]

     Rabbula Gospels (586) in Syriac

     Book of Kells, 3 vols.

     The Leningrad Codex [Hebrew], the oldest complete Hebrew Bible extant

     The Four Gospels from the Munich ms. (q.)...

     Novum Testamentum Graecum, e codice Ms. Alexandrino..., 5 vols.

     Codex 1 of the Gospels and its allies [in the stacks of the general collection]

     The Gutenberg Bible (1454)

c. Liturgical texts:

     Le codex 121 de la Bibliothèque d’Einsiedeln ... [1st floor Oversize]

     Les principaux manuscrits de chant ... [1st floor Oversize]

     Cantorium de Saint-Gall [1st floor Oversize]

     The Medici Codex of 1518 [general collection]

d. Art texts

     Les tres riches heures de Duc de Berry

     William Blake’s The Book of Thel (1789)

e. Literary texts:

     Boccaccio’s De casibus illustrium virorum (1520).

     Agostino Dati’s study of Cicero (1479)

     Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales,

              both the Hengwrt Manuscript (c. 1400) and

              the first collected edition, printed 1532.

     Middle English works by Caxton and Wynken de Worde (1477, 1496, 1500)

     Milton’s poems (1645)

     Gerard Manley Hopkins later poetic manuscripts

f. Historical documents and works

     Nuremburg Chronicle (1493)

     Christopher Columbus, his own book of privileges, 1502

     Thomas Jefferson’s autograph manuscript of the Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth.

     original journals of the Lewis and Clark expedition

     several works pertaining to the Jesuit Missions in the Pacific Northwest and to Native American language and history of the region.

g. Research Tools

     E. A. Lowe, Codices latini antiquiores, a masterful twelve-volume collection of facsimile portions from Carolingian manuscripts (SPEC COLL Z114.C677).

     "History of the Art of Writing" with 200 facsimiles reproduced from manuscripts and inscriptions.