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Ibero Amer, Like.
It is not easy to complete, and it is costly to have printed, a catalogue of a library of 40.000 volumes; the historical and bibliographical description of the most scarce books contained in such a collection will, however, answer the pur. pose of giving a true idea of it, especially if successive references are made, according to the works described, to what else of interest and value is to be found by the scholar on the shelves of the Library.
The books exposed in the showcases are of very different dates - from the beginning of the sixteenth, to the beginning of the twentieth centuries. They are also of different nature travel relations, natural history and medical treatises, religious and mystical books, political tracts, chronicles, etc.; some of them so rare that only two or three copies are known to exist.
Thanks are due to Mr. Cecil K. Jones, of the Library of Congress, who, with his great knowledge of Ibero-American literature, gave some valuable advice; to Mr. Donald Patterson, also of the Library of Congress, who helped the Assistant Librarian with some of her researches there ; to Mr. Victor Orban, foreign member of the Brazilian Academy, and author of the excellent anthology of Brazilian authors, for his supervision of the printing; and especially to Mr. Edgar Prestage, Camoêns professor at King's College London, frequently quoted in the following pages for his admirable studies on Portuguese history and literature, for his extremely kind revision of the proofs.
<< Paesi Nouamente retrouati. Et Novo Mondo da Alberico Vesputio Florentino intitulado. Stam pato in Vicentia... » 1507.
(10 p.), (338 p.), 19-1/2cm.
Beautiful copy of this most important work; the front page, however, is in facsimile. It is described under no 48 in H. Harrisse's « Bibliotheca Americana Vetustissima», this Americanist describes it as rarissime work»; in fact five copies only are known in the United States. It contains the first printed narrative of the voyage of discovery of Brazil by Pedro Alvares Cabral, and is the second of the oldest collections of voyages, to which it served as a model or type. Its compiler, Montalboddo, was a renowned professor of Vicenza, and the book was successively reprinted and translated.
José Carlos Rodrigues, (« Bibliotheca Brasiliense », p. 433 to 441), explains how that description of the discovery of Brazil came in this collection. The Venetian Admiral Malipiero, the historian of his republic, obtained through the Venetian Ambassadors in Madrid and Lisbon, (although with great difficulty, as those in Portugal who revealed facts concerning the discoveries, incurred the penalty of death), accounts of the first maritime explorations. The relation of the discovery of Brazil was most probably based on the letter of
Pedro Vaz de Caminha, the first document concerning Brazil, written from Porto Seguro to King Dom Manoel. It was composed by the Ambassador himself, Giovanni Mateo Cretico, to be sent to his countryman, Malipiero, for the Libretto di Tutta Navigatione», which he was preparing, and of which only two copies are known, one of them in the Library of St. Mark, in Venice. It arrived too late for that (1504), and Professor Montalboddo was in this way able to use it in his book of 1507, which is, after the original of Caminha's letter in the Torre do Tombo (Portuguese Record Office), the oldest document on that great historical event, the discovery of Portuguese America. Montalboddo's volume also contains the first Italian edition of the third voyage of Americus Vespucius, and the second edition of the first voyages of Columbus, Niño and Pinzon, reprinted from the « Libretto». Rodrigues says that it is not a jewel, but a constellation of jewels».
N° 1 b.
<< Flos Sanctorum », printed by João Pedro de Bonhomini, in Lisbon, in 1513.
(XXXIX p.), FO. CCXXII NUMB. 1., (3 p.), 31cm.
It may be said about this book, that it is a bibliographical treasure, since only two copies have been mentioned in Portugal, one belonging to the biblio