For the last few years we have been recataloguing our Aldine collection (books printed by Aldus Manutius and his heirs), which now numbers about 2000 volumes. By the end of the project all books will have detailed descriptions on the library catalogue, following internationally recognised standards for rare books cataloguing, including information on editors, translators, inscriptions, annotations, previous owners, bindings and reference to the standard bibliographies. We will be holding an exhibition – Merchants of Print: From Venice to Manchester, from February to June 2015 to celebrate the life and work of Aldus Manutius and five hundred years of collecting his books.
We are also very excited to be a part of the ‘Books and Beasts’ project which will take material bibliography in an exciting new and profound direction – into the identification of the variety of animal skins used in the production of medieval and renaissance books, not only in their bindings, but also in their text blocks. Our current project ‘Venetian Vellum?’ is focused specifically on Venice and in particular Aldine editions printed on parchment of which there are a significant number in the John Rylands Library.
We have recently started a blog which will highlight special and interesting copies in our collections as well as provide updates and information on the exhibition and our Venetian Vellum project. Please do forward this information to anyone you think might also be interested.
If you are so inclined you can also join us on facebook and twitter.
The Manchester Project Team