On the occasion of Saint George’s Day, the UB Sponsors program launches its micro-patronage campaign Sponsor a Book , aiming to raise funds to restore three unique editions from the Rare Book and Manuscript CRAI Library of the UB. The current challenge is to gather 5,950 euros to pay for the restoration tasks for these three unique pieces, selected by CRAI: Dictionnaire de chifres et de lettres ornées, by Jean-Henri-Prosper Pouget (Paris: Tilliard, 1767); De arte gymnastica libri sex, by Girolamo Mercuriale (Venice: Lucantonio Giunta, 1587), and Homer’s Odyssey, (Geneva: Jean Crespin, 1567).
The campaign wants to continue and the university plans on choosing three documents from the University’s bibliographic and documentary heritage every year, coinciding with Saint George’s Day, to be restored. Donations can be made through this
One of the chosen pieces for this campaign is Jean-Henri-Propsper Pouget’s Dictionnaire de chifres et de lettres ornées (Paris: Tilliard, 1767). Pouget was a prestigious jeweller, engraver and ornament designer and this piece presents a collection of his designs in 241 chalcographic pages where monograms cover the first part. Used to mark a property or to identify the creator of a certain object, these were very popular during the 18th century and were mainly engraved in jewels, crockery, upholstery, furniture, armour pieces, bags or book bindings. A set of colored capital letters with ornaments featuring human, plant and animal motives stand out.
According to the Catálogo Colectivo del Patrimonio Bibliográfico Español, this is the only copy in Spain. The final cost of the restoration of this piece is budgeted at 2,600 euros and includes, among other things, the document’s cleaning tasks, repairing bookworm damage, re-sizing and flattening, apart from the restoration of the original bindings and creation of a conservation case. ;
The CRAI library has also chosen De arte gymnastic libri sex (Venice: Lucantonio Giunta, 1587), by the doctor with humanist and philological vocation Girolamo Mercuriale (1530-1601), who also knew good Latin and Greek. His interest in ancient medical literature led him to spend long hours in libraries and Roman museums. These where the places that led him to work on what today is the first treatise on sports medicine: De arte gymnastica. The copy to be now restored is its third edition, illustrated with beautiful engravings by Cristoforo Coriolano, which were made using Pirrio Ligorio’s drawings, evocating strength and agility exercises and skills from the classical world, which feature comments on health benefits. The restoration project, valued in 2,200 euros, includes the document’s cleaning task, bookworm damage repairing, re-sizing and full flattening, apart from the restoration and original parchment bindings and the creation of a conservation case.
Last, this campaign will restore the 1567 edition of Homer’s Odyssey, by the printer Jean Crespin, born in Arras (France) and who lived in Geneva after leaving his country due to his support for Protestantism. This is a bilingual edition in Greek and Latin and is presented in a small format (16o). The volume is decorated with elegant borders and initials that characterize the Genevan workshop. The cost of the restoration is budgeted at 1,150 euros, and it includes, like the previous pieces, the document’s cleaning tasks, bookworm damage repairing, re-sizing and full flattening, apart from the restoration of the original parchment bindings and the creation of a conservation case.