Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Rare Book School at the University of Virginia - NYTimes.com

Rare Book School at the University of Virginia - NYTimes.com


Jessica Pigza, an assistant curator for the New York Public Library's Rare Book Division, uses a magnifying glass to determine the type of leather used on a book cover.
  CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — On a steamy morning last week Mark Dimunation, the chief of the rare book and special collections division at the Library of Congress, was in a windowless basement room here at the University of Virginia, leading a dozen people in a bibliophile’s version of the wave.
He lined up the group and handed each person a sheet of copier paper with a syllable written on it. After a few halting practice runs — “Hip-na-rah-toe ...” — the group successfully shouted out, “ ‘Hypnerotomachia Poliphili,’ 1499!”
The phrase wasn’t an incantation ripped from the pages of a lost Dan Brown novel, but the title and publication date of a long erotic love poem printed in Venice by Aldus Manutius and often described as one of the weirdest and most beautiful books ever produced. Read more

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