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Rare Books

Rare Book Division
Firestone Library
One Washington Road
Princeton, NJ 08540
Curator of Rare Books

The Library's holdings of rare books in Italian literature include about 1000 volumes in the Richardson classification section of the General Rare Book Collection alone [(Ex) 3110-3139]. Scattered among these thousand and elsewhere are many important early printed books. The Library has the first edition (Strasbourg, 1474-75) of Boccaccio's De casibus virorum illustrium (The Fate of Illustrious Men). The Scheide Library has the first edition of Castiglione's Il libro del cortegiano (Book of the Courtier), published in Venice in 1528. Princeton also has the first edition (Florence, 1481) of Dante's Divina commedia with Landino's commentary as well as its famous illustrations [(ExI) 3127.33.11f]. This incunable augments a strong collection of Dante held by the Library. As well, the Library has a copy of one of the early editions of Torquato Tasso's Gerusalemme liberata published in Ferrara in 1581.