Monday, 29 October 2012

The Medici Family Libraries...

This is now...

This week it's time to have a look at the Medici family library today. I did a bit of research on the family library as it stands in this day and age last week, so I am going to start from the Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana. I want to explore how the current records can be accessed today, what kind of exhibitions are available and what are some of the revolutionary records in the collection that continue to charm and beguile the world. I will also like to have a look for some different kinds of media, so the journey begins.

Firstly, I thought it would be important to research what is accessible today in the Medici Library and how one to gain access to records. From the Library website you can view the very comprehensive access and service page.

This page is an essential read if you are interested in taking your research to the Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana, which is located in Piazza San Lorenzo - Firenze. Due to the specific nature of the holdings, Access is generally only for scholars who can prove they are over 18 years and conducting scientific research requiring access to manuscripts or rare books. To view the originals you need to obtain a 'reader pass' by justifying your research, but never fear, a complete set of Black and White microfiche of most of the originals are freely available.

Obtaining a reader pass is pretty strict, including provision of photo Identification, Application form and academic recommendation letters. If the required documents are then pronounced as available, you will be advised when the required records will be available for viewing. You will only be able to view up 10 items per day. It is also important to read up on the Library's 'how to pay royalties' pages, which discuss payment required for copyright and reproductions.

There are also digital resources available through the online catalogue, but unfortunately, this will not help you if you, like me, cannot speak or write Italian.

The website also has a nice Exhibition and Activities page, with historical exhibition information as well as up and coming. For example, from the 26th October 2012 until the 22nd June 2013 the Library has a new exhibition, Letters from far away - The Medici Printing House between Rome and the East. The exhibition is focuses on Eastern manuscripts of the Library which illustrates their history and close connection to the Medici Printing House. 

Exhibition - Letters from Far Away

I decided to do a search about the content of the Laurentian library, hopefully in documentary form, so I took my search over to the grand database of 'YouTube'. Using the search phrases of 'Laurentian library collection'. I was faced with 66 results. The video's were quite a mix, with most discussing the architecture and design by Michelangelo and others to do with the Laurentian university in Ontario. These videos aside, I found an interesting christian conspiracy theory in relation to the Tacitus Manuscript, known as the Mii or the second Medician manuscript, which is currently kept at the Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana.

The author of the video, Forbibletruths, discusses his view of the changes in font, spelling and actual eraser of words in the document. He claims that the document which became known for relating to Christians setting fires, actually doesn't relate to Christians setting fires at all. I cannot vouch for the validity of his statements, but it's an interesting watch regardless.

Lastly, I think I'll leave you all with a fun exhibition advertisement video I also found on Youtube. The video is a quirky history story relating to a previous exhibition held at the Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana. The exhibition is entirely dedicated to the precious books commissioned by Lorenzo il Magnifico for his beloved daughters Lucrezia, Luisa and Maddalena. The books are very beautiful! Enjoy.


Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana 2001-2012, Main collections, viewed 29 October 2012,

Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana 2001-2012, access and services, viewed 29 October 2012,

Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana 2001-2012, exhibitions, viewed 29 October 2012,

Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana 2001-2012, letters from far away, viewed 29 October 2012,

ForBibletruth 2009, Proof Tacitus manuscript was altered, 6 January 2009, viewed 29 October 2012,

Magnificitre 2012, Magnifici Tre - the magnificent books of Lorenzo di Medici, 15 October 2012, viewed 29 October 2012,

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