UCSC Review Summer 1996
Professors donate Renaissance-era book collection
A collection of books printed nearly a half millennium ago has been donated to the University Library at UCSC. The collection consists primarily of Italian scholarly texts, printed in the sixteenth century by many of the best-known Italian, French, and German scholar- printers of the Renaissance.
The books were donated by University Professor Hayden White, professor emeritus of history of consciousness, and Margaret Brose, professor of Italian and comparative literature. The books are working editions rather than collector's items--containing the marginal notes, annotations, and even the doodles of generations of scholars. White purchased the volumes in the 1950s when he was studying in Italy. An economically minded student, he bought the well-worn books from peddlers or out of basements. The books, sold by the pound, were far less expensive than modern reprints. In passing along the collection, White and Brose expressed the hope that library users will read, study, and derive as much pleasure from the books as their previous owners.
The gift, named the Hayden White Collection, increases the library's holding of sixteenth-century books from 3 to about 100. Included in the collection are Greek and Latin texts of such scholars as Cicero, Erasmus, Plutarch, Aristotle, and Horace as well as texts in Italian of Renaissance authors and many history texts by ancient and sixteenth-century historians.
The exhibit is available for viewing in Special Collections.