London / Leiden: Warburg Institute / Brill, 1963-1997. First Edition. Together 7 vols., large 8vo. Original publisher's blue cloth bindings (vols. 1-2 with signs of gentle bibliographical consultation, bound in slightly lighter blue cloth as issued by the publisher; all other volumes preserved in fine condition). NOT ex-library! Very good. Item #3455
"Iter Italicum" is a towering achievement of humanistic scholarship, and a monument to the industry and tenacity of its compiler and editor P.O. Kristeller (1905-1999). Over a period of 34 years, Kristeller compiled -- almost single-handedly -- the greatest finding aid of previously uncatalogued (or incompletely catalogued) Renaissance manuscripts ever created. The work comprises 4,645 pages, in which endless manuscripts, located in thousands of libraries all over the world, are described and excerpted. "Iter Italicum" remains an essential reference tool for scholars of classical, Medieval and Renaissance studies. As we learn from Brill's announcement:
"The 'Iter Italicum' is intended to provide a list of Renaissance manuscripts (1350-1600), mostly in Latin or Italian, of philosophical, scientific, philological or literary content. The list is arranged by countries, cities, libraries, collections and shelf-marks. Some manuscripts are listed on the basis of handwritten inventories (descriptions). Collections for which good printed catalogues are available are omitted in most cases. The purpose is to call attention to unknown writings of the period or to unknown copies of known works. All the volumes serve as useful reference works for scholars in the history of philosophy, the sciences, classical learning, grammar and rhetoric, Neolatin literature, historiography of the theory of the arts and of music and related subjects. By scanning the volume or through its index, scholars will be able to find source material for individual writers as well as for certain subjects, problems or themes."
Kristeller himself stated: "The purpose of my 'Iter,' whatever its gaps and mistakes may be, has been to serve as a tool or guide for this kind of research that is, for the study or publication of unpublished texts that may be of interest for a variety of reasons, or for such co-operative enterprises as the 'Catalogus Translatiortum of Commentariorum.' It is a kind of work that should be, and is being continued by many competent younger scholars. We need many more critical editions of major authors, more data for the diffusion of their works, and more studies and descriptions for the works of minor authors, and for such groups of writings by different authors that deal with the same themes, belong to the same literary genre, or contribute to the same field. I hope this work will continue, and continue to receive the necessary encouragement and support, in spite of the current decline in education and training, especially in Latin and other languages (including English), of the waning public interest in anything other than contemporary, and in spite of many academic fashions hostile to serious scholarship and unwilling to submit their favourite tenets, political or otherwise, to the test of solid evidence. I also hope that the continuing effort of cataloguing manuscripts and also early editions will bring us closer to a 'Bibliotheque imaginaire,' that is, to a complete collection of Renaissance texts, in manuscripts and in editions, widely scattered in their location, but accessible everywhere to the interested scholar through bibliographies and computer files as well as through facsimiles and microfilm." (SOURCE: Kristeller, Studies in Renaissance Thought and Letters, vol. IV, pp. 479-480).
CONTENTS OF THE COLLECTION: Vol. 1: Italy. Agrigento to Novara, Vol. 2: Italy. Orvieto to Volterra. Vatican City. Vol. 3: (Alia Itinera I). Australia to Germany. Vol. 4: (Alia Itinera II). Great Britain to Spain. Vol. 5: Alia Itinera III and Italy III. Sweden to Yugoslavia, Utopia, Supplement to Italy (A-F). Vol. 6: Italy III and Alia Itinera IV. Supplement to Italy (G-V), Supplement to Vatican and Austria to Spain. WITH INDEX VOLUME.
PROVENANCE: B.H. Breslauer, famed antiquarian bookseller, with his bookplate loosely inserted into vol. 1, to which is added a reproduction of photograph of him with Kristeller, taken after Kristeller's lecture at Columbia University Rare Book School on 17 July 1990 (attended by Michael Laird).