A variant copy of Konrad Gessner’s “Bibliotheca Universalis”
Until recently, no variant copy or cancellation of Konrad Gessner’s “Bibliotheca Universalis” was known. The author examined five copies in Japan and four copies at the Zurich Central Library (Copies A, B, C and D), as well as one at Basel University Library, and discovered that variant copies do exist. Copy A was Gessner’s own copy, to which he added numerous notes, especially on fol. 454v. As a result of comparison with Copy B (Konrad Pellikan’s copy), it appears that Gessner corrected the text of lines 4–30 on this folio, shortened it to 11 lines, and added 18 new lines. The printer, Froschauer, recomposed four formes from fol. 453r to 454v, reprinted them and cancelled the former printed sheet of fol. 453r–454v. Copies B and D (Konrad Klauser’s copy), the Basel copy, and the five copies in Japan are considered to be the ideal copies and Copies A and C (Jacques Dubois’s copy) are regarded as variant copies. One part of the printing process of the “Bibliotheca Universalis” became clear with this discovery.
Konrad Gessner; Bibliotheca Universalis; bibliography; history of the book; Zurich Central Library, Waseda University Library
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