misabellC Tour (^.^=)

free counters

mercoledì 20 agosto 2008

Admont Monastery library

There is a saying that “a monastery without books is like a fortress without an armoury”. This saying is fully justified since from the earliest times books have always been the monks’ intellectual “weapons” and were necessary both for the liturgy and spiritual reading and for scientific work, teaching and adminstration.
The history of the Admont Monastery library thus does not only begin with the construction of the magnificent late Baroque bookroom but rather with the foundation of the house in 1074. It can be taken as certain that the small group of monks from Salzburg who took up their monastic life in Admont in 1074 brought a basic number of books with them from their mother monastery St. Peter’s. These were followed by the early gifts of the monastery’s founder Archbishop Gebhard of Salzburg.
Pride of place is taken by the three-volume giant Bible from the time around 1070 given by the founder himself to his favourite foundation Admont. From the same period is the Book of Gospels with splendid illustrations. From the middle of the 12th century Admont Monastery had its own writing room (scriptorium) in which numerous books were produced both for its own use and for other religious houses.
In the period around 1300 Abbot Engelbert, the most multitalented scholar in the history of the monastery, increased the library with a large number of his own works. After the invention of printing the number of books increased with leaps and bounds. By the end of the 16th century Admont must have possessed more than 3,000 books produced by the printing presses.
Today Admont Monastery possesses some 1,400 valuable manuscripts, more than half of which come from the Middle Ages. The number of incunabula, books printed before 1500, runs to 530. Something more than 400 printed works come from the period of 1501 to 1530. The manuscripts, together with the over 930 early printed books, have no longer been contained in the library rooms since the beginning of the 20th century but are kept in an airconditioned safety depot.
The white and gold bookcases of the late Baroque Monastery library are filled with roughly 70,000 printed works which have been acquired between the 16th and the beginning of the 20th century.

Nessun commento: