Incunabula are books printed before the year 1501. In 1899, P.A.B. Widener presented the Free Library with its very first rare book collection, 500 incunabula. Assembled by the English bibliographer Walter A. Copinger, the collection includes a wide representation of the 15th-century printing presses of continental Europe. You can now view more than 800 of these precious books at the Free Library.

Featured Item

The Roman poet Quintus Horatius Flaccus, known to English speakers as Horace, made the immodest but accurate prediction that his poems would be "more lasting than bronze": he died in 8 B.C., but new editions and translations of his work are still published every year. His influence on lyric poetry has been incalcuable. He can still reward the attentive reader, whether in his own language or in one of the many into which his work has been translated, with entry into his own particular world. The Rare Book Department's Horace collection contains hundreds of beautiful editions published from 1470 to 2005. These books present some of Horace's greatest odes, in Latin and in translations by other poets, ranging from Ben Jonson to John Hollander

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Rare Book Department:
Third Floor, Central Library

Hours of Operation

Weekdays 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Tours of the department are available Monday through Friday at 11 a.m., or at other times by prior arrangement



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