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The History Of Gessner’s Library

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Chapter Summary

Conrad Gessner died of the plague on December 13th 1565. His estate went to Caspar Wolf (1525?1601), who succeeded him as town physician. In March 1566 Wolf promised to finish Gessner?s ?Historia plantarum?, and also noted that he owned his predecessor?s library. He had bought the papers and books from Gessner for a fair price before the latter deceased. In 1719 Johannes Scheuchzer (1684?1738), town physician in Zürich, wrote that the relics of Gessner?s library fell into his hands, but unfortunately, he doesn?t mention any titles. Scheuchzer helped Cardinal Domenico Passionei (1682?1761), who was the papal legate in Switzerland from 1721 to 1730 to acquire 15 titles from Gessner?s library. There was another 18th century scholar who took a special interest in books formerly belonging to Gessner: the famous Zürich archaeologist Johann Caspar Hagenbuch. He collected more than 30 titles from Gessners? library.

Keywords: Caspar Wolf; Conrad Gessner; Gessner?s library; Johannes Scheuchzer; Zürich

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