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Libraries In 16th-Century Zürich

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Chapter Summary

During the medieval period there were only a few clerics in Zürich who possessed larger collections of books, such as Petrus Numagen (ca. 1450?1515) and Johannes Mantz (d. 1518), or Felix Haemmerli (1389?1458/59). In 1532 the reformer Heinrich Bullinger (1504?1575) reorganized the library of the Grossmünster, where Huldrych Zwingli (1484?1531) in 1525 had founded the so-called Schola Tigurina, the first Reformed-Protestant theological college for the education and training of a new generation of pastors. All the professors and students of the Schola Tigurina were using this library, among them Conrad Gessner, who had been teaching natural history and ethics since 1541. The cheapest way to get books was to receive them as presents. Quite a lot of titles from Gessner?s library are donations from authors, friends and scholars. The best represented donors are the reformer Heinrich Bullinger, Gessner?s fellow student Johannes Fries (1505?1565), and Johann Oporin (1507?1568), printer in Basle.

Keywords: Conrad Gessner; Grossmünster; Schola Tigurina; Zürich

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