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Lucas Holstenius (1596-1661), seventeenth-century scholar, librarian and book-collector. A preliminary note

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Lucas Holstenius (1596-1661) was one of Europe's most eminent seventeenth-century scholars. However, the sheer volume of his works seems to have prevented a thorough, up-to-date evaluation of his career and his functions in the world of learning. This article aims at a revival of scholarly investigation into Holste's life and works. A description both of Holste's role as librarian of two of Rome's most important collections-the Vatican and the Barberini libraries-and of his actions as a private book-collector is followed by the analysis of an important new source, viz. the letters sent to Holste by one of his book-suppliers, the Venetian-Dutch firm of Combi and La Noue. In this way the minutiae of the relationship between contemporary scholarship and the book trade are also revealed.


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