Biblioteca Malatestiana

Malatestiana Library / Biblioteca Malatestiana

  • 1447 - 1452
  • NUTI, Matteo
  • Cesena
  • Italia

CAMPBELL, James W.P. The Library: A World History. Thames & Hudson. 2013.

págs.72-77. "Surprisingly, the oldest surviving library of the medieval West is practically from the Renaissance period. We are referring to the Biblioteca Malatestiana in Cesena (near Rimini) built by Matteo Nuti. This library has 58 desks, 29 on each side. Built between 1447 and 1452, it has remained practically intact until today…was the first public library in Europe open to all, and is the only example of a library of origin medieval monastic...

... The history of the medieval library as a physical room does not really begin until the end of the 13th century… Really in the medieval monasteries few books were kept…. And the most extensive monastic collections do not exceed 1.000, 500 at most, the normal thing was to have about 100 books...written, we mean parchment. The parchment was made with sheep or goat skin (in Europe it replaced papyrus) since it is better adapted to the elaboration of codices... developing since the High Middle Ages... The cost of elaboration was considerable (1,000 pages - 250 skins...) what is necessary to add the slow process of elaboration… copy by hand… luxurious binding....

From the beginning of the Middle Ages, it was mainly the monasteries that developed this type of knowledge through books. These were originally kept in chests, niches and desks. Not existing in origin a specific place for reading. The chests were transported manually through the monastery to places of light, mainly patios or cloisters. With the passage of time and the increase in collections, books were located in specific places (libraries... this fact occurred from the 14th century".