Bibliothèque nationale (France)
Les ventes publiques de livres en France 1630-1750 : Répertoire des catalogues conservés à la Bibliothèque Nationale : Préface d’Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie
Oxford, Voltaire Foundation / Taylor Institution, 1991
(25 cm), 156 pp., 17 black & white illustrations. Publisher’s printed wrappers. - The catalogue entries, almost 300 in all, provide summary information about each sale, and details about the copy of the catalogue described. “As Françoise Blechet observes in her introduction, these catalogues bear witness to the birth of ‘une nouvelle pratique culturelle, la bibliophilie’. They offer a wealth of material on the way in which books were disposed of; they show, among other things, that libraries could be bought, in their entirety or in part, before the public sale took place, and that auctions as we now know them developed only slowly. It is apparent, too, that a standard method of classifying books by subject took many years to become accepted, and that, as ever, prohibited works were disposed of by a variety of devious stratagems well known to all parties” (from a review by D.J. Adams. in The Modern Language Review, volume 88, 1993, pp.467-468). The introduction by Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie offers a brief history of the origins of the Bibliothèque nationale. ¶ Fine copy.