Office of the Librarian
Catalogo General de la Libreria (Madrid, 1666)
This rare catalog of an inquisitor’s library of nearly 4,000 titles, including many banned books, was the first volume I accessioned as Acquisitions Bibliographer in 1982. Researching this book introduced me to the bibliographical sophistication and utility of the library’s collection of the Index Librorum Prohibitorum, a list of books banned by the Catholic Church for heretical or immoral content. Editions of the Index appeared across Europe from the sixteenth century until the twentieth century. More than one bookseller who had offered us an early title of “unexplained” or “surprising” rarity received in response a helpful lesson on how to use the Index.
Among his many spectacular gifts to the library, Harrison Horblit (Class of 1933) established in 1984 a fund “for the acquisition of books about books, including bibliographies and catalogs of books…at least a century old.”
B 1604.156, Gift of Harrison Horblit, 1982