The Department of Rare Books and Special collections maintains a small collection of incunabula (European books printed before 1501) and early printed material.


These materials are fully catalogued, and records can be accessed through the genre term Incunabula in the MERLIN library catalog.

The collection is available to all researchers. Request materials for use in the Special Collections reading room.


The Library has a number of other incunabula leaves (see Pages from the Past and  Early Printed Book Leaves).

Featured Items

Summa contra gentiles
Title from leaf a1 verso.
Edited by Petrus Cantianus. Cf. colophon.
"Impressum uero dedit, vir prestantissimus Nicolaus Ienson gallicus, florente Re. prin. Venetorum Ioanne Morenigo [i.e. Mocenigo] duce. Anno salutis Mcccclxxx. ydibus Iunijs.…

De evangelica praeparatione. Latin. 1497
Signatures: a¹⁰ b⁸ c⁶ d-m⁸ n-o⁶.
Imprint from colophon.
Includes index.

De evangelica praeparatione. Latin
Title from leaf a4v.
Edited by Hieronymus Bononius.
Imprint from colophon, leaf p7v.
Signatures: a¹⁰ b-n⁸/⁶ o⁶ p⁸ (a1 and p8 blank).
"Ad sanctissimum Papam Nicolaum Q. Georgii Trapezuntii in traductione Eusebii praefatio": leaf…

Bible. Latin. Vulgate. 1480.
No t.p. Title from Goff.
Imprint given at the end of the New Testament (leaf 422)
Illuminated initials at beginning of prologue and at beginning of Genesis.
In double columns.
Signatures: a-h¹⁰, i-l¹², m-s¹⁰, t-v¹², x-y¹⁰, 1-6¹⁰, 7-10¹²,…

Epistolae. 1488
Brit. Mus. Cat. (XV cent.) V, p 416 (IB 23127) ; Hain. Repertorium (with Copinger's Supplement) 12933. With the blank.
Signatures: a-d8, e-t6, u4.
MU: Contemporary blind-tooled half leather over boards ; broken clasps.
MU: One 14th century [?]…

De muliere forti
Caption title.
Imprint from colophon on verso of leaf [149].
Commentary on Proverbs XXXI, 10-31, including the text in Latin.
Includes the Orationes super evangelia dominicalia (leaves [150]-[160]), falsely attributed to Albertus Magnus, and…

Bible. Old Testament Jeremiah XII-XIV, 1-19. Latin. Vulgate. 1455.
Leaf from an imperfect copy of the "Gutenberg Bible," separated and sold in: A noble fragment : being a leaf of the Gutenberg Bible, 1450-1455 : with a bibliographical essay / by A. Edward Newton. New York : Gabriel Wells, 1921.
Latin text in Black…

Lives. Latin
Title from colophon.
Cymonis uiri illustris uita ex Plutarcho Graeco in Latimin per Leonardum Iustianum uersa"-- leaf [232]
Hain. Repertorium (with Copinger's Supplement) 13127.
Brit. Mus. Cat. (XV cent.) V, p. 178 (IC. 19711)
Goff, P832.

De natiuitatibus.
Contents: Astronomicon, by M. Manilius--Phaenomena, by Aratos, in Latin and Greek with commentaries.--Sphaera, by Proclus Diadochus, in Latin and Greek.

Epistolae. 1496
Leaf a2: Francisci Philelfi Epistolarvm liber primvs.
Pages numbered in manuscript.
First leaf, al (title-page) and last two leaves, L9 and L10, lacking.
Several pages mounted.
Manuscript notes in margins and on inserted leaf.
On spine:…

Epistolae. 1495
Imprint from colophon.
Book was finished on Wednesday, March 11 1495: "Die & hora Mercurii, Vigilia Diui Gregorii. Anno salutis. Mcccclxxxxv." Cf. colophon.
Title page in faded brownish red.
"Privilegivm Hieronymi Blondi" on verso t.p. has…

Epistolae familiares
Imprint from colophon.
Capital spaces and guiding letters.
No pagination.
Hand-written note on the left upper corner of inside cover: This is the last edition printed by Anthony Koburger at Nuremberg.
Proctor 2107.
BM II, 442.

Historiae Philippicae. 1470
On spine: Justinus.Edicio princeps.Romae per Vdal.Gall.,1470.
P. [1] incipit: Qvom [i.e.Cum] multi ex romanis etia[m] consularis dignitatis uiri res romanas graeco pe[re]grino[que] sermone i[n] historias contulissent ...
Initial wanting on L.…

Liber chronicarum
Leaf [1a] (woodcut title): Registrum huius operis Libri cronicarum cũfiguris et ymagibus ab inicio mũdi.
Illustrated by Michael Wolgemut and Wilhelm Pleydenwurff.
Leaves 12-13 missing.
Hain. Repertorium (with Copinger's Supplement) *14508. Brit.…

Sermones de adventu, etc.
Title from incipit (leaf a2r).
Includes: Sermones de adventu, Sermo de S. Joseph, Sermo de beatitudine, Sermones de divina caritate, Sermones de immortalitate animae, and Dominicus Bollanus' De conceptione Beatae Virginis Mariae.
Imprint from Goff,…

Sermones clarissimi in sacra theologia magistri Fratris Roberti Caratzuli de Litio ordinis minorum De timore iudiciorum Dei.
Title from colophon (leaf [87]v).
"De morte": leaves [88-93].
Capital spaces, with guide-letters.
Signatures: a-l[superscript 8], m[superscript 6]
Stillwell C170.
Goff C-184.
Proctor 4296.
BM 15th cent., V, p. 226.
GW 6110.
MU: Library's…

Quadragesimale de floribus sapientiae
"Incipit quadragesimale de floribus sapiēte": fol. [a2]
Incipit Quadragesimale de floribus sapie[n]tie peroptimu[m] editu[m] [et] compillatu[m] / per egregiu[m] sacre theologie doctore[m] magistrum Ambrosiu[m] Spiera Taruisinu[m] ordinis frat[res]…

[Sermones Discipuli de tempore et de sanctis ; Promptuarium exemplorum Discipuli ; Promptuarium Discipuli de miraculis Beatae Mariae Virginis].
In four parts, a) Sermones de tempore; b) Sermones de sanctis; c) Promptarium exemplorum discipul secundum ordinem alphabeti; d) Promptuarium de miraculis Beate Marie Virginis.
Capital spaces, with guide-letters.
Printed in double columns in the…

Prediche di Frate Hieronymo da Ferrara.
Hain. Repertorium *14382.

Epistola consolatoria de Caldi, Freddi, & Tiepidi & una frottola insieme.
Contents: Sebastianus P. Epistola consolatoria de caldi, freddi, & tiepidi, inc. "A prophetis Hierusale[m] egressa est pollutio sup[er] o[mn]em terram: Hyere .xxiii. Pensa[n]do io piu uolte", expl. "& che ogni uostra cosa per lauenire prosperamente…

Liber de Scriptoribus Ecclesiasticis.
Colophon: Explicitus est liber de Scriptoribus ecclesiasticis disertissimi patris domini Iohan[n]is de Tritth[i]em abbatis Spanhene[n]sis: Basileae: Anno domini Millesimo quadringentesimo nonagesimo quarto.
The printer is named in the dedicatory…

Textus seque[n]tiaru[m] cu[m] optimo comme[n]to.
Woodcut on t.p. depicting a teacher with 4 students.
Index lists 51 sequences; "Sequentie de nouo addite" (last twelve leaves) includes 10 more.
Sequences on the Nativity, St. Stephan, St. John, the Innocents, the Epiphany, St. Paul, the Assumption…

Tractatus contra vicia.
Title from leaf [1].
Imprint from colophon.
Error in pagination: leaf lxvii numbered lxvi.
Goff T-421a.
MU: Library's copy: First two leaves rubricated in red ink; marginal notes in contemporary ink on some pages.
MU: Purchased from Bernard…

More Items in the Incunabula