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Burns Library to feature "The Art of the Book"

(10-10-2000) The most ambitious exhibit in the history of the Burns Library opens Thursday when the library assembles $35 million worth of rare books and illuminated manuscripts dating as far back as the fifth century.

Titled "The Art of the Book from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance: A Journey through 1,000 Years," the exhibit opens at Burns Library Oct. 12 and will run through Nov. 19.

On display will be 70 beautifully illuminated manuscripts, miniatures and single leaves ranging from the fifth to the 16th centuries, plus some 30 printed books from the "cradle era" of printing, including a single leaf from a Gutenberg Bible dating to circa 1455.

Among the exhibits will be a 14th-century French manuscript history of the ancient world through the reign of Julius Caesar that is valued at $6 million.

The show is being assembled through a collaboration of private collectors and antiquarian book and manuscript sellers with the Burns Library.

Burns Librarian Robert O'Neill said, "This exhibit affords us an opportunity to bring to Boston College and the Greater Boston area an extraordinary array of beautifully illuminated manuscripts and books that otherwise would not be available to the public."

A 256-page illustrated catalogue will be published in conjunction with the show.

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