Ambrosian Library


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical.

Ambrosian Library,

Milan, Italy; founded c.1605 by Cardinal Federigo Borromeo. Named for Milan's patron saint, it was one of the first libraries to be open to the public. Its earliest collection was a group of codices in Greek, Latin, Latin Vulgate, and various Asian languages that originated in a number of religious institutions. Other holdings came from prominent 16th–19th-century scholars and bibliophiles. Among its noted possessions are numerous classical manuscripts, e.g., Homer and Vergil; Asian texts; incunabulaincunabula
, plural of incunabulum
[Late Lat.,=cradle (books); i.e., books of the cradle days of printing], books printed in the 15th cent. The known incunabula represent about 40,000 editions.
..... Click the link for more information.
; palimpsests; the 5th-century Ilias picta manuscript; the Virgilio illustrated by Simone Martini; the Irish and the Provençal codices; the De prospectiva pingendi by Piero della Francesca; and da Vinci's Codex atlanticus. The Ambrosian Library also has a notable art gallery, est. 1618, housing more than 1,500 works of art.