Speculum Romanae Magnificentiae, A125, Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library. The University of Chicago Library takes a cue from nearly 500 year old publishing practices to curate personalized, "individually bound" introductions to their digital collection of the Speculum Romanae Magnificentiae: In 1540 Antonio Lafreri, a native of Besançon transplanted to Rome, began publishing maps and other printed images that depicted major monuments and antiquities in Rome. These images were calculated to appeal to the taste for classical antiquity that fueled the cultural event we call the Renaissance. After Lafreri published a title page in the mid-1570s, collections of these prints came to be known as the Speculum Romanae Magnificentiae, the "Mirror of Roman Magnificence." Tourists and other collectors who bought prints from Lafreri made their own selections and had them individually bound. Over time, Lafreri's title page served as starting point for large and eclectic compilations, expanded and rearranged by generations of collectors.
January 6, 2015