Detail map of Sevilla, Andalucía, Spain Overview map of Sevilla, Andalucía, Spain

A: Sevilla, Andalucía, Spain

Ferninand Columbus Collects One of the Largest Private Libraries of Books, Manuscripts and Prints of the 16th Century

Circa 1510 to 1539

Ferdinand Columbus (Fernando Colombo, Fernando Colón, Hernando Colon), the second son of Christopher Columbus, returned from the New World in 1510, and proceeded to collect one of the largest private libraries of the sixteenth century. This library, La Bibliotheca Colombina, included about 15,000 volumes, of which about 7000 survive today, including 1194 books printed before 1501.

Ferdinand Columbus's library, which also includes a number of volumes from the personal library of his father Christopher Columbus, is preserved in the Cathedral of the City of Seville in Andalucia. Among the volumes in La Bibliotheca Colombina is the manuscript catalogue of Ferdinand's print collection. According to Mark McDonald, editor of this manuscript catalogue listing 3200 sheets (including 390 prints by Albrecht Dürer), no print collection from the fifteenth or sixteenth century has survived, and the manuscript catalogue of Columbus' print collection is the only record of such a print collection that has survived. Columbus's print catalogue is notable for its organizational scheme. McDonald (editor) The Print Collection of Ferndinand Columbus 1488-1539: A Renaissance Collector in Seville (2004).

Timeline Themes