Ministero dei Beni delle Attivitą Culturali e del Turismo Direzione Generale Biblioteche e Istituti Culturali

Firmian Stock

Firmian StockTo the death of Firmian, governor of Lombardy, his library, which had more than 40,000 volumes (inventoried in 9 volumes in the catalogue entitled Bibliotheca firmiana, sive Thesaurus librorum quem Eccellentiss. Comes Carolus a Firmian [...] magnis sumptibus collegit published in Milano in 1783; location 136 I 9), was put up for auction by his creditors. Both the University of Pavia than the Braidense of Milan took part to the the auction, but finally the Braidense was forced to cede to Pavia the right of first choice.The negotiations with the creditors of the deceased were very long, and unfortunately many of the most valuable works were denied to public libraries for commercial reasons. In Pavia however they arrived around 5,000 volumes, including:

  • over 800 on theology and religion (from the writings of the church fathers to the treaties of scholastic theology along with the essays devoted to the Jewish religion)
  • over 1,000 on law and policy (imperial edicts and of single magistrature, codes and statutes of municipalities and professional colleges, treaties of civil and commercial law)
  • around 400 on Philosophy
  • more than 300 on natural sciences and medicine (from entomology texts to the essays on mineralogy and botany as well as physiology)
  • over 2,000 on history (including the works of general geography and history and the essays of numismatics and epigraphy).

The language extension of the collection is quite extensive, including texts in Italian, Latin, French and German, while the timespan to which those volumes belong is mainly restricted to the XVIII century, although there are some incunabula and many sixteenth century books.

The substance of the stock, flown into the library collection since its acquisition in the library collections, is luckily reconstructed thanks to the catalogue. Here volumes are infact marked with a P when destined to Pavia and with a B when destined to the Braidense.

Biographical Note of Karl Firmian