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Letters from far away . The Medici Printing House between Rome and the East.

From 26 October 2012 to 22 June 2013 it will be possible to visit “Letters from far away The Medici Printing House between Rome and the East”, the first exhibition focused on Eastern manuscripts of the Library which illustrates their history and close connection to the Medici Printing House.

The Printing House was founded in Rome in 1584 by Pope Gregory XIII and was patronized by Ferdinando de'Medici who at the time was Cardinal in Rome. Its aim was to provide tools such as grammars, lexicons, canonical, sacred and liturgical texts to those involved in spreading the Catholic faith in the Eastern churches and in providing an orthodox education to the Eastern clergy in Rome. After a long and complex history most of the material once belonging to the Printing House is now in Florence, in the Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana: viz. counterpunches and types of Eastern scripts, important manuscripts collected in Eastern lands and texts printed by the printing establishment itself. For this occasion the Sala della Tipografia will be reopened to the public where it will be possible to admire the printing press and special furniture containing type blocks and types .

As well as a number of printed editions on loan from the Biblioteca Marucelliana, the Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Firenze, the Biblioteca Riccardiana and an astrolabe from the Museo Galileo, the exhibition shows preparatory material for the wood cuts drawn by Antonio Tempesta and engraved by Leonardo Parasole illustrating the edition of the Gospels on display. This material is on loan from The Museum of the Bible – MOTB-Oklahoma City, the largest collection of biblical texts and objects of the world.

On the day of the inauguration, Thursday 25 October 2012 at 4.30 pm, there will be a first day cover service and therefore it will be possible to purchase postcards with stamps and have them cancelled.

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