Counts Tiškevičiai of Raudondvaris’ books of 15th–17th centuries

KTU Library’s virtual exhibition

About exhibition

The Library of Kaunas University of Technology and Kaunas District Museum, located at Raudondvaris Manor, prepared an exhibition of rare books, which aims to take from funds and comprehensively present to society and academic community the most valuable part of the scattered library of the Counts Tyszkiewicz (Tiškevičiai) of Raudondvaris Manor – publications of the 15th–17th centuries, stored at KTU Library.

In 1930 Walter Fischer, the owner of German bookstore in Kaunas, gave a part of the library of Counts Tyszkiewicz of Raudondvaris (7874 books) as a gift to Vytautas Magnus University. Over time, a large part of these books was handed over to the Public Library of Kaunas County, Library of Vilnius University and other libraries. Now more than 800 exemplars of the books, which belonged to the Counts of Raudondvaris, are stored at the Fund of Rare Publications at KTU Library.

The Library stores only one book from the period of the earliest press, which belonged to Tyszkiewicz family. It is a book of poems by Caius Valerius Catullus called Carmina… (Poems…, 1475). Also, it stores a fragment about Lithuania from Hartmann Schedel’s Liber chronicarum (Book of Chronicles, 1493). There are a few books from the 16th century. It is Assertiones De sacrosancto et vivifico Missae Sacrificio… (Statements about Sacred and Life-Giving Sacrifice of the Mass…, 1576) and Sebastiano Serlio’s Il primo libro d’Architettura di Sebastiano Serlio, Bolognese… (The First Book of Architecture…, 1545), bind with Reigles generales de l’Architecture, sur les cinqmanie res d’edifices… (The Main Rules of Architecture About Five Types of Buildings…, 1545). There are more books of the 17th century: Piotr Skarga’s Zywoty Swiętych… (Lives of the Saints…, 1603, 2 parts), historian Paulo Piasecio’s Chronica Gestorum in Europa Singularium… (Chronicle of Special War Crusades in Europe…, 1645), etc. Particularly distinguished is a book by Mikolaj Krzysztof Radziwill (Mikalojus Kristupas Radvila (Našlaitėlis) Hierosolymitana Peregrinatio Illustrissimi Domini Nicolai Christophori Radzivili… (A Journey to Jerusalem.., 1601), which provides valuable data about pilgrimage. The book attracts attention by the abundance of marginalias.

This virtual exhibition presents titles and most informative pages of the exhibits of the 15th–17th centuries (more focused on the books, reflecting reality of the noblemen of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania). They are provided with pages or parts of pages, translated from the Latin, Old Polish and Ukrainian languages by VDU lecturer Sigitas Lūžys.

The exhibition was prepared by Dr Edita Korzonaitė, Chief Librarian of Rare Publications Group,

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