Special Collection Visit By Della Espositione Sopra L ' Orlando

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Special Collections Visit
The three-hundred and ninety-five-page book that I surveyed, titled Della Espositione Sopra L’orlando, was published June, 1550 (originally written in roman numerals MDL) by a person named Lorenzo Torrentino. A person by the initials of “U.R.S” was the author and the colophons, mentioned the printer’s name, “DV Cale”. This book was written in purely Italian and was paginated, and its size was fairly small, identifying it as an octavo. The title page included the decorative mark of the printer, depicting an illustration of two angel children holding up a crown, and the binding had small gold imprints on the leather that no longer formed a recognizable pattern. Inside the book itself there were a lot of handwritten marginalia, as well as small handwritten letters. There were also catchwords used at the end of the pages -parallel to a signature on the other page- in order to tell the binder what page came after the other.
A feature of the book that drew my interest was the hand-written marginalia written by whoever owned the book. As I was flipping through the pages of the book, I realized I had struck writing-material gold. There were several small, and crossed out “f’s” written on the side of the book, phenomenon that I did not understand. After consulting with my TA, the reason for these letters were clear, and a short story formed from these small markings. The letters were from the owner, whom was practicing their writing and becoming…

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