National Library of Latvia will open the renewed exhibition of "Cimelia"

Printer-friendly version
Illustration from: Hieronimus. Vitae sanctorum patrum. Westminster : Wynkyn de Worde, 1945
Illustration from: Hieronimus. Vitae sanctorum patrum. Westminster : Wynkyn de Worde, 1945

This year on 10 June, in the National Library of Latvia (Alekseja Apīņa Rare Books and Manuscripts Reading Room, 5th floor) the renewed exihibition of "Cimelia" – exposition of luxurious, rare, unnusal and specific printworks –  will be opened. It will be available during working hours until the 15 October. Admission is free.

With a word "Cimelia" (sometimes also used the term "Rara") librarians and collectors describe special treasures of their collections – ancient books, unusual, small or large-format volumes, luxurious and particularly rare printed, illuminated (hand painted) and handwritten books, autographs of culturally significant historical figures. "Cimelia" is a part of the rarity collection that serves not only the mind, but also gives joy to visitors' eyes, items that we are proud to display.

Not only ancient and special editions become cimelia. Sometimes book acquires special importance because of its previous owner, who has prepared individual binding, enriched the text with comments, corrections or additions.

This exhibition primarily highlights "The Lutheran Manual" – first printed book in Riga in Latvian that was published in 1615. This year marks 400 years since this edition was printed at Nicolaus Mollinus (Nicolaus Mollinus) (1550./1555.–1625.) typography.

The exhibition gives an insight to a number of books from the incunabula collection of the National Library of Latvia: the oldest printed book from the 15th century – "Spiegel der Vollkommenheit" ("Mirror of Completeness", Mainz, 1466) by Hendrik Herp, Vergil's selected writings (1492) by an ambitious typographer Anton Koberger from Nuremberg and single English incunabula from collection of the National Library of Latvia – "Vitae sanctorum partum" ("Lives of the Saints", 1495) by St Jerome (Hieronymus) published by Westminster printer Wynkyn de Worde. 

Noteworthy are also diverse content rarities from the next five centuries. The National Library of Latvia also presents Cyrillic books of the Orthodox Church, the Bible, literary and medical editions, and other book examples. Stamp collections of German royal and noble families, ancient maps and photos, a few miniature books and other rarities are also displayed.

The exhibition of "Cimelia" was developed by the Rare Books and Manuscripts Section of the National Library of Latvia (Ināra Klekere, Lilija Limane, Vita Mekša, Stella Hermanovska, Sanita Briežkalne, Velta Knikste, Ināra Buce).


Additional information:
Augusts Zilberts
Public Relations Specialist
Dep. of Communication
Phone: +371 26472501