The Library of an Early 17th Century Physician: the Canevari Collection of the Berio Library in Genoa

Laura Malfatto


The Canevari Collection of the Berio Library in Genoa has about 2,400 works dating from the 1400s to the death of its first owner, the Genoese Demetrio Canevari (Genoa 1559 - Rome 1625), in 1625. The library of Demetrio Canevari was left to us thanks to his will which stipulates how his heirs are to maintain it and who or what institutions could claim ownership of it. The Canevari Collection is a scientific library that contains important medical texts such as the treatises on anatomy by Vesalio and Fabrizi d'Acquapendente or the ancient editions of Galeno and Avicenna. There are also numerous works in the fields of chemistry, botany, zoology and philosophy. The library is a testament of a critical period in the evolution of scientific thought. The catalogue of the Canevari Collection was published by Rodolfo Savelli in 1974. The menuscript catalogue of the library, written by Canevari himself, is kept within the Opera Pia "Sussidio Canevari Demetrio" which was founded by Canevari to benefit his descendants.

Key words: Canevari Collection - Biblioteca Berio

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