Antique Books

cont biblioteca catThis collection comprises nearly 8,000 volumes in a variety of languages, printed between the 16th and 19th centuries, mainly a result of the universal spirit of collecting among the personalities of the first Enlightenment in the Canary Islands, for whom the book as a vehicle to acquire education, training and culture was a key element in progress.

The private library of the Marquis of Villanueva del Prado, consolidated by Tomás de Nava-Grimón y Porlier, constitutes the bulk of the antique collection of the library of the Real Sociedad, with nearly 6,500 titles, including examples of works, particularly in Spanish and French, such as Las Cronicas de Don Juan Segundo (Logroño, 1517), the translation of the Decades of Tito Livio (Zaragoza, 1520), by Jorge Coci; and Las Fiestas de la Iglesia de Sevilla para la sanctificacion de Fernando II (Sevilla, 1671), written by Fernando de la Torre Farfan – considered by authorities to be the best printed book of the 17th century – as well as the famous and rare Encyclopedie ou Dictionaire Raisonne des Sciences (Paris, 1784), and a very important group of titles by famous French authors such as Rousseau, Montesquieu, Chateaubriand and Bufon.

cont enciclopedia catIn the Antique Book Collection is a section of works of great value to the history of the Canary Islands, the larger part belonging to the Rodríguez Moure Collection. Among them can be highlighted the first edition of the Noticias de la Historia General de las Islas Canarias (Madrid, 1772), by Viera y Clavijo; the Conquista y Antiguedades de las Islas de las Gran Canaria y su Descripcion (Madrid, 1676), by Núñez de la Peña; and an extremely rare book entitled Antigüedades de las Islas Afortunadas de la Gran Canaria, conquista de Tenerife y Aparecimiento de la Santisima Imagen de Candelaria (Sevilla, 1604), compiled by the poet Antonio de Viana.

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