Single leaf from: Niccolò de' Tudeschi. Lectura super V libris Decretalium. Basel: Johann Amerbach, 1487-1488.
The Reed Collection includes a good representative collection of incunabula – books printed in Europe before 1501. Today there are seven bound volumes and more than ninety leaves and fragments from Belgium, England, France, Germany, Italy and Switzerland. These items were acquired through donations by Reed, subsequent purchases by the Library, and later donations.
Reed’s original gift of 1948 included a small number of individual leaves, two of which are displayed in this case. The Lectura of Archbishop Nicholas de Tudeschis (Bishop of Palermo 1386-1445) is a five-volume commentary on the Decretals of Gregory IX. The text is from the second book, the section De probationibus (Concerning Evidence).
The printer is Johann Amerbach (ca. 1444-1513), one of Basel’s most productive and skilled early printers. He is known for being the first Basel printer to use a Roman font and for his ambitious printing of the complete works of St Augustine in five volumes.