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rare books

USP rarities on the internet

Page from the Liber Chronicarum

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The Digital Library of Rare and Special Works of the University of São Paulo (USP) has made available 38 of the main items from the university’s collection for consultation on the internet. The objective of the initiative, which is controlled by USP’s Integrated System of Libraries, is to make the rarities, some from the 15th and 16th centuries, available to a wider public, without them being dammaged through handling. According to the organizers, the intention is to extend access and make it more democratic, thereby releasing researchers from having to travel or make an appointment to examine the publications. Since the end of the 1980s, the SIBi  has been developing projects for cataloguing and conserving works, some of which have been supported by FAPESP. Some of the books have been fully digitalized and are available for consultation and printing off for non-commercial use, while others have only had their covers digitalized. Among the titles available are, for example, the Liber Chronicarum, a history of the world written in 1493, illustrated and colored by hand, with text in Gothic script and handwritten notes, and the Ordenações de Dom Manuel [Ordinations of Dom Manuel] from 1539.