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Giovanni Boccaccio Collection

6,000 items (dispersed).

Of the 192 15th- and 16th-century editions of Boccaccio recorded by Bacchi della Lega, the Library possesses 96 (compared with the British Library's 90).

Pride of place must go to the only surviving complete copy of the Venetian 1471 edition of the Decameron printed by Christopher Valdarfer, which was sold by the Duke of Roxburghe in 1812 for the then record price of £2,200.

However, the Library does also have what is thought to be the editio princeps: the Neapolitan Deo Gratias edition, previously dated 1472 but now dated 1470. Unfortunately the Manchester copy lacks the final two leaves.

All but two of the incunable editions of the Decameron are available with a total of 47 editions present up to 1600.

Noteworthy are the beautiful and rare Aldine edition of 1522, the famous Florentine edition of 1527 issued by Giunta, and the two notoriously emended texts of Ruscelli (1552) and Salviati (1587).

Of the seventeen early editions of Ameto the Library possesses twelve (1520-1723).

Manchester also holds:

  • twelve of a possible twenty-three editions of Il Filocolo (1472-1724)
  • eleven editions of La Fiametta (1480-1800)
  • six editions of Corbaccio (1516-1723)
  • two of La Vita di Dante (1576-1724)
  • three of La Teseida (1475-1819)
  • three of Il Filostrato (1480-1789)
  • four of Ninfale Fiesolano (1480-1778)
  • three of the Amorosa Visione (1521-1549)

There are also several editions of Boccaccio's Latin works.

Finding aids

Recorded in .


The John Rylands Library

Using the reading rooms in the John Rylands Library