St. Augustines De Civitate Dei is the oldest printed book in the Kelly Library's Special Collections | View flip book
TORONTO, April 30, 2009 -- The 1475 digital edition of St. Augustines De civitate Dei has been downloaded over 116,550 times and is one of UofTs most popular downloads. This digital copy of St. Augustine's De Civitate Dei is an exquisite example of a rare and significant book held in the Special Collections of the John M. Kelly Library at St Michael’s. The author, Augustus Aurelius (354-430), Bishop of Hippo, is one of the most important figures in the Latin Church and a veritable pillar in the development of Western Christianity. The influence of his writing cannot be underestimated and the impact of The City of God, in particular, is significant in both Christian theology and the history of Western thought.
This 1475 edition, the oldest printed book in our collection, is of particular note as it was printed by Nicolas Jenson, the most important printer operating in Venice in the fifteenth century. One of the first printers to design roman type, Jenson cut several beautiful fonts of type for his presses. Our copy, an exceptionally nice printing, has wide margins that set off the clarity and liveliness of the type.
This volume is part of an extensive research collection on Catholic thought held by the USMC. It was digitized by the Internet Archive in 2005 as part of a University-wide initiative to make out of copyright books open and available. Jonathan Bengtson, Director of Library and Archives at St Mike's, plays a key role in this digital initiative.