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The Collection
• Printed Books
Continental Books

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Printed Books: Continental Books

The Folger's rich and varied collection of rare books printed on the European continent includes more than 35,000 volumes on subjects ranging from military tactics to travel advice. Of these, some 450 are incunables—books printed in the infancy of printing, before 1501.
The Reformation collection comprises more than 2,000 volumes, including some 850 from the former collection of the Swiss writer and scholar Emanuel Stickelberger. Among the Folger's Reformation holdings are works by Erasmus, Luther, Calvin, Melanchthon, Zwingli, and others. Other strengths of the continental collection include Italian drama, travel books, classical authors, science and technology, military history, and French and Dutch historical and political pamphlets from 1500 to 1700.
The Folger also has major collections of printed herbals and festival books. Herbals are guides to the uses of herbs and other natural materials in medicine, cooking, housework, crafts and arts, and other aspects of daily life. Many of those held at the Folger are part of the Mary P. Massey Collection. Festival books, many of which were donated to the Folger by Mrs. H. Dunscombe Colt, depict large public extravaganzas typical of the Renaissance era, which were held to celebrate royal visits, marriages, births, and other events.
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Cicero. Commentum familiare in Ciceronis officia. Lyon, 1502.

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