Acquisition - The exceptional Breviary of Charles V
The National Library of France wishes to acquire an exceptional Breviary, made in Paris around 1370 for the French King Charles V (1364-1380).
King Charles V was visionary in three different ways, all very relevant to our initial question.
First, he is the founding father of the first public library. The then royal library was located in the Louvre, and as such was associated to the State and no longer to the King as an individual. His son, King Charles VI inheritated this collection as head of State and not as the son of his father. This is how the notion of conserving and transmitting a common heritage was set in motion.
Secondly, Charles V had many texts translated from Ancient Greek and Latin into French. This is a fundamental shift in the access to knowledge. In doing so, the texts were available to read directly without passing by a more learned group of scholars. Knowledge was thus being shared with a larger group of people, and no longer controlled by a defined group of people.
Third, the King had a vast collection of nearly 1,000 manuscripts. The subjects were varied: of course, you could find bibles and religious books, but it opened up towards a wide variety of scientific and mathematical treaties, geometry, maps, astronomy as well as novels. Knowledge and a great curiosity were at the heart of his library.
This is the first time in more than 200 years that the BnF has the opportunity to acquire a manuscript from the library of Charles V. It is a unique opportunity and one that will probably not happen again for a very long time. This breviary has remained in private hands since the 15th century. We now have the possibility of bringing it back to the historical collections.
The cost of the project is of 1.6 million euros.
Help us to acquire this exceptional breviary.
For more information, and a detailed presentation of this manuscript you can contact Kara Lennon Casanova, Head of Development : email@example.com
Alternative ways to give:
For gifts by check: Write your check to KBFUS, write " Friends of the National Library of France " in the memo section of the check, and send it to KBFUS, 551 Fifth Avenue, Suite 2400, New York, NY 10176.
Gifts by wire transfer or to contribute other types of property: Email KBFUS at: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone (212) 713 7660.