November 5, 2021
MarkBernstein.org
 

The Catalog Of Shipwrecked Books

Hernando Colón was the illegitimate son, traveling companion, and biographer of Christopher Columbus. He amassed a vast library, perhaps the last effort in the West to create a library that would contain everything. The remnant of that library still exists, and though many of the books have been lost to time and the Inquisition, we still possess much of the catalog. Colón didn’t have much precedent for how to manage a library of some 15,000 volumes; no one did. The catalogs alone are a fascinating window into the transition for the medieval to the early modern mind.