Avenline, Vues de Versaille
Avenline, Vues de Versaille before conservation

The Book Library of the Courtauld Institute of Art is a unique academic resource in this country and has built up a substantial collection of rare books which are valuable primary source material for scholarship. Of these Special Collections, Anthony Blunt’s collection, which is strong in Italian Baroque architecture and 17th-century French art and architecture, is particularly important.

Blunt generously lent his books to his students but spent little time or money on their binding and conservation and as a consequence a large proportion of his collection is in need of repair. Of the 670 volumes, some 538 volumes need repair and/or boxing.

As part of an ongoing programme to improve access to the Special Collections, the Courtauld has embarked on a project to catalogue the Blunt Collection online and to conserve and repair these books, followed by the rest of the Special Collections.

Thanks to several very generous donors, £158,000 has already been raised and work began on the project on 1st February this year. We are seeking to raise a further £72,000 before July 2004 to complete the first phase of the project.

How you can help

If you would like to help the Courtauld ensure that these important antiquarian books are available to the next generation of students, please consider the 'Adopt a Book’ appeal. For a minimum donation of £250, you can ensure the preservation of a rare book which will carry an acknowledgement of your generosity.

Please contact Sophie Hussey, Development Manager on 020 7848 2518 or by email sophie.hussey@courtauld.ac.uk.

Books in need of conservation include:

The architecture of Andrea Palladio in four volumes published by Giacomo Leoni with notes and remarks of Inigo Jones. London, 1742

Opus architectonicum,
an account of Borromini’s work published by Sebastiano Giannini, Rome, 1725

Regola delli cinque ordini d’architettura by Giacomo Barozzi da Vignola published in Siena by Pietro Marchetti in 1635