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Photo of Nicola M. Camerlenghi

In this week's edition, we speak with Nick Camerlenghi, Assistant Professor of Art History. Camerlenghi's interests in early Christian and medieval architecture form the basis of his research for the book St. Paul's Outside the Walls: A Roman Basilica, from Antiquity to the Modern Era (Cambridge University Press, 2018).

What is your book about?

My book treats the architectural changes and continuities that took place over 1,500-years at the church in Rome where St. Paul was buried.

Where did you get your ideas for this book?

It is an off-shoot of my dissertation.

What does research look like for you? What element of research could you not live without?

Thanks to architectural design and GIS software, my computer allows me to visualize and analyze "what was where and when" in a building or even in an entire city over the course of lengthy temporal spans. That's my cup of tea.

What do you think the library of the future will look like?

I hope it looks like an Italian piazza—full of people of all ages who read, talk, play and share experiences that really matter.

What advice would you give to an aspiring scholar or writer?

1) Tell us only what we need to know; 2) Eliminate distractions while you write.

And finally, what do you read for fun?

For me, fun is not reading. I would much rather play with my kids, take a walk in the woods, cook and eat with family and friends. But every summer I try and read at least one "classic" that I have not read before. Most recently, these have included The Count of Monte Cristo, and The Island of Doctor Moreau.

Andrea Palladio is best known for his 1570 I qvattro libri dell'archiettvra, or Four Books of Architecture. It brought the theories of the Roman architect Vitruvius into the modern world, reshaped Renaissance architecture and profoundly influenced neo-classicism.

We recently acquired an important precursor, Palladio’s L’antichita di Roma (Venice, 1565). It is essentially a guidebook. It tells the history of Roman buildings and guides the readers to notice certain features. The act of writing it surely helped Palladio define his views of architecture and develop his architectural principles that would come to dominate the era.

Bound with the Palladio is an Italian translation of Mirabilia Romae also printed in 1565. But the fly leaves are also interesting. The binder used some scrap paper from the shop: left over printed indulgences. The indulgence was issued by Bernhardino Cirillo, the Archibishop of Loreto, to raise money for additions to the hospital at Santo Spirito in Saxia. The book as a package nicely wraps up the pilgrim's experience of Rome. It  contains the standard guide to historical sights, with the contemporary commentary by Palladio, but also an example of one of the indulgences which many pilgrims would have purchased during their visit.

Webster Hall, with its soaring Palladio-inspired interior and windows, is the perfect setting to enjoy these books.  Ask for Rare DG805.I63 1565 and Rare NA2515.P25 1570.

Andrea Palladio is best known for his 1570 I qvattro libri dell'archiettvra, or Four Books of Architecture. It brought the theories of the Roman architect Vitruvius into the modern world, reshaped Renaissance architecture and profoundly influenced neo-classicism.

We recently acquired an important precursor, Palladio’s L’antichita di Roma (Venice, 1565). It is essentially a guidebook. It tells the history of Roman buildings and guides the readers to notice certain features. The act of writing it surely helped Palladio define his views of architecture and develop his architectural principles that would come to dominate the era.

Bound with the Palladio is an Italian translation of Mirabilia Romae also printed in 1565. But the fly leaves are also interesting. The binder used some scrap paper from the shop: left over printed indulgences. The indulgence was issued by Bernhardino Cirillo, the Archibishop of Loreto, to raise money for additions to the hospital at Santo Spirito in Saxia. The book as a package nicely wraps up the pilgrim's experience of Rome. It  contains the standard guide to historical sights, with the contemporary commentary by Palladio, but also an example of one of the indulgences which many pilgrims would have purchased during their visit.

Webster Hall, with its soaring Palladio-inspired interior and windows, is the perfect setting to enjoy these books.  Ask for Rare DG805.I63 1565 and Rare NA2515.P25 1570.