Uppsala University Library

The Bodoni Collection

At Uppsala University Library there is a collection with printed items from the activity of Giambattista Bodoni from the 1760s and onwards, when he was book-printer at the ducal court in Parma, and from the private presses he used. The collection is considered to be the most important outside of Parma, and its great value is not least due to its status as an intact special collection.


The Italian printer Giambattista Bodoni (1740–1813) created one of the most famous classicist fonts, the Bodoni, with its name from the master himself. Bodoni's art of printing was praised already in its own time because of its pregnancy and beauty. The printed items continue to be a model for book-printers and his font is frequently used still in our time.

In the collection it is possible to follow Bodoni's development from the stylistic ideals of the rococo in the spirit of Fournier to the ascetic and sober classicism of his later works. The collection also contains most of the experiments with new fonts from his production, among other things there are the Fregi e majuscole (Parma,1771) and the posthumously published Manuale tipografico(Parma, 1818), as well as a very rich selection of the magnificent printed specimens, which gave Bodoni the epithet "the printer of Kings and the King of printers".

The major part of the Bodoni-items was donated to the University Library in 1959 by Dr. Erik Kempe. Later it has grown not least thanks to the fundings that Erik Kempe donated to the library as well.

The one who whishes to learn more about what the collection contains can do so either in the catalogue room at Carolina Rediviva, where there is a card-catalogue in alphabetical order, as well as according to the numbers in Brooks (see bibliography below).

Those who have access to Brooks' bibliography can also search the collection by means of the concordance and register which is a part of Gösta Johnsen's catalogue of Uppsala University Library's Bodoni-exhibition in 1991. This catalogue can be found in major research libraries, but can also be ordered from Uppsala University Library. The article of Hans Sallander in Libri is also a good introduction to the Bodoni Collection.

The Bodoni Collection has been registered in the national union catalogue Libris, and in the local catalogue Disa:


  • Brooks, Hugh Cecil, Bibliografia compendiosa di edizioni Bodoniane, Firenze, 1927.

  • Johnsen, Gösta, "The Uppsala Bodoni collection: concordance and checklist of Bodoni prints in Uppsala University Library", i Giambattista Bodonis liv & verk: en utställning i Uppsala universitetsbibliotek 1 februari - 30 maj 1991 / red. Gösta Johnsen. - Uppsala: UB, 1992. - (Uppsala universitetsbiblioteks utställningskataloger; 30).

  • Sallander, Hans, "Die Bodoni-Sammlung in der Universitätsbibliothek zu Uppsala", i Libri, vol. 10 (1960), s. 271-291


E-mail: ask.library@ub.uu.se
Phone: 018-471 39 00
twitter: @fragauub
Phone and chat available weekdays 9-18.
NB! Limited opening hours om Monday 27 August: phone and chat open 13-15
13-31 August: phone and chat available weekdays 9-15.