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Edward C. Moore Madrid Notebooks of Da Vinci essay

 Collection
Identifier: MSS-0476

Scope and Contents

The collection contains an essay (probably never published) written on 5 October 1989 by Dr. Edward C. Moore, retired Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs for the University of Alabama System, titled "The Madrid Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci". The article explains what Moore, as Dean of the Graduate School of the University of Massachusetts, had witnessed and experienced when a colleague found two of the "lost notebooks" of Leonardo Da Vinci in the Spanish National Library. Moore describes the sequence of events and laborious negotiations for publication rights, as well as the cut-throat world of academic publishing.

The collection also contains the issue of LIFE magazine, 3 March 1967, that features the discovery, which cites Dr. Moore's colleague as the discoverer rather than the editor of the published set. There is also an ad for the published work.

Dates

  • 1967-1989

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

None

Biographical / Historical

Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci (15 April 1452 – 2 May 1519, Old Style) was an Italian Renaissance polymath: painter, sculptor, architect, musician, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist, and writer.

Renaissance humanism recognized no mutually exclusive polarities between the sciences and the arts, and Leonardo's studies in science and engineering are as impressive and innovative as his artistic work. These studies were recorded in 13,000 pages of notes and drawings, which fuse art and natural philosophy (the forerunner of modern science), made and maintained daily throughout Leonardo's life and travels, as he made continual observations of the world around him. Leonardo's writings are mostly in mirror-image cursive. The reason may have been more a practical expediency than for reasons of secrecy as is often suggested. Since Leonardo wrote with his left hand, it is probable that it was easier for him to write from right to left.

These notebooks — originally loose papers of different types and sizes, distributed by friends after his death — have found their way into major collections such as the Royal Library at Windsor Castle, the Louvre, the Biblioteca Nacional de España, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Biblioteca Ambrosiana in Milan which holds the twelve-volume Codex Atlanticus, and British Library in London which has put a selection from the Codex Arundel (BL Arundel MS 263) online. Leonardo's notes appear to have been intended for publication because many of the sheets have a form and order that would facilitate this. In many cases a single topic, for example, the heart or the human fetus, is covered in detail in both words and pictures on a single sheet. Why they were not published within Leonardo's lifetime is unknown.

Extent

0.13 Linear Feet (3 items)

Language of Materials

English

Overview

Essay (probably never published) written in 1989 by Dr. Edward C. Moore titled "The Madrid Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci". The article explains what Moore, as Dean of the Graduate School of the University of Massachusetts, had witnessed and experienced when a colleague found two of the "lost notebooks" of Leonardo Da Vinci in the Spanish National Library.

Provenance

gift of Edward C. Moore, 1989

File Plan

To provide faster access to our materials, this finding aid was published without formal and final review. Email us at archives@ua.edu if you find mistakes or have suggestions to make this finding aid more useful for your research.

Processed by

C. Doughty, 2009; updated by Martha Bace, 2013
Title
Guide to the Edward C. Moore Madrid Notebooks of Da Vinci essay
Status
Coll Lvl Complete
Date
January 2009
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
English

Repository Details

Part of the The University of Alabama Libraries Special Collections Repository

Contact:
Box 870266
Tuscaloosa AL 35487-0266
205.348.0500