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Three Volumes Stolen from the Hill Museum & Manuscript Library

On Thursday, June 7, 2012, staff at the Hill Museum & Manuscript Library (HMML) discovered that a 16th century printed book was missing from the work carrel of one of its catalogers. HMML staff conducted a thorough search of both HMML and Alcuin Library to ensure that the item had not been misplaced. The staff immediately reviewed a list of rare materials that had been used that week in presentations during a workshop being held at the library. It was discovered that two manuscript items from the Arca Artium collection were also missing, one of which had been used on Wednesday afternoon (June 6). It is believed that all three volumes were stolen. The manuscripts had already been photographed digitally and can be viewed in Vivarium, the online image service from the Hill Museum & Manuscript Library (www.hmml.org/vivarium). Officers from Life Safety Services at Saint John's University and from the Stearns County Sheriff's Office began an investigative process that involved interviewing staff and library visitors. New security precautions have since been put into place.
Published on 16 July 2012

On Thursday, June 7, 2012, staff at the Hill Museum & Manuscript Library (HMML) discovered that a 16th century printed book was missing from the work carrel of one of its catalogers. HMML staff conducted a thorough search of both HMML and Alcuin Library to ensure that the item had not been misplaced. The staff immediately reviewed a list of rare materials that had been used that week in presentations during a workshop being held at the library. It was discovered that two manuscript items from the Arca Artium collection were also missing, one of which had been used on Wednesday afternoon (June 6). It is believed that all three volumes were stolen. The manuscripts had already been photographed digitally and can be viewed in Vivarium, the online image service from the Hill Museum & Manuscript Library (www.hmml.org/vivarium). Officers from Life Safety Services at Saint John’s University and from the Stearns County Sheriff’s Office began an investigative process that involved interviewing staff and library visitors. New security precautions have since been put into place.

The missing books are:


Item 1: Two printed works in Latin, together in one volume. These are bound in blind-stamped pigskin over wooden boards, with raised bands and two clasps. The volume measures approximately 16-17 cm X 10 cm X 4-5 cm.

The two titles are:

· Desiderius Erasmus. D. Erasmi Roterodami, De copia verborum ac rerum commentarij duo … (Haganeae: Ex officina Seceriana, 1532).

· Adriano Castellesi. Hadrianus TT. S. Chrysogoni, S.R.E. Presby. Card. Batouien. De sermone Latino, & modis Latine loquendi … (Basileae: in aedibus Thomae Vollffij, 1533).

Item 2: Manuscript: “Señorio de Galisteo y sus 9 Aldeas. Sus pertenencias.” (the caption at the top of the cover). This is written on 30 unnumbered parchment leaves (i.e. 60 pages), of which the final two are blank (that is, [28 + 2] ff.). The size is 29.2 x 22.2 cm. (ca. 11 ½“ by 9“), and about 1 cm (½ “) thick. It is bound in a light brown, soft parchment cover.

>>> Online pictures

Item 3: Manuscript: Index codicum, authorum, et tractatuum in codicibus contentorum bibliothecae Alcobacensis (Alcobaça, ca. 1775?). This 18th century Latin manuscript contains brief descriptions for the manuscripts owned by the abbey of Alcobaça in Portugal. It is written on 98 paper leaves (i.e., 196 pages), of which the final six (ff. 93-98) are blank]. It’s size is 33.2 cm. x 21.5 cm. x 2.5 cm (or 13.5” x ca. 8.5“ x 1”).

>>> Online pictures

The Hill Museum & Manuscript Library would appreciate any help in recovering these items. If you have information or questions concerning this incident or these items, please contact:

Matthew Z. Heintzelman
Phone: 320-363-2795 (front office: 320-363-3514)
Hill Museum & Manuscript Library
P.O. Box 7300
Saint John’s University,
Collegeville, MN 56321-7300

>>> mheintzelma@csbsju.edu

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