Guglielmo Libri

(c. 1803—1869) scientist, book collector, and thief

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A mathematics professor at Pisa in 1823, he obtained a Sorbonne post in 1834. In 1841, he became secretary to the commission formed to publish a catalogue of MSS in French public collections—and subsequently stole rare and precious books from libraries on a huge scale. In 1848, the breaking of the scandal and the fall of his political protector Guizot obliged him to flee to England. By ascribing the accusations of theft to political malice, Libri found defenders in Panizzi and others, but in 1888 the extent of his villainy was unmasked by Léopold Delisle.

From The Oxford Companion to the Book in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Bibliography.

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