The exhibition “Rari, rarissimi e piccole curiosità” displays rare, highly valuable, exceptional, and extremely interesting documents – everything that is unique, extraordinary, and mysterious, that surprises us and awakens our curiosity (Latin: curiositas). The exhibition features thirty-two 16th-20th-century objects from the collections of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Unit and the National Archive of Published Documents Unit of the National Library of Lithuania. Most of the exhibition consists of the documents from 17th century – the Baroque era, when curiositas reached its peak.
For the very first time, the exhibition showcases the oldest maps of Lithuania, which have been unknown to the public. Here you will see “Mundus subterraneus“ (“Underground World,“ Amsterdam, 1665), the works of Athanasius Kircher, Italian scientist of German descent, a Jesuit theologian, encyclopedist and inventor, who was made famous by Umberto Eco’s novel “Foucault‘s Pendulum.“ The exhibition also displays the oldest journals published in Europe—the first scientific journal in history, “Journal des sçavans,“ (“The Journal of Scientists”), the first journal of medicine and natural science, “Miscellanea curiosa medico-physica“ (“Various Medical and Physical Curiosities”), the most popular entertainment magazine in France, and the first world’s fashion magazine, “Mercure galant” (“Chivalrous Mercury”) and many other rarities.
One of the most interesting exhibits is an example of a figurative poetry, “Song of Solomon,” a Hebrew manuscript composed in a shape of a fox. It is the smallest document in the exhibition (60×90 mm).
Location: 5th floor, Education Lab (Room 535).
Pre-registration required: up to 20 participants.
Guided tour of the exhibition (2 tours).
Duration: 60 min.
Time: 6:00 PM, and 8.00 PM.
Project promoter: Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania