Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The Biblioteca Ambrosiana (Ambrosian Library) in Milan is one of the great repositories of European culture. It was founded by Cardinal Federico Borromeo (1564-1631), whose agents scoured Western Europe and even Greece and Syria for books and manuscripts. Construction on a building to house the cardinal's 15,000 manuscripts and twice that many printed books began in 1603. He gave his collection of paintings and drawings to the Library too. Shortly after the cardinal's death his library acquired twelve manuscripts of Leonardo da Vinci, including the Codex Atlanticus . There are now some 12,000 drawings by European artists, from the 14th through the 19th centuries, which have come from the collections of a wide range of patrons and artists, academicians, collectors, art dealers, and architects.
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