University Library of Bern UB

Rare books

Artopoeus collection

The Bernese scholar Nicolaus Artopoeus (Ger.: Niklaus Pfister) bequeathed a collection of books on a broad range of subjects to the university library in 1553. He was born in 1500 in Balingen (Wurttemberg).  From 1527 on he worked as a teacher in Chur, Thun, and Brugg. In 1547 Artopoeus was appointed Professor of Greek and Hebrew at the "Kollegium zun Barfüssen". In his will he estimated that he had spent a sum of 200 gulden on his collection. Through his marriage to Cordula Sultzberger, the widow of his predecessor Johannes Wirz in Brugg, Artopoeus got hold of Wirz' book collection.

The Artopoeus collection contains around 100 volumes, 11 of which are incunabula. The vast majority of titles are in Latin, only a few in German, Hebrew and Greek.

The considerable number of marginal notes and notes prove that Artopoeus worked intensely with his books.