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Turning the Pages: ICAEW's collection of rare books

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  • Publish date: 06 February 2017
  • Archived on: 06 February 2018

ICAEW has been collecting rare and early works on accountancy for over 100 years and has one of the finest collections in the world, spanning the 15th century to the early 20th century.

Now you can experience four of the most important books in ICAEW rare books collection using Turning the Pages, an award-winning interactive tool developed by the British Library.

The Particularis de computis et scripturis section from Luca Pacioli’s "Summa de arithmetica", printed in Venice in 1494, includes the first mention of double-entry bookkeeping (the Venetian System) recorded in a printed book. The book was written in Italian rather than in Latin as it was designed to be used by Italian merchants.

ICAEW’s collection of books by Luca Pacioli also contains the beautiful work Divina proportione printed in Venice in 1509. This work includes illustrations by Leonardo da Vinci. Have a look at the proportioned letters, diagrams of shapes and the famous tree of proportion and proportionality.

Jan Ympyn Christoffel’s "Nieuwe Instructie", printed in Antwerp in 1543, was one of the most influential works of the age and was translated into French and English soon after publication. Through beautiful text and some helpful examples, the book demonstrates how double-entry bookkeeping was spreading to north west Europe from its beginnings in Italy. The author was a travelling silk trader.

James Peele’s "The maner and fourme how to kepe a perfecte reconying" is the rarest book in ICAEW’s collection. This is the only complete copy of the book in the world! It is the first surviving original book on accounting in English and was printed in London in 1553. The author was Citizen and Salter of London, clerk to Christ’s Hospital School from 1562 to 1585. The book includes some very attractive sample ledgers.

To find out more and to start Turning the Pages, visit icaew.com/turning-the-pages

Practicewire, February 2017