From U. of Toronto:
As people around the world show their appreciation for the printed word on United Nations’ World Book Day, University of Toronto’s Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library is making history with the acquisition of what is thought to be the oldest English-language book in Canada.
Printed in 1481, the book includes three texts – Cicero’s De Amicitia (treatise on friendship), De Senectute (treatise on old age) and Giovane Buonaccorso da Montemagno’s De Nobilitate (treatise on nobility).
The book, referred to as the Caxton Cicero, also marks a special milestone for U of T Libraries: it’s the library system’s 15 millionth item.
Only 13 copies of this book exist in its complete form, says Pearce Carefoote, the interim head of rare books and manuscripts at Fisher Library, and he says it’s a rarity in many ways.
U of T acquired the text from Price’s estate, which was made possible by many donors, led by the B.H. Breslauer Foundation and with the support from the University of Toronto through a matching grant.
Up until this point, the oldest English-language book in the Fisher Library’s collection was its 1507 copy of The Golden Legend, which it acquired in 2016.