In memoriam Remo Palmirani (1943-2005) – A message from FISAE President Josef Burch


Dear friends,


Again a major figure of the ex-libris world has left us. Dr Remo Palmirani died on the 20th of July 2005 after a long and courageous struggle against cancer at the age of 62. He was from an old Bologna family and worked for thirty years as a geriatrician in a large hospital in his home town. A few years ago he retired for medical reasons.


Remo Palmirani was a keen and knowledgeable collector of books, graphics and bookplates. He started taking interest in bookplates and collecting them in 1978 and today his fine collection of ex-libris numbers over 30,000 and is certainly among the best and largest in Italy. He collected especially masonic bookplates and ex-libris from the 1900s. But he will best be remembered not for his collection, but for his outstanding contribution to the promotion of bookplates: in twenty-seven years, he organised over one hundred exhibitions of ex-libris and published close to 250 essays on different aspects of Italian and other bookplates. As president of the “Accademia del Ex-libris” which he created with Egisto Bragaglia in 1987 and presided since then, he published some twenty books on the subject. His Manuale dell’amatore di ex-libris: guida illustrata alla storia, alla cultura ed al collezionismo degli ex-libris dal XVI secolo ai giorni nostri (Ravenna ed. 1999) is a standard reference work and bears witness to his being an outstanding connoisseur of the subject. A short bibliography of Remo Palmirani’s major publications can be found at He was awarded a FISAE Udo Ivask Certificate of Honour earlier this year.


For 15 years, Remo Palmirani cooperated with the Progetti Farnesi to create in Ortona, a seaside town on the Adriatic close to Rome, a Museo Ex-libris Mediterraneo. It opened last year, and recently, to keep the memory of the researcher and collector alive, a room of the museum has been adapted into a Remo Palmirani Study Centre which will house his collection and archive.


At the memorable FISAE congress in Wels most of us saw Remo Palmirani for the last time. The large international ex-libris family mourns him as a delightful friend and great collector. We extend our heartfelt condolences to the members of his family and to the Italian Ex-libris Association.


Josef Burch

 President of FISAE


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CH-6074 Giswil, Switzerland