Book of the Week – Anything From Anywhere


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Emily Tipps
Tuscaloosa, AL: High5 Press, 2009

Emily Tipps is the proprietor of High5 Press. She completed this project for her MFA in Book Arts from the University of Alabama. Four parts bound in printed and illustrated paper wrappers, printed with the word “Any,” “Thing,” “From,” “Anywhere,” on the cover of parts 1-4 respectively. The four booklets are housed in a cloth-covered clamshell box. Explanation of the project, notes on the authors, and production information is printed on the lining papers of the box. Letterpress printed on paper made by hand at the Lost Arch Papermill. Text and illustrations printed from photopolymer plates, with the exception of the end sheets.

Book of the Week – Minuet from Quintet in E by Luigi Boccherini


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Fairfax, CA: Jungle Garden Press, 1990
N7433.4 J8 M5 1990

A music box in the form of a book, the mechanism inset in hollowed-out pages. The winding key protrudes from the back cover. Illustrated with bars of music. Covers are steel with copper patina.

Rare Books Welcomes U!


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12 Go U! (2)

[Dara Niketic and her mother salute the U, as brother Max looks on. Photograph by Novak Niketic.]

Dara Niketic (Randolph College, 2015) joins the University of Utah as a PhD candidate in Molecular, Cellular and Evolutionary Biology. Her first experience on campus was a visit to Rare Books in August 2013, where she held our first editions of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species (1859), The Descent of Man (1871), and other great works from the past.

“It was amazing to be close to pieces of history that are so valuable to my field,” said Dara.

Rare Books invites all students, new and returning, to visit us in the Special Collections Reference Room,
find us online,
enjoy our online exhibitions,
view our collection of digitized books,
and follow our blog, Open Book,
for your own signature experience on the way to success in your field.

Book of the Week – Ozymandias


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Austin, TX: Erespin Press, 1984
DT88 O99 1984 oversize

Sonnet by Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822) and excerpts from ancient and modern works about Egypt. Engraving of head of mummy of Ramses II (1303 BC – 1213 BC) by Henry Wolf. Researched, designed and printed by Carol Kent. Printed on an 1840 Wood & Sharwood Albion. Set in Roulus with Cochin numerals. Printed on dampened cream-colored Rives Heavyweight with Arches Cover portfolio. Issued in cream-colored portfolio embossed with two cartouches and fastened with a beeswax seal on Egyptian papyrus strip, affixed with braided French perle and lacquered copper wire. Edition of one hundred copies. University of Utah copy gift of Gene Valentine.

Art installation – I Miss Everything About You


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Rare Books participates in an art installation.

I Miss Everything About You: A Public Spectacle Essay

Follow the project at

Your Dissertation Here !


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Argentorati : Apud Vuolfium Cephalaeum, 1524
BS1965 1524

First edition, first printing in octavo of the Erasmus New Testament in Greek. This edition, in its compact format, was much more affordable than Froben’s earlier editions, two facts that arguably gave Erasmus’ translation greater societal impact. The text closely follows the Nikolaus Gergel edition of 1521, the second edition of the Erasmus Greek New Testament.

Desiderius Erasmus (1466-1536) took monastic vows at the age of twenty-five. An independent scholar, he spent time at Cambridge where he befriended John Colet (1467-1519) and Thomas More (1478-1535) during a time of great stress in the English Church. He spent three years in Venice working as an editor in the publishing house of Aldus Manutius (1449-1515). He later worked with printer Johannes Froben (1460-1527) in Basel.

Vvovlivs spreadBioE Toy Arioy Eyar spread

While in England, Erasmus began a systematic examination of available manuscript copies of the New Testament. His resulting Greek New Testament, with Latin in parallel column, was first published by Froben in 1516. The 1516 Greek-Latin New Testament was used as a primary source for Martin Luther’s translation of the New Testament into German (1522), and for William Tyndale’s translation of the New Testament into English (1526).

Although Erasmus was criticized by later scholars for not having used all available manuscript copies of the Greek New Testament and for not using Byzantine copies, his translation is noted as the first Western European attempt to find a truer translation of the New Testament than that of the fourth century Latin Vulgate, the translation used almost exclusively by the Roman Catholic Church. The translation re-introduced the study of Greek biblical manuscripts and other Greek works on the Bible into Western Europe.

Page3 Page28

Only ten copies of this edition and printing are listed in WorldCat. University of Utah copy has extensive marginalia in multiple contemporary or just post-contemporary hands (possibly four) throughout.


Book of the week – Tractatus theologico-politicus


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Benedictus de Spinoza (1632-1677)
Hamburgi [i.e. Amsterdam]: Apud Henricum Kunrath [i.el. Jan Rieuwertsz], MDCLLXX (1670)
First edition, first issue
BS3985 A3 1670

Printed without authorship attribution, a false publisher and imprint were given in order to maintain anonymity and protect the author and printer from political retribution. In 1673, the book was publicly condemned by the Synod of Dordrecht and officially banned the following year. This is one of the few books banned in the Netherlands during the early modern period. In spite of this, it could be found and bought throughout Europe fairly easily. In this Tractatus Spinoza combined biblical criticism with political philosophy. His metaphysics was heavily influenced by Moses Maimonides and English philosopher Thomas Hobbes, author of Leviathan (1651). From its first page, the book sparked controversy. Spinoza expressed his skepticism of the authenticity and historicity of the Bible, pointing out its inconsistencies.

Book of the week — Leviathan


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Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679)
London: Printed for A. Crooke, 1651
First edition

Thomas Hobbes lived during a momentous period in English history. His Leviathan, a product of those troubled times, was one of the most important and controversial works of the seventeenth century. The English civil war, and the general conflict between royalists and republicans spurred Hobbes to write this, his greatest work. Banned as heretical and seditious and ordered to be burnt by the English Licensers almost immediately after this first edition was printed, Leviathan was reprinted in numerous spurious editions. In 1703 it was placed on the Index. For all that, the work was extremely influential, affecting, for instance, the early writings of Spinoza. Thomas Hobbes, writing during the period of the Puritan Revolution (1640’s), rejected the prevalent theory of divine right of kings and supported the idea of a social contract. He believed that the power of the sovereign was subject to certain limits. However, he defended absolutism, unpopular even in his day, as a necessary antidote to anarchy. The individual, then, except to save his own life, should always submit to the State. Later emphasis on the rights of the individual led to a decline in Hobbes’s influence. Even so, Leviathan was a major influence on the framers of the United States Constitution.

Two Medieval Monks Invent Writing


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Thank you to friend of Rare BooksMaria Dobozy, Associate Chair, Department of Languages & Literature, The University of Utah, for sending this glimpse into early medieval bookmaking.


MONK #2: i think youre ready to move on to something a little trickier this time
reading and writing

MONK #1: oh wow

MONK #2: the really important thing to remember about writing is that you dont use any words
just blank pages in careful order

Get the rest of the story.

P.S. Don’t miss the tags.

Book of the Week – Book of Commandments


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Zion: W. W. Phelps, 1833
BX8628 A2 1833

Joseph Smith, Martin Harris, Oliver Cowdery, John Whitmer, Sidney Rigdon, and William Wines Phelps were responsible for the first publication of this work. Phelps, Cowdery, and Whitmer were also on a committee to review the revelations within. The original publishing plan called for an edition of ten thousand copies. In the end, this number was only three thousand. Printing began in December 1832 and ended on 20 July 1833 when a mob destroyed the type, the press, and the building in which the work was being done. Mary Elizabeth and Caroline Rollins managed to rescue the sheets gathered here. In her diary, Mary Rollins, writes of this event. “The mob renewed their work again by tearing down the printing office and driving the family of Brother Phelps out of the lower part of the building, throwing their things into the street. My sister, Caroline, and I were in the corner of the fence, tremblingly watching them and when they brought out a pile of large sheets of paper saying, “Here are the damned Mormon Commandments’ I was determined to have some of them. Sister said she would go too, but she added, ‘They will kill us.’ While their backs were turned prying out the gable end of the building, we ran and got our arms full and were turning away when some of the mob saw us and called for us to stop, but we ran as fast as we could, with two of them after us…we ran toward a gap in the fence, through into a large cornfield, laid the papers on the ground, and laid flat over them. The corn was five or six feet tall and very thick…” This copy belonged to Hyrum Smith, was then given to President John Taylor, and was preserved by his daughter, Ida Taylor Whitaker. The book then rested in John M. Whitaker’ library and contains his bookplate. Appoximately two dozen copies of the unfinished work are known to exist today.