Book of the Week — De Magnete magneticisqve corporibvs et de magna magnete tellure; Physiologia noua, plurimus & orgumentis, & …

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“Non ex libris solum, sed ex rebus ipsis scientiam quaeritis.”

Gvilielmi gilberti colcestrensis, medici londinensis, de magnete magneticisqve corporibvs, et de magno magnete tellure; phsiologia noua, plurimis & argumentis, & experimentis demonstrata
William Gilbert (1540-1603)
Londini: excvdebat P. Short, 1600
First edition
QC751 G44 1600

This the only published work of William Gilbert, an attorney’s son who studied at Cambridge before practising as a physician in London, where he was elected a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians in 1573 and its president in 1600. Through his contacts at court, Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester; and William Cecil, Lord Burghley, Gilbert was made Royal Physician to Queen Elizabeth I in 1601, an appointment renewed by James I on his accession in 1603. Swank surroundings, but Gilbert earned his reputation from the publication of this book after eighteen years of dedicated labor.

In the six books of De magnete, William Gilbert discussed the history of magnetism. Although the magnetic lodestone had been used by the ancient Greeks, Gilbert argued that the Earth was a natural magnet, and the Earth’s magnetic poles are relatively near the geographic poles. As a result of this argument, mariners were better able to use the lodestone as an effective navigational tool. Considered the first great scientific book published in England, its importance is due to Gilbert’s reliance on experimental methods of research, a crucial development in the field of science.

While Gilbert was chiefly concerned with the properties of magnetism, he also wrote about the attractive effect of electricity. Because of this discussion he is considered the founder of electrical science. The English term “electricity” was not coined until 1646, but, in this book, Gibert wrote “Electrica, qua attrahunt eadem ratione ut electrum.” Gilbert’s experiments proved that the earth’s core is iron, and that the earth rotates daily — some twenty years before Galileo described the same.

De magnete describes Gilbert’s invention of the “Versorium,” the first instrument designed for the study of electric phenomena.

Johannes Kepler, Frances Bacon, Robert Boyle, Isaac Newton, and Galileo were all greatly influenced by this book.

The text is filled with eighty-eighty woodcuts, four of which are full-page, a folding plate, and decorative initials and head- and tail-pieces. Rare Books copy lacks folding plate.

Take heed of loving mee

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PR2247-P76-2001-Cover
Take heed of loving mee,
At least remember I forbade it thee;
Not that I shall repaire my unthrifty wast
Of Breath and Blood, upon thy sighes and teares,
By being to thee then what to me thou wast;
But so, great Joy, our life at once outweares;
Then, lest thy love, by my death, frustrate bee,
If thou love mee, take heed of loving mee.

The Prohibition
John Donne (1572-1631)
Longmont, CO: PS Press, 2001
PR2247 P76 2001

English poet John Donne wrote often about love. This admonishment to a lover at the end of a liaison expresses the ambivalence of both loving and hating the once beloved. Donne’s twists and turns of thought, his admiration of paradox, are symbolized in the magic-wallet structure of this book. The book opens in a single spread with one stanza each on verso and recto. To finish reading the poem, the book must be closed and then opened again from the back cover where the fore edge reveals, as a hidden resolution, the third stanza.

Illustrated with anatomical drawings of the human heart and arteries, the production uses handset type, letterpress and monoprint, paper over board, bound with Daniel Kelm’s wire-edge binding. Edition of fifteen copies.

PR2247-P76-2001-Spread1

Take heed of hating mee,
Or too much triumph in the victorie;
Not that I shall be mine owne officer,
And hate with hate againe retaliate;
But thou wilt lose the stile of conquerour,
If I, thy conquest, perish by thy hate.
Then, lest my being nothing lessen thee,
If thou hate mee, take heed of hating mee.

Yet love and hate mee too;
So these extreames shall neithers office doe;
Love mee, that I may die the gentler way;
Hate mee, because thy love’s too great for mee;
Or let these two, themselves, not mee, decay;
So shall I live thy stage, not triumph bee.
Lest thou thy love and hate, and mee undo,
O let mee live, yet love and hate mee too.

 

Book of the Week — Lectures of Experimental Philosophy

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“And that we may not be decieved by false Notions which we have embraced without Examining, or that we have received upon the Authority of others; we ought to call in Question all such things as have an Appearance of Falshood, that by a new Examen we may be led to the Truth.”

Lectures of Experimental Philosophy…
John Theophilus Desaguliers (1683-1744)
London: Printed for W. Mears at the Lamb without Temple-Bar; B. Creake, at the Bible in Jermyn-Street, St. James’s; and J. Sackfield in Lincolns-Inn-Square, MDCCXIX (1719)

J. T. Desaguliers’ writings on mechanics were published as a set of lectures in 1717 in an 80-page tract of brief abstracts. This work, Lectures of Experimental Philosophy, edited by Desaguliers’ student, Paul Dawson, is believed to be spurious, published without consent of the author. Dawson, in his dedication, states that he had the author’s acknowledgement.


“I therefore humbly Present to You the following treatise, containing the several Philosophical Experiments in his publick Lectures, which I have carefully collected, and that Gentleman approved of.”

Desaguliers disavowed this, although he wrote in his Preface, or Advertisement to the Reader, that “he looked over the whole book and corrected every error.”


“Mr. Dawson (a young Man whom Sir Richard Steel had put under my Care) took a Copy of the Lectures above-mentioned, that they might be of Service to him when he went thro’ my Courses, and they were afterwards sold and published without my Knowledge. But as the Booksellers have made me Satisfaction, and purchased the Copy of me, I have looked over the whole Book, and corrected every Error therein…”

In any event, in this work Desaguliers tells the reader “How to make a heavy Body seem to rise it self,” “How to Condense the AIR, so that you may put what Quantity you please into a Vessel,” gives a “description of the Air-Pump Mr. Boyle made use of,” describes different types of barometers, thermometers, and hydrometers; and offers an essay on Isaac Newton’s “Colours.”

Desaguliers was born in France and raised in England. He studied at Oxford under John Keill, spending a good deal of his time reading Newton’s Principia. He attended a course of lectures given by s’Gravesande on mechanical consequences of the laws of motion as Newton defined them. In 1720, Desaguliers translated s’Gravesande’s work on Newton from Latin into English. As one of the foremost researchers in the Royal Society, he repeated several of Newton’s experiments on heat, optics and mechanics. Some of his results were made use of by Newton in the third edition of Principia. Desaguliers was an ardent supporter of Newton.

This is a reissue of A System of Experimental Philosophy, London, 1719.

The title-page is new, a preface by the author is added, an errata leaf and an advertisement leaf advertising the English translation of a work of Herman Boerhaave (1668-1738) have been prefixed to the original title page.

Rare Books copy bound in contemporary Cambridge binding, rebacked. Text contains a few contemporary annotations and an ownership signature of James (?) Hardy on the paste-down.

Book of the Week — Mercury: or the Secret and Svvift Messenger

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“There is no safety but by flight.”

Mercury: or the secret and svvift messenger…
John Wilkins (1614-1672)
London: Printed by I. Norton, for Iohn Maynard, and Timothy Wilkins, and are to be sold at the George in Fleetstreet, neere Saint Dunstans Church, 1641
First edition
Z103 W68 1641

This codebook has charts and figures describing how the reader can master the art of secret communication. It is the first book in English on cryptology, published anonymously in 1641. John Wilkins, a chaplain who married Oliver Cromwell’s sister and became Bishop of Chester and a founder and first secretary of the Royal Society revealed himself to be the author when the second edition was printed that same year.

Mercury introduced the words “cryptographia” (secret writing), and “cryptologia” (secrecy in speech) into English. Wilkins defined “cryptomeneses” as the art of secret communication, in general. Wilkins described three kinds of geometrical cipher, a system in which a message is represented by dots, lines, or triangles.

The letters of the alphabet, in normal or mixed order, were written out at known spatial intervals, serving as the key. This line of letters was held at the top of a sheet of paper, and the message was spelled out by marking a dot for each plaintext letter underneath that letter in the key alphabet, each dot lower than its predecessor. The dots could then be connected by twos to form lines, by threes to form triangles, or all together to form what would look like a graph. Or, they could be left as dots. The receiver, who had an identically proportioned key, noted the positions of the dots, the ends of the lines, or the apexes of the triangles against the alphabetical scale to read the plaintext.

The end papers and flyleafs, front and back, are 17th century printer’s waste from an unidentified French to English dictionary. Ex libris Lawrence Strangman, a collector of 16th to 20th century English literature.

On Jon’s Desk – The Golden Cockerel Press Conquers an Anonymous Chronicle of the First Crusade

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Title: The First Crusade: The Deeds of the Franks and other Jerusalemites

Author: Anonymous

Publisher: London: The Golden Cockerel Press, 1945

Call Number: D161.1 G42 1945

The story of the Crusades is one of conquest. Although participants saw themselves as pilgrims, the endeavor quickly became an enterprise of establishing a new kingdom (that of Jerusalem). Setting out on the journey of reading the Crusade chronicles is often like starting a bibliographic pilgrimage that will invariably become something else. These accounts can become a collection of narratives needing to be conquered. And that is just what one group of talented book makers did with one account of the First Crusade recorded by an anonymous participant: the Golden Cockerel Press took the chronicle and mastered it — completely.

Operating between 1920 and 1961, the Golden Cockerel Press was initially a privately owned press (and then later a publishing house) that specialized in producing fine press editions of works completely by hand. The press printed on handmade paper using hand-set type, and often illustrated the works using hand-engraved woodblocks. The Golden Cockerel Press was founded by Harold (Hal) Midgley Taylor (1893-1925) in 1920, but was set up as a cooperative with three other partners in addition to Taylor: Bee Blackburn, Pran Pyper, and Ethelwynne (Gay) Stewart McDowall. After Taylor was no longer able to supervise the press due to suffering from tuberculosis it was sold to Robert Gibbings in 1924. Gibbings published 71 titles at the press, with the size of a run normally between 250 and 750 copies. The press enjoyed a brief period of strong success before once again succumbing to faltering markets and in 1931 it was taken over by Christopher Sandford, Owen Rutter, and Francis J. Newbery. It was at this point that the press transitioned from a privately owned press to a publishing house. 120 works were published during the Sandford era. In 1959 Sandford, for whom the financial pressures of keeping the press going had become too much, sold the publishing business to Thomas Yoseloff, an American publisher and at the time director of University of Pennsylvania Press. Yoseloff completed the publication of two titles in 1960 that had been previously commissioned by Sandford, and then the following year published two more titles before continuation of the business proved impractical. By the end of 1961 Yoseloff ceased operations, as the resources and fine bookcraft skills necessary for production of Golden Cockerel titles became too difficult and costly to obtain.

The illustrations in some Golden Cockerel titles, although tame by modern standards, were considered risqué for the time and necessitated the press taking precautionary measures against possible prosecutions for obscenity or provocation, such as disguising the names of translators and illustrators. The woodblock engravings for The First Crusade: The Deeds of the Franks and other Jerusalemites were done by Clifford Webb (14 February 1895 – 29 July 1972), who was an English artist, illustrator, and author. He primarily illustrated books for children, which makes his engravings for The First Crusade that much more interesting by comparison. The scenes captured by Webb in this work are striking, both artistically and from a standpoint of subject matter.

The anonymous chronicle Gesta Francorum et aliorum Hierosolimitanorum, the translation of which appears in the Golden Cockerel work The First Crusade, was written by a participant of the events for which it is named. Who wrote this account and why would The Golden Cockerel Press want to publish it? Let’s take a little closer look at it, shall we?

Shortly after the conclusion of the First Crusade, in 1101 CE, Ekkehard (d. 1126), later abbot of Aura, went to Jerusalem on pilgrimage and saw there what he described as “a little book,” in which an account of the three years preceding the taking of Jerusalem was given. Several other accounts refer to this “little book,” which was often described as rustic and written in an unpolished style. This account is accepted as the earliest chronicle of the First Crusade to be completed following the events of 1099, which included the capture of Jerusalem by the western Christians (i.e. pilgrims). It came to be known as the Gesta Francorum et aliorum Hierosolimitanorum (in translation, The Deeds of the Franks and the other Pilgrims to Jerusalem), and is now commonly referred to as the Gesta.

This chronicle is comprised of an account which begins with the Council of Clermont in November 1095 and ends with the Battle of Ascalon in August 1099. The account consists of ten books, of which the first nine are believed to have been written before the anonymous author left Antioch in November 1098 and the tenth at Jerusalem shortly after the Battle of Ascalon (certainly before the beginning of 1101). This work became an important source for other chronicles which followed. The Gesta also influenced, either in its original form or through those who used it as a resource in their own work, most of the chronicles written during the twelfth century. Its influence on the historical writings of the time has cemented it as an important source alongside even the more “polished” of its contemporary peers.

The anonymous author of the Gesta had little interest in autobiography and little is known about him beyond what can be discovered indirectly through the context of his account. Contextual evidence suggests that he was a vassal, most likely a mid-level knight, of Bohemond and that he came from southern Italy. This is made clear due to his description of the beginning of the Crusade and the position from which he participated in the battles up to June 1098. He identified a number of undistinguished men in Bohemond’s army while confusing the names and titles of important and powerful northern leaders.

Perhaps the most telling evidence of the author’s identity, however, is that throughout the first nine books he refers to Bohemond as “dominus” (in the feudal sense of “overlord”) and usually attached a laudatory epitaph such as “sapiens,” “prudens,” or “bellipotens” when describing him. This suggests that he either held Bohemond in the highest esteem or expected him to read, or at least hear of, the chronicle. The socio-political restraints of a vassal would have necessitated this treatment to the author’s lord. Additionally, the author fought in the ranks of Bohemond’s knights at the Battle of Dorylaeum and the Lake of Antioch, and he was one of the band of hand-picked men Bohemond took with him to enter Antioch by night in order to obtain control of the city through stealth. In reference to Pope Urban II’s journey to Clermont he described the destination as “across the mountains,” showing that he considered Italy to be his home. This evidence indicates that the author was a member of a Norman family that had followed Tancred de Hauteville into southern Italy in the eleventh century. Bohemond’s father was Robert Guiscard, who was one of Tancred’s sons. It seems likely that Bohemond’s immediate followers were of Norman descent despite many of them having been born in Italy.

It is also likely that the anonymous author of the Gesta was a layman as opposed to clergy, who usually authored chronicles. That he was a knight is obvious from the account. Less obvious is how he became educated enough to write the account, even with it being written in a simple, unadorned style. It was possible, although uncommon, for knights to be educated (milites literati), usually in cases where younger sons who had been trained for service in the church were recalled to a military career upon the death of an older brother so long as they had not progressed beyond minor orders. This may be the case for the anonymous author of the Gesta. While it is primarily a tale of heroic deeds, it does have the feeling of being written by a devout man familiar with passages in the Vulgate. When Bohemond decided to stay at and rule Antioch, the anonymous author chose to abandon his lord, possibly giving up the prospects of enfeoffment in the Principality of Antioch, to continue on to Jerusalem and fulfill his pilgrim’s vow. If true, this would lend credibility to the hypothesis of a devout layman who had become literate through church training.

The Gesta is comprised of a fascinating account of the events of the First Crusade, delightfully presented in this edition – an edition of the highest quality printing – done by the The Golden Cockerel press. Clifford Webb’s masterfully engraved illustrations put the reader right in the middle of the action. One can imagine a Golden Cockerel there, in the middle of it all, as the Crusaders stormed the walls of Jerusalem in July of 1099. If only Ekkehard had been so lucky as to have found such an edition rather than the “little book” he came across in Jerusalem in 1101.

~Contributed by Jon Bingham, Rare Books Curator

Book of the Week — Glasshouse

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“[Joseph] Banks reported in 1788 to the British East India Company that the climate in parts of northeast India was perfect for growing Camillia sinensis, the bush that produces tea leaves. The plant turned out to be indigenous to the Assam area, which eventually became a core producer of tea for the British market. Widespread worker exploitation was common on tea plantations throughout the 19th century…”

Glasshouse
Sarah Nicholls
Brooklyn, NY: Sarah Nicholls, 2016
N7433.4 N53 G53 2016

From the artist’s statement: “…a look at the history of greenhouses, a technology made to cultivate foreign plants in a controlled environment, originally in service to empire…In an era before the chemical industry, plants were the source of most economic advantage, so the cultivation of new kinds of plants taken from other areas of the world became important to Europeans. Botanical gardens were research facilities, not just collections of pretty flowers.


“Orchid hunters made their living traveling to remote locations to find the widest range and the rarest of breeds, to be shipped back to shipped back to Europe and sold at a profit as a luxury good. Hunters were competitive and secrective: they would strip bare entire populations of orchids to keep flowers from getting into their competitor’s hands and often traveled alone to prevent disclosing their favorite spots.”

The book has two sections: the first discusses the development of greenhouses as a technology, and the rise of botany as a science. The second looks at specific kinds of plants that became important as global commodities. Images are printed from multi-color woodcuts; they are meant to give the impression of walking through a greenhouse…I used translucency as a technique to mimic the effect you get as you pass through glass rooms full of plants. Longer passages of text are printed on overlays which are like the didactic captions you get in a botanical garden display.

Imagery is printed from woodcuts on Sakamoto, waxed kozo and Zerkal Ingres, based on original photographs…”

Sarah Nicholls’ work combines language, image, visual narrative, and time. She has written a collection of self-help aphorisms, published a series of free information pamphlets, and recently completed a field guide to extinct birds. She teaches printmaking and book arts at Pratt Institute and Parsons School of Design.

A Donation Makes a Difference in Denmark

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“These showings of Intertype “Fotosetter” Garamond mark an important event in the history of Intertype Corporation. All of the composition was produced on an Intertype Fotosetter photographic line-composing machine. The original film positives were used to make deep-etch lithographic plates, from which this booklet was printed. Quite appropriately for such an occasion Garamond, considered among leading typographers to be one of the most successful type faces ever introduced, was selected for these introductory specimens of Fotosetter technique.”

Fotosetter Garamond
Brooklyn: Intertype Corp., 1949
Z250 F75 1949


Any one of a certain age living in Utah knows who Don Gale is. Three times a day, in the seventies, eighties, and nineties, KSL aired Don’s short, stern, fair editorials. Don was the Vice President for Public Affairs and Editorial Director at KSL.

Over the years, Don has donated personal papers, videos of his editorials and other material to Special Collections. In 2006, Rare Books was the happy recipient of a collection of books and printed ephemera concerning twentieth century commercial printing technologies, including manuals and type specimen books.

Don’s dad was a printer.

In late November we received an email from Henning Impgaard Madsen in Denmark, who had discovered through the internet that we had “some information about the first Fotosetter in the world.” The Royal Danish Library did not have “any information.” Mr. Madsen said that he was helping a museum get an Intertype Fotosetter working but that he needed “some details about the electrical parts and how to work it.”

Thanks to Don’s donation, we were able to provide Mr. Madsen with all the details he needed.

Like Mr. Gale, Mr. Madsen is “retired,” although neither one of them is spending much time retiring. He studied electronics in school. Among other things, he worked with Fotosetters, “mainly Compugraphic from US.”
After he retired, Mr. Madsen and his wife visited museums featuring typesetting, but never ran across a Fotosetter. Then, in a museum in Viborg, the Vingaards Officinet, he found an Intertype Fotosetter. “I had no idea that the first Fotosetter looked like this.

“I talked to the people at the museum and asked why they did not have a Compugraphic, the one I knew from the 1970[s]. They answered, ‘If you can find one we would very much like to have one.’ Mr. Madsen thought to himself, no problem, easy job. “I started to call around, but all the machines or my old customers [had] disappeared. [Someone] gave me the idea” to contact, GRAKOM, the Danish  Association for Communication, Design & Media. That contact led to an article about Mr. Mardsen in UDKOM (Outcome), an industry magazine covering issues and news for companies straddling design, media production, communication and marketing.

The article eventually led to a phone call from a man who had a Compugraphic Universal V. It wasn’t working, but Mr. Mardsen found some parts, did what he could and donated it to Vingaards Officinet.

The museum staff then asked Mr. Madsen to get their Intertype Fotosetter running.

And that is how Don Gale’s donation made a difference in Denmark. We supplied Mr. Madsen scans of a manual for operating the first Intertype Fotosetter, from Mr. Gale’s collection. And Mr. Madsen got the mid-century Fotosetter running. A generation made to last.

Thank you, Don Gale and good work, Mr. Madsen!

###


“The Fotosetter is an automatic, photographic line composing machine. It produces justified composition in galley form directly on film or photographic paper in one operation. This composition can be reproduced on offset-lithographic, gravure and letterpress plates, using standard platemaking methods in each case.”

Introducing the Fotosetter: the photographic line composing machine
Brooklyn, NY: Intertype Corp., 1950
TR1010 I58 1950



“The greater party of this manual is devoted to suppplying the Fotosetter operator with the information which he must have to set up, operate, and maintain his machine, and to understand the principles of its operation.”

Operators manual for the Intertype Fotosetter photographic typesetting machine
Brooklyn, NY: Intertype Corporation, 1955
Z249 O643 1955

Rare Books copy is a gift from Don Gale.



“Following a three year period of field testing in the U. S. Government Printing Office in Washington the first commercial installation was made in 1949. Since then Fotosetter photographic line composing machines have been installed and proven highly successful in all types of printing and composition plants throughout the United States and the world.”

Fotosetter type faces
Brooklyn: Intertype Corporation, ca. 1950
Z250 I58 F6

Rare Books copy is a gift from Don Gale.

Merci, Paris!

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David TAILLADES, Hiram, Le Mystere de la Maitrise et les origines de la franc-maconnerie (Paris: Editions Dervy, 2017)

Presented as a gift from the author to Rare Books for assistance with Masonic sources, such as articles from the Ars Quatuor Coronatorum.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Title: Ars Quatuor Coronatorum: Being the Transactions of the Quatuor Coronati, Lodge No. 2076, London. Volume I.

Author: Freemasons

Edited by: G. W. Speth, P.M., Secretary

Publisher: Margate: Printed at “Kemble’s Gazette” Office, MDCCCXCV (1895)

Quatuor Coronati is the world’s premier Freemason research lodge. Established in 1884 (and consecrated in 1886), the lodge’s founders wished to advance an evidence-based approach to study Masonic history and research the origins of Freemasonry. Their approach was intended to replace the more imaginative writings of earlier authors and is referred to as the ‘authentic school’ of Masonic research. The Lodge publishes lectures, research papers, and ‘notes & queries’ annually in Ars Quatuor Coronatorum (‘AQC’), which also consists of the transactions of the Lodge. The AQC is distributed internationally. The J. Willard Marriott Library holds the first one hundred and seventeen volumes of the publication (up through 2004). The volumes in Rare Books came to the collections from the library of Kent Walgren.

David Taillades approached Rare Books in November 2016, requesting digital reproductions of articles from the the AQC because the documents “can’t be found in France.” Over the next six months Rare Books worked to support David’s research into the origins of Freemasonry in France by providing access to select articles found throughout its set of AQC. According to David, the support the Rare Books staff provided aided him greatly in his ability to publish his research.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rare Books Goes to Utah State University!

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Last semester, Rare Books loaned six of its medieval manuscript facsimiles to the Merrill-Cazier Library at Utah State University in collaboration with an art history course taught by Professor Alexa Sand. The upper-level course, “Special Topics Seminar in Medieval and Early Modern Art: Rare Books and Facsimiles,” provided a wide-ranging introduction to the interdisciplinary field of manuscript studies. The focus was the history of the codex from its advent in late Roman times to the early print era.

Each student selected a facsimile and researched its origins, history, and significance toward the final assignment of including it in a group-curated exhibition displayed in the library. The seminar concluded with a one-day symposium in which student researchers played an active role in discussion.

The materials selected for study related to botany and its medical and magical associations from late antiquity through the early modern period. Students prepared all aspects of the exhibition, from layout and display to publicity and the opening reception, working with Special Collections faculty and staff and Professor Sand.

Facsimiles on loan from Rare Books were:


Des Pedanius Dioskurides aus anazarbos arzneimittellehre in funf buchern
Ca. seventh century, Italy
Graz: Akademische Druck-u. Verlagsanstalt, 1988
R126 D56 1988

Facsimile. This manuscript is one of the oldest in the tradition of Materia medica, a pharmacological treatise written by Greek physician Pedanius Dioscorides in the first century CE. Dioscorides’ work was used by the medieval world for centuries. In the sixth century it was translated into Latin and by the ninth century it had been translated into Arabic, Syrian and Hebrew. More than four hundred plants are described in this illustrated herbal manual, each illustration bordered in red ink. The binding of wooden covers and leather accords with the character of the original.


Theriaka y Alexipharmaka de Nicandro
Nicander of Colophon
Barcelona: Moleiro, 1997
QP41 N53 1997

Facsimile. The Greek text for this codex, produced in the tenth century, was written in Constantinople in the second century BCE. Nicander, a trusted doctor, poet, and grammarian served in the court of Athalus III, King of Pergamum. In Homeric-style verses, Nicander describes poisons caused by animal bites and stings and by the ingestion of plant, animal, and mineral substances. Antidotes are given for each type of poisoning. These nearly sixty formulas were later improved upon by Mithridates, who added opium and aromatic herbs to the potions. Nicander’s work was used by Criton, the doctor of Trajan, and Andromachus, Nero’s doctor, and is the oldest extant Greek text relating to toxicology. Using this text as his basis, Andromachus compiled a list of seventy-one curative remedies – a list used until the nineteenth-century as the panacea textbook for all and any poisonings. The tenth-century codex, a product of the Byzantine Renaissance, is the only remaining illuminated copy of Nicander’s poetry. The forty-one illustrations form a part of the Hellenistic artistic tradition. The original is now housed at the Bibliotheque National de France. Facsimile edition of nine hundred and eighty-seven copies. University of Utah copy is no. 469.


Theatrum sanitatis
Ububchasym of Baldach (d. ca. 1068 AD)
Eleventh Century
Barcelona: M. Moleiro, 1999
RS79 T46 1999

Facsimile. This handbook of health was written between 1052 and 1063 CE by the Arab scholar Ububshasym of Baldach, better known throughout medieval literature as Ellucasim Elimittar. Many of the concepts used in his writing were derived from earlier Greek, Roman, and Arabic medical treatises. Good health depended upon six essential factors: climate, food and drink, movement and rest, sleep and wakefulness, happiness, pain and sadness. Plants, fruits, vegetables, and basic hygiene also affect a person’s health. Ninety-nine of these and other elements are described with the therapeutic properties of each and the ailments that may be helped by them. The illustrations were influenced by the school of Giovannino de Grassi. Two hundred and eight red-framed, nearly full-page illuminations illustrate scenes from daily life as well as the elements described.


Tacuinum sanitatus in medicina.
Graz, Austria: Akademische Druck-u. Verlagsanstalt, 1986
RS79 T335 1986

Facsimile. Northern Italy. This illuminated medical handbook was produced for a layperson – a woman of the upper aristocracy or of a rich patrician family able to read, and afford, a lavish book. A reference of sorts for the household management of health and healing, this type of book goes back to an Arab source written by the physician Ibn Butlan in the 11th century. The Arab art and science of healing decisively influenced occidental medicine and enjoyed a long-lived and distinguished reputation. The Latin translation, which made the codex accessible to the educated of the medieval western world, was widely known. Many copies survive. This particular copy is one of the finest of its kind, displaying over two hundred full-page miniatures of all that was considered important with regard to human health and well being. Beginning in the 14th century, the text was placed below an individual image. The evocative miniatures portray everyday life of late Medieval Italian culture. With a natural style and strong colors, two artists portrayed plants, animals, food, and drugs. All of the objects are within scenes centered upon a human. The text below each miniature describes both the benefits and shortfalls of the object depicted. Derived from the classical herbal tradition, but closely related to Arab manuscripts, the format follows a later western tradition. Bound in leather on wooden boards with hand stamping according to contemporary pattern.


Livre des simples medecines
Antwerp : De Schutter, 1984
QK99 A1 L58 1984 v.1

Facsimile. This late fifteenth-century manuscript is of what has become known as “Livre des Simple Medecines,” a major text of medieval science. Many manuscript copies of this work exist – at least twenty-three from the fifteenth century and one from the sixteenth century. It was first printed in 1488 and printed nine more times before 1548. In classic herbal format, Livre des simple medecines is an alphabetical list of “simples,” that is, unadulterated vegetable, mineral or animal products. Each entry provides a description and, among other things, its usefulness in treating ailments. Herbals as pharmacopeia began in ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt. The earliest surviving medical herbal is a work in Greek compiled by Pedianos Dioscorides. This work would dominate European herbals for the next fifteen centuries. It was translated into Arabic as early as the ninth century and influenced Avicenna and other physicians from the Arab world. Herbals were living works. That is, copyists, often practitioners of medicine themselves or copying for practitioners, would contribute to adapt or modify an herbal depending on new or different experience. In this tradition, the French translation here includes new sources such as ibn Butlan, an Arab physician, and others. The four hundred and fifty-seven illuminations in this copy, the Codex Bruxellensis IV, reveal an attempt by the artists to be faithful to nature. In this sense, the desire was to return to copying nature, instead of merely copying degraded illustrations from older herbals. Deliberate observation and representation of nature emerged in all forms of art in the fifteenth century. Codex Bruxellensis IV was copied onto paper. Written in maroon ink by a single hand sometime in the second half of the fifteenth century in a cursive script, the copy also contains marginal annotations by at least two sixteenth-century hands. An attempted pagination was added by a seventeenth-century hand. At some point in its history, one owner added dried samples of plants within its leaves. Facsimile edition of two thousand copies. The University of Utah copy is no. 316.


Tacuinum sanitatis/enchiridion virtutum vegetablilium, animalium, mineralium rerumque omnium: explicans naturam, iuvamentum, nocumentum remotionemque nocumentoru[m] eorum/ authore anonymo
Graz: Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt, 1984 RS79 T33 1984

Facsimile. Venice, 1490. Tacuinum Sanitatis (Handbook of Health) is the modern title given to one of the most popular treatises on medicine during the later Middle Ages. It combines Arabic and western knowledge on many types of foods, plants, and circumstances, with particular reference to their useful and harmful properties, and how the latter could be cured if necessary. The illustrated versions of this text yield much information on medieval daily life. The manuscript is comprised of 82 leaves, with four miniatures per page, a total of 294 miniatures. The captions or text are based on the Taqwin al-sihhah of Ibn Butlan (d. 1066), which was unillustrated. Ibn Butlan, originally from Baghdad, visited Cairo about 1049, after which he went to Constantinople before settling at Antioch in Syria and becoming a Nestorian monk. Facsimile edition of nine hundred and eighty copies, numbered.

Photographs of people by Andrew McAllister/Caine College of the Arts, Utah State University

Digital scans of books by Scott Beadles/Department of Art, University of Utah

Special thanks to our colleague Jennifer Duncan, Head of Special Collections, Book Curator, Merrill Cazier Library, Utah State University.

 

You are invited! ~~ Seventh Annual Book Collector’s Evening

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“The history of the printed word reveals our capacity for brilliance, but it also reveals our capacity for blunder. The printing press is a stage upon which the entire drama of human thought and morality is acted out.” — Rebecca Romney, from Printer’s Error: Irreverent Stories from Book History

Please join us for The Friends of the Library seventh annual Book Collector’s Evening. Rebecca Romney, co-author of Printer’s Error: Irreverent Stories from Book History presents “Human Error in the History of Print: A Story in Five Books.”

Tuesday, February 13
6:00PM
Alta Club
100 East South Temple
Salt Lake City, Utah
tickets are $60

RSVP by February 9
Judy Jarrow
judy.jarrow@utah.edu or 801-581-3421

Rebecca Romney is a rare book dealer at Honey & Wax Booksellers and the author (with J.P. Romney) of Printer’s Error: Irreverent Stories in Book History (HarperCollins). Romney first joined the rare book trade in 2007, when she was hired to help launch the Las Vegas gallery of Bauman Rare Books. She became manager of the gallery two years later, eventually moving to Philadelphia to manage the central operations of the firm. Since 2011, she has appeared regularly as the rare book expert on the History Channel’s show “Pawn Stars.” Now settled on the East Coast, Romney joined Honey & Wax in the summer of 2016; in 2017, she and her partner Heather O’Donnell established the Honey & Wax Prize, an award for an accomplished book collection created by a young woman. She is a member of the Grolier Club, the Philobiblon Club, the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading, and Publishing (SHARP), a graduate of the Colorado Antiquarian Book Seminar and Rare Book School, and serves on the Rare Book School Scholarship Committee.

Our evening includes dinner, a silent auction (including copies of Rebecca’s book), and a hands-on display of books, selected especially with bibliomaniacs in mind, from the Rare Books Department.

“But I don’t want to go among mad people,” Alice remarked.
“Oh, you can’t help that…we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.”
“How do you know I’m mad?” said Alice.
“You must be,” said the Cat, “or you wouldn’t have come here.”

Feed your head!