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Archive: 2024 (17 Posts)

Vesalius muscle figure

The First “Modern” Medical Book

Posted by: Michael North

Printed in Basel in 1543, Andreas Vesalius' De Humani Corporis Fabrica is considered to be the first "modern" medical book that emphasizes clinical observation over a dependence on ancient texts. The Library of Congress has recently digitized its copy of De Fabrica, which was part of the generous gift of Lessing J. Rosenwald to the nation.

Tantalizingly Incomplete: Charlotte Guillard and Erasmus of Rotterdam in 1546

Posted by: Marianna Stell

In 1546, Charlotte Guillard (ca. 1485–1557) owned one of the most prestigious printing houses in Paris, the Soleil d’Or, and that year she printed an impressive, updated edition of the letters of Saint Jerome under her own name. The editor and commentator of this particular book, however, was the famous Dutch humanist Desiderius Erasmus (1468?-1536), whose published annotations on Jerome had been censured by the Venetian Inquisition and the Index of the University of Paris two years prior.

Bright white circular shape with a dark circle in the center.

Tiny Totality: A Souvenir of the 1878 Solar Eclipse

Posted by: Marianna Stell

Humans have always been fascinated by eclipses and other astronomical phenomenon. In anticipation of the April 8, 2024 total solar eclipse that will cross the United States, the Rare Book and Special Collections Division presents one small treasure from the collections: a miniature book of 19th-century eclipse photography!

Image of page of text with small blue initial and distinctive pen flourishes in red.

A Time Capsule : What An Early Printed Book Can Teach Us About “Anchoring Innovation”

Posted by: Marianna Stell

Did the earliest printers know what print was? Book historian Anna Dlabacova, former fellow in the W. Kluge Center and senior university lecturer at the Leiden University Centre for the Arts in Society, offers some observations about what a 15th-century book from the Netherlands can teach us about culture and innovation.