In this post Haim Gottschalk, Hebraica-Judaica Cataloging Librarian for the Israel and Judaica Section of the Asian and Middle Eastern Division at the Library of Congress, writes about the provenance of two Hebraic items in the Rare Book and Special Collections Division.
November 2023 marks the 400th anniversary of the publication of the First Folio of William Shakespeare's plays. The Library of Congress is fortunate to own two copies of the First Folio in the Rare Book and Special Collections Division. One copy is a little unusual.
Likely created in Tours in the 1470s in a workshop influenced by the French painter and manuscript illuminator, Jean Fouquet (c. 1420 - 1480), a Book of Hours in the Rare Book and Special Collections Division at the Library of Congress reminds us that Halloween is just around the corner.
Memory training was an important part of education in the Middle Ages. Borrowing from classical sources, medieval techniques offered elaborate and creative methods for memorizing lengthy works and speeches. The blockbook Ars memorandi, likely printed in Germany around 1470, offers a surprising lesson for those interested in the history of graphic design or mnemonic theory.
Christine de Pizan (1364-1430), first professional woman author in Europe, was considered by Simone de Beauvoir to be the first woman to 'take up her pen in defense of her sex'. The Library of Congress has a rare copy of Christine’s work, Epistre d'Othea, printed by Philippe Pigouchet around 1499.
An early proponent of gamification, the Franciscan preacher and satirist, Thomas Murner (1475-1537), used card games as pedagogical tools. The Rare Book and Special Collections Division has a copy of one of his logic card games, Logica memorativa: chartiludium logice, sive totius dialectice memoria (Strasburg, 1509).
Learn about the playful pen flourishes, or penwork, and the decorated initials that appear in a small Book of Hours that was created in the Northern Low Countries (Netherlands) during the fifteenth century.
This post introduces readers to a once popular but now obsolete use of the term "common sense," as it is presented in Gregor Reisch (1467-1525)'s enormously popular text book, Margarita Philosophica, first printed in 1503.