Grafting Knives from the St Andrews copy

Piracy and Plants

By Nora Epstein | The English have long been known for their love of gardening, a pastime popular since at least the sixteenth century: if not longer, to judge from the number of surviving botany books. Leonard Mascall’s A Booke of the Arte and Manner how to Plant and Graffe all Sorts of Trees…(USTC 513190) […]

Sole Survivors at Marsh’s Library, Dublin

On Wednesday 16 May, USTC Director Andrew Pettegree and Project Manager Graeme Kempt flew to Dublin to help celebrate the launch of Marsh’s Library’s exhibition of their ‘Sole Survivors’: books from their library of which they hold the only known surviving copy.  ‘Sole Survivors’ displays 32 of the most interesting unique items in collection. This […]

Hanging of John Ogilvie, National Portrait Gallery, London

Hanged & Drawn: How the story of a Scottish martyr spread across Germany

By Nina Lamal | Working on books printed in the German lands in the first half of the seventeenth century, I came across a few publications describing the martyr death of the Scottish Jesuit John Ogilvie, the first Jesuit to be executed in Scotland. These publications are not recorded in VD17, the German national bibliography […]

Woodcut featuring two drunk men

Early Modern Student Debauchery

By Drew Thomas | The life of a 21st-century student might seem vastly different from their mediaeval and early modern counterparts, but in many ways, student life remains the same. While the modern student relies on laptops, chai lattes, and dating apps, they have many things in common with students of ages past: especially went […]

Canticle, title page, Marsh's Library

Sickness, Religion and Kingdom: a Canticle composed for the King of Navarre

By Marc Jaffré | Disease, sickness and death were major preoccupations of early modern people, but because the destinies of whole kingdoms depended on the health of monarchs, their diseases became the subjects of correspondence, ambassadorial dispatches, and a flurry of pamphlets. One such pamphlet, Cantique simplement composé et de la maladie, & de la convalescence […]

Malcolm Walsby, Rennes exhibit

Rare Book Exhibition in the University of Rennes

On Thursday 5 April Project Director Andrew Pettegree joined over one hundred guests for the launch of the exhibition ‘Rarity and Rare Books’ (‘Rareté et livres rares‘) at the library of the University of Rennes 2. This exhibition is the first by one of our library partners touching explicitly on the themes raised by Preserving […]

Ghent, Den wech na Romen - title page

Travelling to holy places in the early modern period

By Sandra Toffolo | From the first pilgrimages to Jerusalem in the fourth century, people wrote books about these sacred journeys. Even over the course of the early modern period, when pilgrimages ceased to be a mass phenomenon, these travel accounts still continued to be written. Hundreds have been handed down to us from the […]

University of Barcelona Library

University of Barcelona

The Rare Book and Manuscript CRAI Library of the University of Barcelona is located in the historical building of the university in the city center. Its importance derives from the size and quality of the collection it houses. Following the passing of ecclesiastical confiscation laws in 1835, Barcelona’s library collections from convents were brought together […]

Antwerp, Plantin Moretus Museum Library

The Library of the Plantin-Moretus Museum

The origins of the Plantin-Moretus Museum library go back to the middle of the 16th century when Christopher Plantin was the manager of the Plantin Press, the Officina Plantiniana. Plantin initially bought books for his proofreaders such as dictionaries, bible editions and concordances on the bible. In addition to this library for proofreaders Plantin’s grandson, […]

University of Groningen Library

The University Library of Groningen

Just over four hundred years ago, on 28 February 1615, the University Library of Groningen was officially opened. Since then, the library has grown from a single room with chained books to a modern and busy centre which is an information hub and a social meeting place as well. It is the only university library […]