Jacopo de’ Barbari

The Lagoon City and the Book: Descriptions of Renaissance Venice

By Sandra Toffolo | The Fondazione Biblioteca San Bernardino in Trento, one of our Preserving the World’s Rarest Books library partners, is home to the books acquired over the centuries by the Franciscans in Trentino: around 25,000 books published prior to the nineteenth century, including over 300 incunabula and 3,600 books from the sixteenth century. Among […]

Sanders’ signature;

William Sanders: A Life of Science and Satire

Satire in Scotland Scientific disputes were not uncommon in the seventeenth century. However, some basic civilities had to be observed. When in 1667 James Gregory (c. 1638–1675), who held the first Regius Chair of Mathematics at the University of St Andrews, started a fight with the famous polymath Christiaan Huygens (1629–1695), the Royal Society had […]

the story of Cadmus, founder of Thebes.

(S)expurgation: Censoring images in Ovid’s Metamorphosis

By Jessica Farrell-Jobst | Within the collection of the Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies at the University of Toronto is a 1517 folio edition of Ovid’s Metamorphosis printed in Venice by Georgio Rusconi (USTC 763005). Metamorphosis was one of the most popular texts of the early modern period, having been printed in at least […]

shelfie

Setting an Example: the Bibliography of Conrad Gessner

By Hanna de Lange | In 1545 Zürich printer Christoph Froschauer published the Bibliotheca Universalis (USTC 616753) by Conrad Gessner (1516-1565). Like our own universal catalogue, the USTC, Gessner meticulously compiled a list of authors and their books, an undertaking that earned him the title ‘the father of bibliography’. Conrad Gessner was a Swiss polymath, […]

inverted woodcut of the crucifixion and Spear of Longinus used on lower pastedown.

Read to Death: The Sole Surviving Copy of an Early Modern Bestseller

By Nora Epstein | For regular readers of the PWRB blog, it will come as no surprise that some of the rarest early modern books were not necessarily specialty items printed in small runs. Rather, some the most ubiquitous bestsellers of the Renaissance print market survive with only a single copy to attest to what […]

Title page from Theses theologicae de septimo capite ad Romanos

Fools Rush In: A Rare Franeker Thesis and the Preservation of Orthodoxy

By Forrest Strickland | It is often the case that many printed items from the early modern world that are now especially rare were some of the most ubiquitous in their day. Newspapers, academic disputations, ordinances, devotional books—the kinds of works that kept printers afloat—were intended to be read, shared, and eventually discarded. Seldom were […]

Library in Albi

Médiathèque Pierre-Amalric d’Albi

The cultural heritage collections of the Médiathèque Pierre-Amalric d’Albi in southern France are made up of around 75,000 documents, whose diverse themes reflect the origins of the collections. This collection is constituted of about 500 manuscripts from the 8th to 20th centuries, 119 incunables, and 17,000 documents printed between 1501 and 1811, as well as […]

Amsterdam edition of Biblia, dat is, de gantsche H Schrifture

To the Victor the Spoils

By Andrew Pettegree | Throughout the history of print, the Bible was a perennial favourite of the industry.  This was the text with which Gutenberg chose to announce his great invention, and for centuries thereafter Bibles, New Testaments and psalm books formed the cornerstone of the collections of those who could afford books; and if […]

Anthony Scoloker's colophon.

The Year of the Book in Ipswich

By James McCall | In 1548, during the reign of Edward VI, two printers established printing presses in the Suffolk port of Ipswich. By the end of the year, and after producing at least 19 books, both men had ceased printing in the town. What had driven these men to set up presses in Ipswich […]

Bookshop of the world

Milestone study of Book Culture Now Published

Andrew Pettegree and Arthur der Weduwen, The Bookshop of the World. Making and Trading Books in the Dutch Golden Age is published by Yale University Press on 26 February 2019. The Bookshop of the World is now published. This ground-breaking new study is the result of work in over thirty libraries and archives, in ten […]