Den Eygen sin ende, title page

The first book ever advertised in a newspaper

By Andrew Pettegree | In the seventeenth-century Dutch Republic the making of money was the highest form of science. Nowhere was this more evident than in the introduction of advertising into their newspapers. The first Dutch newspaper was published in Amsterdam in 1618, and within thirty years every other newspaper carried one or more advertisements. […]

Issue of the Courante

Uncovering Lost Newspapers in Auction Catalogues

By Andrew Pettegree and Arthur der Weduwen |   June marks the 400th anniversary of the earliest surviving Dutch newspaper, the Courante uyt Italien, Duytslandt, &c., published on 14th June 1618 by Caspar van Hilten in Amsterdam. To mark the occasion, our blog posts this month will focus on the history of news printing.   […]

USTC at the ABA 2018

USTC at the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association Summer Fair

The USTC Team at the ABA: Arthur der Weduwen, Andrew Pettegree and Jessica Dalton This year the USTC was for the first time represented at the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association (ABA) Summer Fair. The three day fair, held for the first time at the Battersea Evolution in London, was attended by 185 rare book dealers from […]

Woodcut illustration from catechism

Making Good Protestants: The Importance of Catechisms

By Drew Thomas | In 1528 the Protestant reformer Philipp Melanchthon, Martin Luther’s right hand man, returned from a series of parish visitations convinced that both the clergy and the laity were spiritually illiterate. In response, Luther developed a series of sermons on the fundamentals of Christian belief. These sermons became the basis for his […]

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 […]