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 […]

Marsh's Library, Dublin, Ireland. Photo by Matt Cashore

Marsh’s Library, Dublin

Marsh’s Library is located in the heart of Dublin, beside St Patrick’s Cathedral. The library building was commissioned and funded by Archbishop Narcissus Marsh and internally very little has changed since it first opened to the public in 1707. The books are still shelved on the original oak bookshelves according to the first librarian’s classification system. The […]

Practica, 1568, 6905901

Like Father, Like Son: Identifying Prognosticators

By Nina Lamal | In 1568 the Erfurt printer Georg I Baumann published Practica auff das M.D.LXIX. Jhar by Reinhold Erasmus (USTC 6905901, pictured above). Erasmus (1511-1551) was a mathematics professor at the University of Wittenberg known for his Prutenic Tables, which was a compilation of astronomical tables based on Copernicus’ work. It was first […]

USTC 139280 A Catechism or Christian Doctrine, title page

A Catechism from the English Exiles in Rouen

By Chelsea Reutcke | Within the collection at Harvard’s Houghton Library, one of our Preserving the World’s Rarest Books partners, is a small devotional book from 1583 by Laurence Vaux entitled A Catechism or Christian Doctrine, Necessary for Children and Ignorant People (STC 24627, USTC 139280). At first glance, an English language catechism for children […]

St. Bridget of Sweden, woodcut

Beware of Ghosts!: Avoiding Ghost Editions of the Revelations of St. Bridget

By Nora Epstein | In the final months of the fifteenth century, the Nuremberg printer Anton Koberger completed the first of two editions of his Revelationes Sancte Birgitte under the patronage of Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I. The resulting Latin and German editions were profusely illustrated and loosely based on a 1492 Revelationes printed in […]

The English Mercurie - title

The English Mercurie of 1588: the first (hoax) newspaper

By Arthur der Weduwen | In 1794, the Scottish antiquarian and political writer George Chalmers made a startling find. He had found proof that the first newspaper had been printed in London in 1588, decades before the emergence of newspapers elsewhere in Europe. It had been a chance discovery. Chalmers was composing a history of […]

Prognostication title page from Trent Civic Library

Identifying the mysterious printer of Italian Prognostications

By Matteo Fadini | In the Trent Civic Library collection there are 80 unique sixteenth-century books.  Today’s post focuses on one of them: a pronostico ­– a pamphlet containing astrological predictions. The book, by Tommasino Girardelli, was Pronostico dell’anno M.D.LXVII. di Tomasino Giradelli da Trento, sopra le quattro stagioni dell’anno, con il raccolto del presente, & […]

University Recruitment Ordinance

Recruiting Early Modern Students in the Dutch Republic

By Andrew Pettegree and Forrest Strickland |   The publishers of the seventeenth-century Dutch Republic produced some spectacular books, but the bread and butter of the trade, the work that kept the presses turning, were commissions from institutional customers: the state, city authorities and, increasingly, the universities. By the middle of the century the Dutch […]