April 24, 2013 by Maggie Kopp
The Tower of Babel, from the 1507 German Bible
German translations of the Bible have been around since the Middle Ages. After Gutenberg printed a Latin Bible in Germany around 1465, vernacular Bibles in German quickly followed. A Bible in High German was issued by Johannes Mentelin in Strasbourg in 1466. Low German vernacular Bibles were issued in Cologne in 1478 and 1479. In all, before Martin Luther issued his famous translation of the New Testament in 1522 (Luther’s full translation of the Bible was published in 1534), there were at least 18 editions printed of the complete Bible in German and several dozen editions of portions of the Bible, such as Gospel books and Psalters.
At Special Collections, we have recently acquired a vernacular German Bible from 1507 (the 13th known Bible edition printed before Luther’s). It was printed in Augsburg and features hand-colored woodcuts, some of which are shown here. Here are some other important German Bibles in our collections:
- a 1524 Luther New Testament printed in Zurich.
- Facsimiles of the 1534 Luther Bible and the Wenzel Bible manuscript of 1389.
- Johann Dietenberger’s 1534 Bible, which was issued as a Catholic response to Luther’s translation.
You can find all these Bibles and many more by searching the library catalog for the title phrase “Bible German.”
Manna from Heaven. From the 1507 German Bible.
April 5, 2013 by Maggie Kopp
This month Special Collections is featuring a small exhibit, “Bindings from the Aldine Collection.” On display are several types of bindings representative of those in BYU’s Aldine Collection, including an interesting binding using a scraped leaf from a parchment manuscript. The exhibit was curated by Kylie Ladd, a student employee in Special Collections.
March 5, 2013 by Maggie Kopp
L. Tom Perry Special Collections doesn’t actively acquire books on medicine, but the History of Science Collection does have several hundred books published before 1800 about medicine, surgery, and human anatomy. Many are in Latin, but you’ll find a good number of titles in English or other European languages.While the information in these books is of course outdated, their images of the human body and bygone procedures and remedies can be incredibly fascinating. The book pictured here is a French translation of an anatomy book by Charles Estienne, printed in 1546. It is bound with several texts by ancient Greek physicians Galen and Hippocrates, which were used by doctors and medical students in Early Modern Europe.
To find these sorts of books, search the library catalog using these subject terms:
- Medicine – early works to 1800
- Human anatomy – early works to 1800
- Surgery – early works to 1800
February 12, 2013 by Maggie Kopp
Check out today’s edition of The Universe for a story on Victorian Valentines from Special Collections, and stop by the HBLL on Thursday to see reproductions of the featured valentines during Love Your Library Week!
January 28, 2013 by Maggie Kopp
Looking for the work of famous printers of the 15th and 16th centuries? Have no fear, here is a handy list of call numbers for some of the rare books in L. Tom Perry Special Collections. All of these call numbers refer to the Vault Collections. You can use these numbers to browse the library catalog through the call number search feature.
Incunable (15th c.) Printers
Johann Amerbach: 093 Am35
Peter Drach: 093 D78
Johann Froben: 093 F92
Johann Fust: 093 F987
Johann Gutenberg: 093 G982
Johann Herbort: 093 H416
Nicolas Jenson: 093 J453
Anton Koberger: 093 K796
Johann Pruss: 093 P952
Jacobus de Ragazonibus: 093 R126
Erhart Ratdolt: 093 R186
Adolph Rusch: 093 R893
Peter Schoffer: 093 Sc62
Konrad Sweynheim: 093 Sw48
Gunther Zainer: 093 Z13
Ulrich Zell: 093 Z38
Aldus Manutius: ALDINE
Josse Badius Ascensius: 094.2 B142
Simon de Colines: 094.2 C682
Elzevier family: 094.2 EL98
Estienne family: 094.2 Es86
Johann Froben: 094.2 F92
Giunta family: 094.2 G44
Griffio family: 094.2 G92
Charlotte Guillard: 094.2 G94
Christopher Plantin: 094.2 P69
Wynken de Worde: 094.2 W867
December 10, 2012 by Kristi Young
Christmas customs vary from family to family, country to country, and make the holiday something bright.
The Wilson Folklore Archives has a plethora of ideas for the Christmas season. These ideas can be found in FA14 8–Christmas customs. Trees are a good place to start. Many families have a tree and how they are chosen guides some of the traditions. For some families an artifical tree is the only way to go. Others traipse around a Christmas tree lot or farm looking for that perfect tree. Some brave souls take their sled and head to the hills or the forest to chop down the tree that will set the right tone for there Christmas celebration.
Under the tree may go an array of gifts. Some are given traditionally from each member of the family to the other. Sometimes the members of the family have picked one name which they will buy or make a gift for that year. Other gifts are Secret Santa acts of service or kind acts of charity that the Christ child would choose to do.
At Christmas there are a wide variety of activities enjoyed by families. Baking is very common. Cookies, cakes, candies and other treats abound. Some families reach back into their heritage and have ethnic foods that they might sun at other times of the year. Stories are read and told that might be reserved for December. New pajamas are worn on Christmas Eve. Stockings are hung, shoes are put out, bells ring and Santa Claus comes. It is a magical time of a year.
Look through our summaries of Christmas customs, http://lib.byu.edu/sites/muw/files/2008/07/customs.pdf, in the custom index and look for your traditions or ideas for some new ones that you might like to start.
December 3, 2012 by Maggie Kopp
Simon de Colines (d. 1546) is another famous Parisian printer and typographer of the 1500’s. He was actually related to the Estienne family through marriage (he married Henri I Estienne’s widow, thus becoming the stepfather to Robert I, Charles, and François I). Simon ran Henri Estienne’s presses and took over the shop upon Estienne’s death. He managed the family business for six years, ceding it to his stepson Robert in 1526. Colines established a new print shop, where he began printing Latin classics, anti-Lutheran theological writings, and other works by the faculty of the University of Paris. In the course of his career, Colines issued over 750 publications. Special Collections owns over 275 examples of books and pamphlets produced by Colines.
The example shown here is one of Colines’ most lavishly-illustrated books, Jean Milles De Souvigny’s Praxis criminis persequendi (Call number: Vault Collection 094.2 C682 1541 no.10). The book is a treatise on criminal law and describes the various stages of an imaginary murder trial.
November 13, 2012 by Maggie Kopp
One of the most distinguished families of printers in 16th century Europe was the Estiennes. Henri Estienne I was a printer and bookseller who was active in Paris from 1502-20. His sons Robert and François carried on the family legacy, printing in Paris and Geneva, as did his grandsons. In fact, there were Estiennes printing books well into the mid-seventeenth century.
What makes the Estienne family stand out from other printers of the same period? Nicolas Barker notes that they united “qualities of scholarship and good printing with a determined and individual approach that did mark them out from their contemporaries in a way clearly visible” both in their own time and to modern observers (in Schreiber, The Estiennes: An annotated catalogue of 300 highlights of their various presses. New York, 1982, p. 2).
Special Collections owns over 500 books published by various generations of the Estienne family. This image is from a copy of Eusebius’ Ecclesiastical History printed by Robert Estienne I (1503-1559) in 1544. Robert I was a prominent classical and biblical scholar and also served as the royal Printer in Greek. The font of Greek type used in this book was cut by Claude Garamond.
October 22, 2012 by Kristi Young
In 1910 Jacob Moritz, the founder of the Salt Lake Brewery, owner of 36 saloons, and an early Salt Lake City politician, fell ill. Seeking health he returned to his native Germany where he eventually died. Moritz’s ashes interestingly enough were returned to Salt Lake City for his final resting place. The urn was housed in a comparatively good sized tomb. This memorial was clearly marked with Moritz on the eaves of the building. But that was not the end of Jacob Moritz’s story. For some unknown reason during the ensuing years, his plot became known as Emo’s Grave and became the subject of a myriad of legends. Because of an increased number of visitors and the vandalism wrought by many of them, Mr. Moritz’s urn was removed. There are rumours that it was sent back to Germany, but the location of the urn is unknown.
Interestingly enough there are many different legends attached to Emo/Moritz’s grave. We have eight versions of Emo’s grave in the Wilson Folklore Archives and none of them are the same. One legend says that the grave belongs to Frank Emole and glows at night (FA3 184.108.40.206.2.1). The next claims that Emo was a 7 ft. Indian. Supposedly if you walk around his grave several times at night repeating “Rise, Emo, rise,” you will be able to see his eyes peering out of the tomb ( FA 3 220.127.116.11.2). The third story claims that Emo was the first person cremated in the Salt Lake City cemetery. His urn is decorated in an eye pattern and at midnight you can see the eyes shining in the moonlight (FA 3 18.104.22.168.2.3). A story that is similar, although a little scary, agrees that Emo is cremated and his grave holds an urn with his ashes. As you walk around the grave three times and look at the vase, you will see Emo’s eyes staring back at you (Fa 3 22.214.171.124.2.4)
Another tale has more of a back story. It seems, in this version, that Emo was a miner who was killed by an explosion. The blast was engineered by his wife and a partner who were carrying on an affair. In this story if you walk around the grave two times, Emo’s ghost will appear( FA 3 126.96.36.199.2.5). Another story calls it Emil’s grave and states that if you close your eyes and turn around three time while saying his name, that you will see his face looking at you from inside the tomb (FA 3 188.8.131.52.2.6). Another spelling of the name is Eemo. This legend tells of how there is a brick wall around the grave. The number of times that you can walk around the brick wall without falling off indicates the number of years you have left to live (FA 3 184.108.40.206.2.7). Finally in what is probably a more modern version, Emo is painted as the leader of a satanic cult in Salt Lake City. If you go to the grave and look through the window slit, after you say a set chant you will see a pair of glowing red eyes (FA 3 220.127.116.11.2.8). As you can see many of the stories make use of eyes to some degree. Emo’s Grave is another spooky legend that is fun to tell at Halloween time.
October 12, 2012 by Maggie Kopp
Saturday marks the 150th birthday of a fascinating Victorian woman, Mary Kingsley. Her father, George Henry Kingsley, was a physician and world traveler. Young Mary led a rather secluded life, but had free access to her father’s library of travel and scientific books. She made her first trip abroad when she was in her 20s, when a family friend took her to Paris for a brief vacation. She caught the travel bug in 1892 during a trip to the Canary Islands, and decided to make an anthropological and scientific expedition to west Africa. From August-December 1893, she traveled solo from Sierra Leone to Angola, collecting scientific specimens.
The success of her first expedition won her support for a second. Kingsley returned to Africa in December 1894 for another solo expedition through Nigeria, Cameroon, and Gabon. She collected specimens of animals, plants, shells, and insects, and when she returned to England in November 1895, she was invited to give numerous lectures and to write scientific papers based on her journey. She argued against the “Europeanization” of African peoples and advocated a system of indirect rule for Britain’s African colonies in order to preserve African culture and society.
Kingsley returned to Africa in 1900, sailing to Cape Town, South Africa, where she attended Boer prisoners of war. She succumbed to typhoid during an epidemic in June 1900. She left behind two published books about her expeditions, Travels in West Africa (1897) and West African Studies (1899). First editions of both books can be found in Special Collections, as can a letter Kingsley wrote in Calabar, Nigeria during her second trip (MSS SC 673).
September 21, 2012 by Maggie Kopp
September marks the 300th anniversary of the death of Giovanni (Jean) Cassini, the Italian astronomer. Cassini discovered four of Saturn’s moons and was a co-discoverer of Jupiter’s Great Red Spot. He spent the first 20 years of his career at an observatory outside Bologna, Italy, and later became the director of the main astronomical institute in France, the Paris Observatory. NASA named the Saturn probe which launched in 1997 “Cassini” in his honor.
Special Collections owns several astronomical treatises written by Cassini, including this book, Observations sur la comete, detailing Cassini’s observations of a comet which appeared December 1680-March 1681 (click on the smaller image to the left to see Cassini’s observations of where the comet appeared on consecutive nights in February and March). This book and other early works on astronomy are part of the library’s History of Science Collection. You can find them in the library catalog by searching with the subject term, “Astronomy early works to 1800.”
August 31, 2012 by Maggie Kopp
The Nuremberg Chronicle (1493) is one of the most famous early printed books. It is a history of the known world written by German humanist Hartmann Schedel, incorporating Biblical, classical, and European traditions. The Nuremberg Chronicle is a large-scale work: BYU’s copy measures nearly 18 inches tall. The book is known for its elaborate illustrations, which were produced at the workshop of Michael Wolgemut, who was the leading artist in the city of Nuremberg and a teacher of Albrecht Dürer. It was printed by Anton Koberger, the most prosperous German printer of the late 15th century.
BYU owns a near-complete edition of the 1493 Nuremberg Chronicle, as well as a 1497 reprint of the text published in Augsburg. The text was translated from Latin into German in the 1490’s, and Special Collections has several modern facsimiles which use the German translation. If you can’t read Latin or German, though, never fear; Special Collections has just purchased an English translation too!
To find the original Nuremberg Chronicle, the translations, and other facsimiles, just search the Library Catalog using the author search “Schedel, Hartmann.” Don’t forget to limit your search to Special Collections.
July 30, 2012 by Maggie Kopp
With all eyes on London for the 2012 Olympics, England’s capital is showcasing the world’s athletic achievements.
In 1851, London hosted a world’s fair to highlight cultures and industries. An enormous glass and cast-iron building known as the Crystal Palace was erected in London’s Hyde Park to house the fair. The Great Exhibition brought together the artistic and technical achievements of the Victoria era, with exhibitors from Great Britain and its Colonies (including India, Australia, and New Zealand), European countries, and the United States. Over 13,000 exhibits were on display, and the Exhibition brought in over 6,200,000 visitors during the weeks of May 1-October 15, 1851.
Special Collections has an extensive collection of accounts of the Great Exhibition of 1851, from contemporary histories of the exhibition and specific displays, copies of the official exhibit guide and the weekly magazine produced for the exhibit, dioramas of the Crystal Palace, and other memorials of the Great Exhibition, both comic and serious. Coverage of the Great Exhibition can also be found in contemporary periodicals like The Illustrated London News and Punch. The illustration of the interior of the Crystal Palace shown here is from Recollections of the Great Exhibition of 1851, issued by London publishers Lloyd Brothers & Co. and Simpkin, Marshall & Co.
To find accounts of the Great Exhibition in Special Collections, search the library catalog for the subject “Great Exhibition 1851.”
July 19, 2012 by Maggie Kopp
The growing demand for Books of Hours in the late 15th and early 16th centuries was met not only by scribes and illuminators who hand-crafted manuscript books, but by printers. In Paris, the center of production for Books of Hours, a handful of printers began to specialize in mass-producing Books of Hours for the growing middle class. Printed Books of Hours were produced using moveable type and wood or metal printing blocks and could be printed on paper or on vellum (animal skin). Printed pages could feature text in red ink, and could be customized by illuminating the illustrations, borders, and initials with colored paints.
BYU owns several examples of printed Books of Hours produced in Paris. Editions include:
- Philippe Pigouchet, 1502
- Thielman Kerver, 1512 (pictured here)
- Nicolas Vivien, 1515
- Germain Hardouyn, 1530
- Simon de Colines, 1543
These books can be found in the library catalog by performing a genre search for “Books of Hours” or by searching for the individual printers by name.
June 29, 2012 by Maggie Kopp
L. Tom Perry Special Collections is excited to announce that we have just acquired an illuminated manuscript Book of Hours from the late 15th century.
Books of Hours were one of the most popular genres of books produced during the late Middle Ages and remained popular well into the Renaissance (Special Collections contains four examples of printed Books of Hours from the first half of the 16th century). From the mid-thirteenth to the mid-sixteenth century, more Books of Hours were produced than any other text, including the Bible. They were most often owned by laypeople, and found a significant audience among women. The prayers, Psalms, and illustrations in illuminated Books of Hours were meant to link church and home, with lay owners using the books for private religious devotion.
Pictured here are some of the illuminations from BYU’s new Book of Hours, which was likely created in Paris during the final decade of the 15th century. To find the Book of Hours, along with facsimiles of other manuscripts held by institutions throughout the world, search for the genre term “Books of hours” in the library’s catalog. You can limit your search results to Special Collections holdings only.