Archive: "History of Printing and Fine Press" Category

New acquisitions: medieval manuscript facsimiles

Facsimiles of two famous illuminated medieval manuscripts have recently been added to Special Collections’ holdings. Both are associated with known artists and they are now available for consultation in the reading room or in the classroom. The Godescalc Evangelistary This famous liturgical book was commissioned by Charlemagne and written by a Frankish scribe named Godescalc …

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Auction catalogs available for research

Art history students and other researchers interested in provenance and trends in the fine art and rare books trades will soon have access to Special Collections’ print auction catalogs. Our holdings of Swann Galleries, Sotheby’s, and Christie’s auction catalogs are in the process of being added to the library catalog. Swann Galleries’ auction catalogs are …

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A party for the ages

This week in 1664, King Louis XIV hosted a multi-day party at Versailles. The festival, called Les Plaisirs de l’Île enchantée [The Pleasures of the Enchanted Island], transformed the grounds of Louis’ not-quite-finished palace into a mythical wonderland. Between May 7 and 13, over 600 invitees were treated to banquets, balls, spectacles, parades, recitals, and …

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Primary sources on Latin America

If you’re looking for early Latin American primary sources, this new resource compiled by Special Collections intern Tyler Broadhead lists Special Collections’ holdings of books, maps, and manuscripts about Latin America or produced in Latin America before 1800. The document also includes modern facsimiles of Mesoamerican codices like the one pictured here, as well as …

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Hogarth Press centennial

A century ago today, on March 23, 1917, Leonard and Virginia Woolf purchased a small hand press and some type from a shop in London. They set the equipment up on their dining room table and thus the Hogarth Press (named after their home, Hogarth House) was born. Virginia had taken some bookbinding classes some …

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Women’s Book History for Women’s History Month

If you visit the “Curious Remedies” exhibit this month, be on the lookout for a small, nondescript book of medicine by Nicholas Culpeper. This item was published in 1684 by Hannah Sawbridge. Hannah was the widow of George Sawbridge, one of the most successful London printers and booksellers of the 17th century. Sawbridge’s firm printed …

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Limited Editions Club: Highlights for Black History Month

Special Collections has a complete set of books issued by the Limited Editions Club, a publishing venture founded in 1929 to issue selected literary works in finely printed and illustrated editions. Many famous authors, illustrators, and designers of the 20th century worked on producing these books. Some of the most spectacular of the Limited Editions …

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The Complutensian Bible

One of the most famous early printed Bibles is known as the “Complutensian Polyglot,” a multi-language Bible published at the Complutense University in the early 1500s (the University is now the University of Madrid, but in the 15th and 16th centuries the university was located in Alcalá de Henares, which was called Complutum in Latin). …

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Geoffroy de Tory illustrates the Christmas Story

Enjoy these woodcut images of the Christmas story, as found in the Book of Hours printed by Simon de Colines in 1543. Three of the woodcut illustrations are signed by Geoffroy de Tory, and the kneeling figure in the scene of the Adoration of the Magi is thought to be a portrait of French king …

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More new acquisitions: Fine Press collections

Special Collections is always acquiring new fine press books. This year, we’ve added books from important 20th century presses like the Grabhorn, Gregynog, and Golden Cockerel Presses, along with the work of contemporary artists. Here is a brief sampling:

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