Archive: "Renaissance and Reformation" Category

Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor

This week in 1519, Charles, King of Spain and Duke of Burgundy, was elected Holy Roman Emperor. Charles V succeeded his paternal grandfather Maximilian I (his maternal grandparents were Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain). Charles’ reign saw immense change across Europe, including the launch of the Protestant Reformation, major political and religious conflicts, and the …

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The Giunti and the Medici

As part of the History of Printing and Renaissance/Reformation Collections, Special Collections has acquired numerous examples of the work of the Giunti family, a prominent Italian printing dynasty of the 15th and 16th centuries. The family’s printing business extended across Europe, with presses in Venice, Florence, and Lyon and a book distribution network which spread …

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Happy Reformation Day!

Tradition says that Martin Luther posted his 95 theses on the door of Wittenberg’s parish church on October 31, 1517. Over the next few years, thanks to the power of the printing press, Luther’s ideas would spread across Europe and spark a new religious movement. Luther even inspired poetry! These two pieces, one well-known and …

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Cicero in the Renaissance

Cicero was a huge deal in the Renaissance. Manuscripts of the classical Roman statesman’s letters and speeches were rediscovered by the Italian humanists Francesco Petrarch and Poggio Bracciolini in the 14th and 15th centuries, leading to new interest and dissemination of his works among scholars. Many Renaissance humanists adored Cicero’s prose style, and his work …

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Women of Devotion

The new Special Collections reference room exhibit, “Women of Devotion,” features early editions of works by European women writers. Between 1500 and 1800 religious study was an important part of literate women’s education and piety was a well-respected feminine attribute. Thus, many of the published works written by European women at this time were religious. …

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Happy Reformation Day!

  October 31, 2017 marks exactly 500 years since Martin Luther sent his 95 theses to the Archbishop of Mainz (and likely posted them to the door of the local church in Wittenberg). The theses were rapidly printed and reprinted and spread across Germany over the following months. Special Collections owns a copy of one …

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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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Curious Remedies: Renaissance Surgery

Surgery is never a fun experience, but can you imagine what it would have been like before the advent of general anesthetic and other modern medical advances? The current Harold B. Lee Library exhibit Curious Remedies: Medicine During the Renaissance provides a glimpse into the medical technology of the 16th and 17th centuries. On display …

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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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