Archive: "Renaissance and Reformation" Category

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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The oldest cookbook in Special Collections

Currently on display in Special Collections is a small exhibit featuring 20th century Mormon cookbooks. In that same vein, this post highlights the oldest cookbook in the library, which was printed in Zurich, Switzerland in 1542. The first printed version of this cookbook appeared in Italy in 1498, but the text itself is much older, …

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New online database of early Protestant texts

Special Collections owns a still-growing collection of original works by early Protestant reformers like Martin Luther, Philipp Melanchthon, and Jean Calvin. While it contains many important works, both in Latin and in vernacular languages, it is not complete by any means! The library has recently acquired a new database, the Digital Library of Classic Protestant …

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Early printed dictionaries

Single-language and dual-language dictionaries were just as indispensable to writers and scholars of the Renaissance as they are today, though in the age of online dictionaries and Google Translate it may be harder to appreciate just how revolutionary printed reference books were in the late 15th century. Printing not only sped up the process of …

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Introducing Emblem Books

One of the HBLL’s current Art in the Library exhibits, Todd Stilson’s Necrocoactionism: Joint Ventures with the Deceased, features three of Special Collections’ emblem books. Emblem books originated in Europe in the 16th century. They feature images inspired by proverbs, mottoes, epigrams, and other pithy quotes, with the text printed alongside the image. Readers were …

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Teresa of Avila

A new exhibit to celebrate Women’s History Month is up in Special Collections’ lobby. It focuses on women’s spirituality throughout history and includes works by Saint Teresa of Avila, who was born 500 years ago this month. Teresa was a Spanish Carmelite nun who is remembered for her reform efforts within the order and the …

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A glimpse at early printed college textbooks!

If you were a Renaissance university student, you’d need to write your compositions and give your presentations in Latin. But never fear, you would have had textbooks and other manuals available to help you with grammar and style. Think of these early printed books as the Renaissance equivalent to your copy of Strunk & White. …

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Jean Calvin

Tuesday, May 27 marks the 450th anniversary of the death of Protestant reformer Jean (or John) Calvin (1509-1564). Calvin was born in France and was trained as a lawyer. He was also interested in humanism and studied Greek and Latin classics. Sometime in 1533, he had a religious experience which led him to reject Roman …

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