’Text and illustration in early books and manuscripts: A comparative study” conference report from Ed Potten and Laura Nuvoloni

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By , 27 January 2014 12:04 pm

In December 2013, Ed Potten and Laura Nuvoloni travelled to Japan, at the invitation of Keio University, to participate in the international conference Text and illustration in early books and manuscripts: A comparative study. The conference, held on 13 and 14 December, was organised by Professor Takami Matsuda and Dr Satoko Tokunaga of the EIRI Project, with the collaboration of Dr Mayumi Ikeda, Postdoctoral Fellow of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science.  Keio University and Cambridge University have long had close ties. Cambridge’s copy of the Gutenberg Bible was the first to be digitized by the HUMI Project team in November 1998, led by Professor Toshiyuki Takamiya, himself a long-standing friend of Cambridge University Library and member of the Library’s Visiting Committee. Continue reading '’Text and illustration in early books and manuscripts: A comparative study” conference report from Ed Potten and Laura Nuvoloni'»

Tim Munby’s donations to Cambridge University Library, a post by Laura Nuvoloni and Liam Sims

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By , 23 December 2013 6:37 pm

Tim Munby (1913-1974)

In June the Special Collections blog advertised an exhibition in the Library to coincide with a conference – held at King’s College – in honour of Tim Munby, Librarian of King’s from 1947 until his early death in 1974, who was born a century ago this year.  The exhibition drew extensively on Tim’s own library of sale catalogues and bibliographical works, a large portion of which (1800 volumes) was purchased by the University Library after his death.  But with the actual centenary of his birth approaching (he was born on Christmas Day 1913), we thought this a good time to consider the many donations he made to the Library during his lifetime.  These include four incunabula (in addition to a further incunable owned by Munby which was bought by the Library), recently catalogued online as part of the Library’s five-year incunabula cataloguing project, and many rare eighteenth- and nineteenth-century books.

Continue reading 'Tim Munby’s donations to Cambridge University Library, a post by Laura Nuvoloni and Liam Sims'»

A sixteenth-century Cambridge provenance for a Belgian incunable?

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By , 16 December 2013 3:29 pm

The sixteenth-century list on the first leaf of Henry Suso’s Horologium aeternae sapientiae
(Alost: Thierry Martens [between 1486 & 1492]), Inc.5.F.1.3[3154], ISTC is00874000

Among the Library’s recently catalogued incunabula is a copy of Henry Suso’s Horologium aeternae sapientiae, printed by Thierry Martens between 1486 and 1492 in the town of Alost (present-day Aalst), twenty miles northwest of Brussels.  This small volume bears few signs of early use, having been rebound early in the twentieth century, with no contemporary decoration or textual annotation.  One of just three copies of this edition in the UK, it has been in the University Library for almost 350 years, having arrived in 1664 with the bequest of Richard Holdsworth (1590-1649), Master of Emmanuel College and Vice-Chancellor of the University in 1640.  Its one interesting (and slightly puzzling) feature is a sixteenth-century list written on the first leaf, which may give us some insight into the religious turmoil of sixteenth-century Cambridge. Continue reading 'A sixteenth-century Cambridge provenance for a Belgian incunable?'»

Sir David Attenborough and the Hortus sanitatis

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By , 25 October 2013 4:06 pm

Following on from Sir Quentin Blake’s visit on 4 October, the Incunabula Project Team was delighted yesterday to welcome Sir David Attenborough and his daughter Susan to the Library.  Sir David will be one of the contributors to our forthcoming treasures book, writing up Cambridge University Library’s copy of the Hortus sanitatis, printed in Mainz by Jacob Meydenbach, 23 June 1491 (Inc.3.A.1.8[37]).

The Hortus sanitatis, or the Garden of Health, is a vade mecum of all things natural, herbal, medicinal and mythical.  Illustrated throughout with woocuts, hand-coloured in the University Library copy, it draws its source material from the classical authors, from ancient histories, medieval bestiaries and a long and rich tradition of fable and folklore.  The result is a potent encyclopaedic mixture of the real and the imaginary. Continue reading 'Sir David Attenborough and the Hortus sanitatis'»