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Cataloguing of all 17th Century Books by Athanasius Kircher Complete!

On the 15th of May, Hermine Lefebvre, USTC/ENSSIB intern for 2014, completed a wonderful cataloguing project which has seen all of St Andrews’ 17th century editions of Athanasius Kircher added to the online catalogue. Since last year, faculty at ENSSIB have selected one student to come to St Andrews for the spring term to work…

3 June 2014collections highlights Rare Book Collection Rare Book finds

400 years of metamorphosis: Theodor de Bry and Natalie Taylor on Jaques le Moyne De Morgues

In November 2011 a post on this blog highlighted Theodor de Bry’s Grand Voyages. This is a hefty and multi-faceted tome, and, as a reprographic technician, I was encouraged to peruse it and capture any image that stood out to me. One such image was ‘The true picture of a young daughter of the Picts,’…

16 August 2013collections highlights Rare Book Collection

Highlight from the stacks: Kircher’s Tower of Babel (1679)

I’ve been doing some work in the stacks lately with our interns and have been focusing some attention on our 17th century reserve collections (around 5,ooo volumes) which remain largely uncatalogued. This collection is one of our treasure troves and has recently received some cataloguing attention from the USTC interns who have been working with…

30 July 2013Highlights Rare Book Collection Rare Book finds

52 Weeks of Inspiring Illustrations, Week 51: the plates of Diderot & d’Alembert’s Encyclopédie (1751-1772)

This final rare book entry for our Inspiring Illustrations thread has inspired generations of artists, merchants, craftsmen and businessmen. We have chosen the 11 volumes of plates which accompany Denis Diderot & Jean le Rond d’Alembert’s Encyclopédie ou Dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers (or, Encyclopaedia or a Systematic Dictionary of the…

8 July 2013illustrations Rare Book Collection

52 Weeks of Inspiring Illustrations, Week 45: Campi Phlegraei (1776-1779)—Hamilton’s “Fields of Flame”

Since my return to this country, in January 1773, I have continued with aſſiduity my obſervations upon Mount Veſuvius, and the many ancient Volcanick productions in this Neighborhood. This week’s Inspiring Illustrations come from the magnificent Campi Phlegraei by Sir William Hamilton and Pietro Fabris, published in three parts (Parts I & II and a…

29 April 2013illustrations Rare Book Collection

52 Weeks of Inspiring Illustrations, Week 42: Athanasius Kircher’s beautiful Musurgia Universalis (1650)

This week’s selection for the ‘Inspiring Illustrations’ thread speaks for itself and needs very little introduction. We have selected the 1650 printing of Athanasius Kircher’s Musurgia Universalis, printed in two volumes and illustrated with over 30 leaves of plates and hundreds of in-text engravings. Kircher was a German Jesuit scholar and a true Renaissance man.…

9 April 2013illustrations Rare Book Collection

52 Weeks of Inspiring Illustrations, Week 35: Voyage pittoresque de Constantinople et des rives du Bosphore (1819)

”He saw the city like an Istanbullu but painted it like a cleareyed Westerner.” -Orhan Pamuk, Memories of the City (2005) This week’s illustration post is certainly the largest item to be featured on this blog series, and the heaviest, and the hardest to photograph! Antoine Ignace Melling’s masterpiece Voyage pittoresque de Constantinople et des…

18 February 2013illustrations Rare Book Collection

52 Weeks of Inspiring Illustrations, Week 22: the beauty of the photogravure

This week’s inspiring illustrations post is about a photo-mechanical process which I’ve always found to be one of the most evocative ways or reproducing photographs using the permanence of ink: the photogravure. These are objects which need to be seen in person to be fully appreciated, as it is not only the rendition of the…

19 November 2012illustrations

52 Weeks of Inspiring Illustrations, Week 21: images inspired by Dante’s Divine Comedy

To celebrate the first meeting of the Lectura Dantis Andreapolitana (the St Andrews Lectura Dantis) of this academic year, I spent a bit of time in the stacks finding some great illustrations of Dante’s most famous work. Because of its early popularity and its great critical acclaim, examples of illustrations accompanying Dante’s Commedia can be…

13 November 2012illustrations Rare Book Collection

52 Weeks of Inspiring Illustrations, Week 20: Excursions daguerriennes (1842)

This week’s illustration post is a wonderful blend of the earlier photographic and the highly skilled engraving arts of the 19th century. The beautiful engravings on display here are the result of the labour of Parisian optician and early daguerréotypiste Noël Marie Paymal Lerebours. Lerebours operated an optical shop with partner Marc Secretan at the…

5 November 2012illustrations Rare Book Collection