The Book Fool. From Sebastian Brant’s “Ship of Fools” (1494). Copyright: Wikimedia Commons
Quick post again, while I am trying to get my images together for more snippets from the Erddig collections. Also in the offing: another round of volunteering with the book team at Calke Abbey and, finally, a little bit more on the research I’m still trying to undertake with regard to a vanity publication in the Library at Kedleston. But, this week, I’d like to draw your attention to this wonderful online exhibition
of incunabula in Cambridge University Library. It focuses on a topic close to my own interests: the physical signs of the use and abuse of books. Enjoy! And do visit the actual exhibition as well if you happen to be near Cambridge (which I’m not really unfortunately…)
Underneath the heading for ‘De lollio’ (lollium temulentum, i.e. darnel), an early reader has written: ‘onkruijt dat in die tarw wast’ (weed that grows among wheat). Image taken from a copy of the Ruralia ([Speyer: Petrus Drach, ca. 1490]) in the Edward Worth Library, Dublin.
A short post this time… (because I’m on holiday and haven’t had a chance to sort through my images from Hatfield House yet!)
Looking at the incunabula at Hatfield recently (and of course finding that ‘Crescentius’ manuscript) reminded me of a German printing of the Ruralia ([Speyer: Petrus Drach, ca. 1490]) I was asked to have a look at a few years ago. The volume in question is in the Edward Worth Library in Dublin (worth – forgive the pun – exploring as a library), and I was particularly interested in how it could have ended up in Edward Worth’s collection as well as in how it had been used before he purchased it (perhaps during his time on the Continent).
It was therefore terribly exciting to come across a blog-post from the University of St Andrews Special Collections team about their contributions to a new CERL project which aims to record material evidence in incunabula (MEI).
Led by Dr Cristina Dondi, the project aims to map all evidence of interactions with the contents of books printed before 1500, which will give us a valuable insight into how incunabula were read and used as resources, or collected; patterns of ownership; distribution and geographical networks; ways in which provenance was marked and even how some books were stored. The data is linked to ISTC and the CERL biographical and place name thesauri. Records can be searched and downloaded in MARC format into local OPACs. According to the introductory page, they are hunting for contributions from libraries, so spread the word!