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Curious Remedies: The Art of Dissection

Curious Remedies, the library’s current main floor exhibit, highlights the contributions of scientists and physicians of the Renaissance and Early Modern periods. One such individual is Andreas Vesalius (1514-1564), whose monumental book on anatomy, De Humani Corporis Fabrica (On the Fabric of the Human Body, often shortened to Fabrica) was first published in 1543.

Vesalius was born in Brussels and became a professor of medicine at the University of Padua, and later, the court physician to Emperor Charles V. Vesalius’ study of human anatomy refuted many long-standing assumptions passed down from the Greeks. The Fabrica is renowned both for correcting these errors and for the high-quality woodcut illustrations based on his dissections. The current exhibit features a book issued by the Bremer Press in 1934 using the original woodblocks used to print various editions of the Fabrica in the 16th century (sadly, those blocks were destroyed during the Second World War).

Curious Remedies is only on display for a few more days, through Oct. 16, 2017. But if you miss it, never fear: you can visit Special Collections to request the Vesalius plates or a full facsimile of Fabrica in our reading room!


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