Archive: "History of Science" Category

John Gerard’s English herbal

The Lee Library recently digitized a well-known book of early modern English science: the 1633 edition of John Gerard’s Herball, or Generall historie of plantes (online at https://archive.org/details/herballorgeneral1633gera). Gerard was a surgeon and herbalist who curated the Royal College of Physicians’ garden of medicinal plants. He first published his herbal, which is a type of …

Read More →

Comets of the 17th century

L. Tom Perry Special Collections contains a variety of comet pamphlets by European astronomers of the 16th and 17th centuries. If you enjoyed (or missed) comet NEOWISE this summer, we’d like to share some delightful woodcut illustrations from recent acquisitions to this collection. This engraving, from Erhard Weigel’s Speculum Uranicum aquilae Romanae sacrum (1661), depicts …

Read More →

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 …

Read More →

Historic solar eclipses

Here in Provo, Utah, people are gearing up for the solar eclipse which will be visible in our area on August 21. To add to the festivities, we’ve pulled out a few books (both scientific and literary) about eclipses of past centuries. This small pamphlet was published by astronomer Johann Erich Müller in Greifswald, Germany, …

Read More →

Robert Hooke and the Microscope

Today marks the birth of English scientist Robert Hooke in 1635. Hooke dabbled in many branches of the arts and sciences, including astronomy, physics, watchmaking, and architecture. He was a member of the Royal Society and served as its curator of experiments, which meant that he demonstrated several experiments at each of the Society’s meetings …

Read More →

Women’s Book History for Women’s History Month

If you visit the “Curious Remedies” exhibit this month, be on the lookout for a small, nondescript book of medicine by Nicholas Culpeper. This item was published in 1684 by Hannah Sawbridge. Hannah was the widow of George Sawbridge, one of the most successful London printers and booksellers of the 17th century. Sawbridge’s firm printed …

Read More →

Curious Remedies: The Making of Early Modern Medicine

The Lee Library’s current exhibit, “Curious Remedies: Medicine During the Renaissance,” highlights medical knowledge of the Renaissance and Early Modern period with books from Special Collections. Before chemical engineering or even the discovery of penicillin, physicians relied on plants, minerals, and animals to concoct medicines for their patients. Botanical encyclopedias called herbals helped scientists identify …

Read More →

Sneak Preview: Curious Remedies

If you’ve walked past the exhibit space on the main floor of the library, you may have gotten a peek at the latest exhibit being installed. “Curious Remedies” will display the history of medicine in the Renaissance and features a variety of scientific books from Special Collections. This blog will highlight a few of those …

Read More →

Banned Books Week on the Radio

To coincide with the American Library Association’s 2016 Banned Books Week,  BYURadio’s Top of Mind With Julie Rose spoke with HBLL’s European Studies Librarian, Richard Hacken, on the history of book banning. Several prominent banned books mentioned in the conversation are found in Special Collections, including Galileo’s Dialogue on the Two Chief World Systems (Vault …

Read More →

Athanasius Kircher and his Cabinet of Curiosities

In Early Modern Europe, well-connected individuals with the collecting bug assembled eclectic collections of natural and man-made objects known as kunstkammer or cabinets of curiosities. These collections could be small enough to fill a bookcase or large enough to fill an exhibit hall. One prominent collector of the 17th century was Jesuit Athanasius Kircher (1602-1680), …

Read More →

Recent Posts

Archives