Tag Archives: Rare Books

November 29

A Book Unfinished: Paracelsus in Hand-Press Sheets

By Stephen J. Greenberg Books today, as physical objects, have reached a very odd place in our consciousness. Readers are increasingly offered books (or at least texts—there is a difference: books are physical objects; texts are their intellectual contents) in a bewildering array of electronic alternatives. Print (on paper) is dead, we are told, at […]

A realistic line drawing of the palm of a left hand marked with lines, numbers and symbols. October 31

Palmistry: The Future in the Palm of Your Hand

By Atalanta Grant-Suttie Some people think palmistry (or chiromancy as it is sometimes known) is hocus pocus and that it is all nonsense.  How can lines and bumps in the palm of the hand foretell your future?  Yet, you can find palm readers all over the world; you may have one in your area.  Palmistry […]

Colored botanical illustration of a dandelion plant. April 14

Some of the Most Beautiful Herbals

By Michael North This post is the sixth in a series exploring the National Library of Medicine’s rich and varied collection of “herbals,” which are books devoted to the description of medicinal plants (and sometimes other natural substances) with instructions on how to use them to treat illness. The Library’s herbals are some of the […]

Bontanical illustration of a branch with large oval leaves and stems with clusters of small pink flowers. March 22

Colonialism and the Plant Hunters

By Michael North This post is the fifth in a series exploring the National Library of Medicine’s rich and varied collection of “herbals,” which are books devoted to the description of medicinal plants (and sometimes other natural substances) with instructions on how to use them to treat illness. The Library’s herbals are some of the […]

A plate from the Journal Philosophical Transactions illustrating the Eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 1767. February 03

Early Journals: What’s in a Name?

By Atalanta Grant-Suttie The journal is so much a part of the current apparatus of scholarly communication that one never really thinks where and how the term might have originated. The origins of the word “journal” derive from Old French, Middle English and Late Latin in the fourteen century. However, perhaps the concept of the […]

Text block surrounded by flowers and butterflies. January 06

Research Reborn: Dioscorides and Mattioli

By Michael North This post is the fourth in a series exploring the National Library of Medicine’s rich and varied collection of “herbals,” which are books devoted to the description of medicinal plants (and sometimes other natural substances) with instructions on how to use them to treat illness. The Library’s herbals are some of the […]

A hand colored Illustration of a Turkey. November 23

An Early Look at the Turkey

By Michael North Turkeys were one of many animals and plants the Europeans encountered in the New World beginning in 1492. There were wild turkeys throughout much of North America, and Native peoples in what are now Mexico and the U.S. Southwest had domesticated them: the Spanish found them in pens kept by the Aztecs […]