Ask a Librarian

Threre are lots of ways to contact a librarian. Choose what works best for you.

HOURS TODAY

1:00 pm - 5:00 pm

CONTACT US BY PHONE

(802) 656-2138

Reference Desk

EMAIL A QUESTION

Email a Librarian

Submit a question for reply by e-mail.

Library Hours for Sunday, September 26th

All of the hours for today can be found below. We look forward to seeing you in the library.
HOURS TODAY
1:00 pm - 5:00 pm
SEE ALL LIBRARY HOURS
AT SPECIAL COLLECTIONS

Special Collections1:00 pm - 5:00 pm

ELSEWHERE

Howe Library10:00 am - 10:00 pm

Media Services1:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Howe ReferenceClosed

Dana Medical Library9:00 am - 11:00 pm

 

CATQuest

Search the UVM Libraries' collections

Notable Additions to the Rare Book Collection

Date: 
Sunday, February 7, 2021

Title page of Speculum perigrinarum quaestionum

Last spring Silver Special Collections purchased an interesting 1499 book by Bartholomaeus Sibylla, Speculum peregrinarum quaestionum (loosely, “mirror of exotic questions”), a treatise dealing with a number of topics such as “the soul, angels, dreams and their interpretations, demonology, magic, astrology” and others. Curiously, this copy includes ten leaves that were written by hand, in place of ten missing printed leaves. The scribe attempted to mimic the style of the printed page but not the typeface; the latter is Roman while the scribe’s hand is gothic. At some point this copy belonged to the Franciscan convent of St. Bernardine of Siena in Amberg, Bavaria. The book features many points of interest to students of early printing and book history.

Special Collections also purchased a medieval manuscript volume of short works copied in northeast Italy between 1475 and 1485. It contains a biography of the illustrious men of ancient Rome by an author known as Pseudo-Pliny, offering a different perspective from Livy’s more widely-known history of Rome (Ab Urbe Condita). Shorter works include excerpts from Ovid, Martial, Juvenal, and others.  Few of our several dozen medieval manuscripts are classical texts. This is a great example of a collection of favorites put together by an unknown Italian Renaissance humanist, one of many who idolized ancient Rome and sought to popularize ancient texts.

Most recently, Special Collections acquired a rare copy of the first edition of John Gerard’s The Herball or Generall Historie of Plantes (London, 1597).  The most famous of early English herbals, this work is in essence a translation of Rembert Dodoens’ Stirpium Historiae Pemptades (1583) but with important additions by Gerard, who served as the first curator of the “garden of physic” of the Royal College of Physicians.  Special Collections also holds the 1633 edition of Gerard’s herbal, in which many errors in the first edition were corrected.

Black and white drawings of two hawkweed plants

 

 

 

Drawings of two plants