Entries Tagged as 'Early'

Wednesday, August 17th, 2016

Houghton Incunable finds its Mate after Two Centuries

Not long ago, Houghton Library acquired a copy of the first half of an edition of the works of Thomas Aquinas printed in Basel by Michael Wenssler in 1485 (Inc 7508) – the first half, I say, because the collection was issued in three parts, of which the second itself consisted of two parts, and […]

Friday, July 29th, 2016

Undergraduates at Houghton, Part III: Iberian Books Project

A sure-fire way to learn just how rare the books in a rare book library can be is to try documenting potential evidence of their existence.  Since May, I have scanned images of 164 books and pamphlets at Houghton.  The demands of the task required me to call for items in batches, instead of attempting […]

Friday, July 22nd, 2016

Undergraduates at Houghton, Part II: Material Evidence in Incunabula

A number of Houghton Library incunables—books printed using moveable type before 1501—were donated between 1955 and 1965 by Ward M. Canaday, member of the Harvard College class of 1907.  Several of those books were deposited in Houghton by Adriana R. Salem before being purchased by Canaday; Cambridge had been the end-point of Salem’s trans-Atlantic journey […]

Monday, July 11th, 2016

Undergraduates at Houghton, Part I: Consolidating Works on Manuscripts

This coming fall will see the opening of Beyond Words: Illuminated Manuscripts in Boston Collections, an exhibition of medieval and Renaissance books from local institutions.  The Houghton Library will loan the vast majority of the manuscripts on display, and the library will also act as one of three venues for the exhibition.  Preparations are not […]

Friday, July 1st, 2016

William King Richardson, Part III: Mischievous Billy Richardson

It is good to see good work being done by colleagues on a great collection.  But let’s not be too solemn about the collector and the collected, no matter his degrees and trophies.  After all, he wasn’t. “Billy” traveled in certain social circles and had a lot of fun in doing so.  Edith Wharton, the […]

Tuesday, June 21st, 2016

William King Richardson, Part II: “One of the most remarkable specimens of XVth century binding I have ever seen.”

In April the library began a three month project entering provenance information from Houghton incunabula into the Manuscript Evidence in Incunabula database (MEI). Maintained by the Consortium of European Research Libraries, MEI enables scholars to research and compare copy-specific features in incunabula across an international multitude of repositories. These two sets of image show the […]

Friday, June 10th, 2016

William King Richardson, Part I: Diplomas and Certificates

William King Richardson (1859–1951) was a member of the Harvard College Class of 1880. Just two years later he earned a double first at Balliol College, Oxford University (purportedly the first American to obtain this distinction at Oxford). His library was begun at the Lord Amherst of Hackney sale in 1908. For more than forty […]

Friday, May 27th, 2016

The one-pull press and printing on half sheets

One of the first things fledging historical bibliographers are taught is to identify formats: take a sheet of paper and fold it once to give folio format, fold again to make a quarto gathering, and once again for an octavo. Then they need to know about chain lines, wire lines and where to find watermarks […]

Wednesday, May 4th, 2016

Epithalamion for Bianca Maria Sforza

Houghton Library recently acquired a rare copy of one of the first independently printed wedding orations.  Ad Serenissimum Maximilianum inuictissimu[m] Romanoru[m] rege[m]: in auspicatissimis eius & Augustæ Blanche mariæ nuptiis: Epithalamion. [Milan, Leonardus Pachel after 8 April 1494]. (ISTC im00401800) was written by Giasone del Maino (1435-1519) and delivered in praise of the couple at […]

Monday, April 25th, 2016

Print, Manuscript and the Education of Women in Renaissance Italy

Houghton Library has recently acquired a copy of an important book in the history of the education of women, Annibale Guasco’s Ragionamento. Annibale Guasco (1540-1619) composed this educational treatise for his eleven-year-old daughter, Lavinia, as she entered the service of the Duchess of Savoy. Annibale recorded her humanist education at home and under his direction […]