As we shelter in place, and think about the current political and economic consequences of the COVID-19 crisis, it is a good time to think about how past societies have responded to times of upheaval. Rachel Waxman, a doctoral candidate in History at Johns Hopkins University, recently spent 3 weeks in Stanford Libraries' Special Collections doing research in the Gustave Gimon Collection of French Political Economy on the sugar crisis during the French Revolution.
Blog topic: Rare books
A recently cataloged 16th century astronomy book provides fascinating insight into how a particular kind of diagram was printed and constructed. These rotating diagrams, called volvelles (from the Latin volvere, to turn), were used in both manuscripts and printed books to calculate data related to calendars, tide tables, astronomy, astrology, and more. They typically consist of one or more circles surmounted by other graduated or figured circles or pointers which rotate from a central axis. The circles could be made of paper, cardboard, or vellum, and the pivots were typically made of string or thread. The most common were printed with woodcuts.
Beginning on Dec. 5, the East Asia Library will host "The Japanese Garden: A Historical Account of Japanese Culture and Tradition," an exhibition curated by students in RELIGST 8N: Gardens and Sacred Spaces in Japan, an introductory seminar taught by Prof. Michaela Mross of the Dept. of Religious Studies.
- An account book binding formed from leaves recovered from a thirteenth-century legal codex, in Latin, decorated manuscript on parchment.
- French frisket fragment. (13th century?)
- Musical manuscript containing vocal works by Dufay, Grenon, and Binchois : [The Boorman Fragment]. Northern Italy, ca. 1430.
- Johannes. 1475. Compendium quattuor librorum Sententiarum Petri Lombardi. [Augsburg]: [Günther Zainer]
- Ulricus. 1480. Fraternitas cleri. [Ulm]: [Johannes Zainer].
- Diogenes Laertius, Ambrogio Traversari, and Benedictus Brognolus. 1490. Diogenes Laertius De uita & moribus philosophorum. Impressum fuit Venetiis: Impensis nobilis uiri Octauiani Scoti ciuis Modoetiẽ sis.
Part One - Regular Staff in Collection Services
The regular staff in the Collection Services arm of the Department of Special Collections & University Archives has finally unpacked from our last relocation in July and settled into our new space in Academy Hall on Stanford’s Redwood City campus. It is a great relief to see our cataloging, processing and digital units once again hard at work and various collections spread out in our workroom. As always, they, and all of those behind the scenes in Redwood City and our colleagues on campus, did a phenomenal job!
On Friday, October 25th, 2019, there will be an Open House featuring newly-acquired manuscripts and rare books in the Barchas Room of the Special Collections Department of Green Library from 11:00am-2:00pm.
In May, 2019, three colleagues launched an exhibit to mark the 500th anniversary of Leonardo da Vinci's death by celebrating the books and ideas that shaped his world. Leonardo's Library: The World of a Renaissance Reader will be on display through mid-October in the Green Library Bing Wing. The three colleagues, Prof. Paula Findlen, John Mustain (Emeritus Curator of Rare Books), and Elizabeth Fischbach (exhibits designer and manager for Stanford Libraries Special Collections), brought a wealth of knowledge, expertise, and experience to a real blockbuster demonstration of what can be accomplished when Stanford faculty, libraries, and a team of exceptional students come together to tell a story with our collections. We're happy to announce a new online exhibit, https://exhibits.stanford.edu/leonardo, to parallel and augment the physical experience and preserve a memory of this event for posterity.