Rare and Antiquarian Books
The history of books is as old as the history of thought. Before the first century AD introduced the techincal advances of the codex, the written word was preserved on clay tablets and parchment scrolls. This selection is reserved for some of the oldest offerings in the Rare Book Room.
Particularly scarce and sought-after books, some dating back to the 15th Century, and others who hold significant historical and religious value.
Johannes Gutenberg and Laurens Janszoon Coster independently came upon the concept of printing books rather than copying them by hand around 1440. Their invention of moveable type forever changed books. These offerings of incunabula are among the earliest printed books in the Western World.
Shakespeare is only of the luminaries that established the 17th Century as one of the most significant epochs in literary history.
Recent technologies in printing helped the proliferation of books in the 16th Century, and Desiderius Erasmus and Ben Johnson, to name only two literary notables were introduced to a readers.
While Incunabula includes printed works from the 15th century, this category includes bookish works like manuscripts and hand-written books and journals.