Rare Books Archives

November 28, 2007

Die menschliche sterblichkeit, unter dem titel Todten-tanz, in 61 original-kupfern (1759)
View the PDF. View the Flip Book

Since the 1940’s the University Library has amassed a collection of over 600 emblem books written from 1540-1800, published in Germany, France, Italy, Spain and England. No other American library has such extensive holdings. Emblem books can possibly be looked upon as the multi-media publications of the 17th and 18th centuries. Each emblem is composed of three constitutive elements - a motto, an illustration or “pictura” in the form of a woodcut or engraving, and an explanatory poem or "subscriptio." An emblem is more than the sum of its parts, because the interplay between text and image produces a greater meaning than any of the individual components can provide. In 1998 the University Library began collaborating with Professor Mara Wade of the German Department to provide enhanced access to the German emblem books through digitization. The initial digitization efforts were funded by the UIUC Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research. Die menschliche sterblichkeit, unter dem titel Todten-tanz, in 61 original-kupfern (1759) is the first emblem book to be digitized at the UIUC Open Content Alliance scanning center. Visit the German Emblem Book Project website.


June 17, 2009

The faerie qveen : The shepheards calendar : together with the other works of England's arch-poët (1609)
View the Flip Book.

Holiness, temperance, chastity, friendship, justice and courtesy were among the many virtues that English poet Edmund Spenser attributed to Queen Elizabeth I in his epic poem of praise The Faerie Queen, believed to be the longest poem ever written in English. Shown here are the title page and Spenser's effusive dedication page from the 1609 edition in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library at the University of Illinois. This volume, along with several others of Spenser's work held by the Rare Book and Manuscript Library, were digitized for inclusion in the Spenser Archive. When completed the Spenser Archive "will serve both as a fully searchable research tool and as a teaching tool that presents a wide range of engaging possibilities to the novice user." View other digitized books by Edmund Spenser from the University of Illinois Library.


About Rare Books

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to Digitized Book of the Week in the Rare Books category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

Railroad history and engineering is the previous category.

Rediscovered! is the next category.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

Creative Commons License
This weblog is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
Powered by
Movable Type 3.35