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W. Bruce Fye History of Medicine Library: Online Exhibits

W. Bruce Fye History of Medicine Library. Bookplate Exhibit. Curated by Hilary J. Lane.

W. BRUCE FYE

HISTORY OF MEDICINE LIBRARY

PLUMMER 15-07

 

BOOKPLATE EXHIBIT

Ever since books were first printed in the 15th century, it has been common practice for collectors and libraries to make some mark of ownership.  This might be simply the name of the owner written on the inside cover of the book or even on the title-page, but eventually the favored convention became the book-plate – a label with a distinctive design. 

The earliest known examples are from Germany.  One, circa 1480, bears a woodcut representing a shield of arms supported by an angel; it was pasted in a book presented to the Carthusian monastery of Buxheim by Brother Hildebrand Brandenburg of Biberach.  Between 1503 and 1516 the great Albrecht Durer engraved several book-plates.  Soon, fashion for book-plates spread from Germany to France and Britain.  British examples date from about 1574. 

The armorial style of design dominated book-plates for a couple of centuries, when books were expensive.  Then lighter and more diverse motifs became popular during periods of cheaper printing.  After its heyday, the armorial style was added to by landscapes, views of libraries (real and imaginary), allegorical pictures, piles of books and mottoes or quotations.

In 1934 Mayo Clinic Librarian, Miss Frida Pliefke, began a collection of medically themed bookplates. She wrote to hundreds of libraries and received in return a fine assortment of beautiful bookplates.  The W. Bruce Fye History of Medicine Library collection comprises over 800 bookplates and this exhibit displays just a sampling of this unique collection.

 

 

Exhibit Curated:

Hilary J. Lane

Instructor in History of Medicine

Coordinator, W. Bruce Fye History of Medicine Library

 

Bibliography:

The Story of The Book-Plate.  Shepard, Leslie.  Gale Literary Date Book 1971. Published annually since 1965 for the enjoyment of friends of Gale Research Company.
http://www.oac.cdlib.org/findaid/ark:/13030/c89w0m5z/
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Historical vignette of bookplates, books and their owners.  Mann, Ruth J.  Mayo Clinic Proc. 46:5, May 1971.
Dottie Hawthorne, Outreach Librarian,  1982-2012. Mayo Clinic Library.
W. Bruce Fye Center for the History of Medicine, Plummer 3.
Harvey Cushing: A Life in Surgery.  Bliss, Michael.  New York, Oxford University Press, 2005

 

 

Images

Exhibit Archives

 Selections from the Medical Libraries of Doctors William Worrall Mayo (1819-1911) and Charles Nathaniel Hewitt (1835-1920)

A Brief History of Midwifery: Selections from the Mayo Clinic History of Medicine Library

An Evening Among the Books: Selections of the Bibliotheca Prima of Sir William Osler

Pioneers in Medicine: Selections from the Mayo Clinic History of Medicine Library

Rochester Cemetery Walks: Nestled just northeast of the Mayo Clinic campus, Oakwood and Calvary cemeteries provide the citizens and visitors of Rochester with a quiet place for reflection. Some of the great men and women of medicine lay next to civic leaders and ordinary citizens, strengthening the bond between Mayo Clinic and its community.

Rare Anatomical Texts: This exhibit marks the 90th anniversary of the Mayo Clinic Libraries (1907-1997) and comprises part of 130 rare anatomy books donated to the History of Medicine Library by Dr. Anthony H. Kelly in the early 1990's.

 

 

Liber Chronicarum (Nuremberg Chronicle) Published in 1493

Liber Chronicarum, (Book of Chronicles) was conceived, executed and published in Nuremberg, Germany.  Its artistic patina is completely “Nurembergian” and so it is no surprise it long ago gave way to the more popular title of Nuremberg Chronicle.  With the exception of the Gutenberg Bible it has become the best known of all the items printed in the 15th century.  The W. Bruce Fye History of Medicine Library collection is fortunate to own a first edition copy, printed in Latin, dated 1493.