Pages from the Past: History of the Written Word

Pages from the Past: History of the Written Word (No. 10 of fifteen numbered portfolio sets) consists of 157 original leaves and artefacts, including a Babylonian clay tablet, a Babylonian cylinder seal, an Egyptian scarab seal, and several papyrus pieces. There are parchment leaves from medieval manuscripts, and pages from incunables, including a leaf each from the Nuremberg Chronicles (Koberger, 1493) and Sebastian Brant’s Ship of Fools (Bergmann, 1498). The Collection also contains a wide range of pages from the hand-press period, including a leaf printed by Wynkyn De Worde (1516), a sample from Munster’s Cosmographia Universalis (1559), a leaf from Martin Luther’s German translation of the Bible (1584), as well as samples of fine calligraphy. There are early printed pages from Ireland, Mexico and the USA, one of the latter being a fragment of a Cotton Mather sermon printed by his sister in Boston in 1685. This leaf book concludes with fragments from some of the best late-nineteenth century and early-twentieth century printers, including William Morris and Bruce Rogers.

For more information, please contact librarian Patrick Warner at the QEII’s Archives and Special Collections.

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