By Kristin Leaman
Extent: 0.5 Cubic feet. More info below.
Access Restrictions: Collection is open for research.
Acquisition Method: It is very possible Eleanore Cammack ordered these rare book leaves from Dawson’s Book Shop. Cammack served as a librarian in the Purdue Libraries. She was originally hired as an order assistant in 1929. By 1955, she had become the head of the library's Order Department with a rank of assistant professor.
MSP 136, Medieval Manuscript Leaves collection
Collection of Tycho Brahe engravings
Collection of British Indentures
Palm Leaf Book
Original Leaves from Famous Books Eight Centuries 1240 A.D.-1923 A.D. Call No: 094 Or4
“Liber Chronicarum”: A folio of the Nuremberg Chronicle, restored from an incomplete copy from the library of Lambton Castle, England: with biographical note. Call No: 093 Sch 2
Preferred Citation: MSP 137, Rare Book Leaves collection, Archives and Special Collections, Purdue University Libraries
2 leaves from the Nuremberg Chronicle, Folios 67r and 67v, 248r and 248v. Folio numbers present on the recto side in roman numerals.
Folio 67r and 67v:
The murder of Abner by Joab.
“A severe battle soon afterward occurred at Gibeon, between the army of David under Joab, and the army of Ish-bosheth under Abner, in which the latter was utterly defeated. Abner was afterward killed by Joab.”
“…Joab returned; and hearing what had been done, he went to the king and warned him against Abner as a spy and traitor. Soon after, and without David’s knowledge, Joab sent for Abner; and when he arrived, too him aide privately and murdered him in revenge of the death of his brother, Asahel.”
Woodcuts on 67r:
Woodcut depicting Joab murdering Abner.
Woodcut of Gad, Nathan, and Aseph.
Woodcut depicting David’s sons that were born to him in Jerusalem: Salma, Saba, Nathan, Solomon, Jabaar, Helisua, Nepheg, Japhia, Helisama, Helida, Helifeleth.
Woodcut on 67v:
“Solomon Rex, although shown at full length, appears as a rather diminutive figure. His body is dwarfed, his head is large, and the crown he wears is of greater diameter than the king himself from shoulder to shoulder. He carries the orb and scepter, and is clad in an embroidered and fur trimmed robe. His footwear is rather meager, and he gives the appearance of having stepped forth in his stocking-feet.”
Folio 268r and 268v:
“A narration of the historical events transpiring throughout Germany and Europe under Emperor Frederick III, together with a description of the places, written by the most worthy in God, Aeneas Piccolomini, cardinal of St. Sabine, to Cardinal Antonio of Hilerda.”
“Of Hungary and the History Thereof.”
Discusses the history and geography of Hungary.
Woodcut on 268v:
Beautiful woodcut depicting Hungary.
The Nuremberg Chronicle is considered the first book that successfully integrates printed illustration into a text, and it is most famous for its cityscapes. It is an incunable and was printed by Anton Koberger. The author is Hartmann Schedel, and the artists are Michael Wohlgemut and Wilhelm Pleydenwurff. 625 separate woodcuts were designed for the chronicle, and approximately 2500 copies were made in Latin and German. Printed in Latin in Antiqua Rotunda type with black ink on paper. Folio 268 has a double cross watermark. Click here for an example of the watermark:
The woodcuts have not been colored. Chain lines are present. [12”X17.25”]
“Justinian’s greatest accomplishment was the codification of Roman law. This was done under his direction, by his principal law officer Tribonian, assisted by ten learned civilians, between the years 529 and 533 A.D. This intensive enterprise produced Corpus Juris Civilis, a work in four parts.
<ol> <li> The Code, in which earlier codes were recast and brought together.</li> <li> The Digest, 9, 123 excerpts of legal opinions gathered from over 2000 works.</li> <li> The Institute, a concise manual aid.</li> <li> The Novellae, or laws of Justinian.</li></ol> The formulation of Roman Law is often considered the greatest triumph of the ancient world, and its reorganization and transmission in the Justinian codes one of the greatest gifts of the Middle Ages to the western world. Roman law established each man’s right in regard to his labor and property. It was a powerful tool in the struggles between the secular rulers and the powerful of the church.
This code of laws survived the centuries primarily because it was flexible, capable of growth, and international in viewpoint. Universities were crowded by students from far and near the text expounded by noted glossators. Meynial states that this Roman law, more than any other factor, facilitated the passage of west European societies from the economics of the agricultural family to the rule of commercial and industrial individuals. It stressed the principle of representative government; this, together with its ideas of justice and equality, are now part of our American government.
The printer, Baptista de Tortis, was one of the first printers to specialize in jurisprudence. His reputation for accuracy of texts enabled him to dispose of edition after edition of 2000 or more copies, folio size, of his various publications, while many another 15th century printer went into bankruptcy after printing only one or two volumes in editions of 500 copies or less.
Tortis’s round, gothic type found such favor with the early Spanish printers that they copied it for several centuries under the name "letra de Tortis." The typographical problem of planning a certain amount of text to correspond exactly with related glosses complete on the same page was successfully handled in this unit.”
Printed in Latin in Tortis’ round, gothic type on paper with black ink. Red and blue initials and chain lines are present. It is an incunable and has rubricated text. Larger red initials are printed throughout. There is no watermark present. This leaf is from the Second Book. Folio number is printed on the top recto side in Arabic numerals, 50. Signature Sii is printed on bottom recto side. 2 columns, 82 lines [11.75”X17”]
Wynkyn de Worde originally worked at William Caxton’s press. After Caxton’s death in 1500, Wynkyn de Worde took control of his press and moved to Fleet Street, London. He was the first printer in England to use italic type. “Jacobus de Voragine, writing about 1260, achieved dominance in later western hagiographical literature - about 900 manuscripts of his Golden Legend survive. From 1470 to 1530 it was also the most often printed book in Europe.”
Leaf from the 8th English edition of the Golden Legend by Jacobus de Voragine, printed in London by Wynkyn de Worde, August 27, 1527. Excerpt from “The lyfe of Saynt Austyn.” Printed on paper in English in Black Letter with black ink. Chain lines are present and there is no watermark. On the recto side is the “Life of Saynt Aldhelm” prior to “The lyfe of Saynt Austyn.” Folio 126 (in roman numerals) is printed on the top recto side. [2 columns, 44 and 46 lines. 7.75” X 11”]
Two conjugate leaves from Sidonia the Sorceress printed by William Morris at the Kelmscott Press in London, 1893. Printed in black and red ink in English in Golden type on paper. Four decorated initials are printed in black ink along with printed tree leaves appearing at the end of sentences. A flower and leaf watermark and chain lines are present. Signature c4 is printed on the left side of page 23. Pages 23, 24, 25, 26 all printed in Arabic numerals at the end of the text on the right or left side of the page. [8.25” X11.25”]
Description of the complete edition:
Sidonia the Sorceress by William Meinhold. Translated by Francesca Speranza Lady Wilde. Large quarto. Flower watermark, paper. 472 pages. Golden type. Black and red ink. Limp vellum binding with silk ties. 300 paper, 10 vellum copies. Colophon dated 15 September 1893. Published by the Kelmscott Press, 1 November 1893, at 4 guineas (paper) and 20 guineas (vellum).
Citation: Peterson, William S. The Kelmscott Press: A History of William Morris’s Typographical Adventure. Berkeley: U of California Press, 1991.