bioephemera

Turning (virtual) manuscript pages

The National Library of Medicine’s “Turning the Pages” gallery lets you turn the virtual pages of classic science/medicine manuscripts. Check out Hieronymus Brunschwig’s Liber de Arte Distillandi de Compositis (1512):

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Note that the NLM’s copy is hand-colored; uncolored copies also exist, such as this copy at ECHO. Comparison with the images of the ECHO copy show that NLM has elided the boring, text-only pages from their animation.

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I’m not usually a big fan of animations that try to replicate the tactile experience of books, but given that you aren’t usually allowed to touch manuscripts of this age and rarity anyway, the animation is kind of fun.

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Liber de arte distillandi was also featured in the NLM exhibition Harry Potter’s World.

Comments

  1. #1 Adrian Morgan
    December 12, 2009

    There are some good laughs in Hooke’s _Micrographia_, mostly side-effects of the way the language has changed since the 17th century. Some things that amuse me are the lengthy justifications of basic principles of investigation, the use of words that in present-day English are reserved for the most informal of registers (e.g. Hooke was pretty fond of the adverb “pretty”), and let us not even mention what cork does to its nourifhment on page 115.

  2. #2 Comrade PhysioProf
    December 12, 2009

    ZOMFG!!!!!!!!! That is fucking awesome!!!

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