A Chronological List of Items 1-21 in the Exhibit
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Items 1- 21




Early Japanese printing

[Wu kou ching kuang chin] [Dharani]
[Nara: s.n., ca. 764-770 A.D.]
Transliteration into Chinese characters (by Mi T'o-shan, 705 A.D.) of a "charm" from the Sanskrit text Vimalasuddhaprabhasamahadharanisutra. One of four such charms printed on paper made from hemp at the order of the Japanese Empress Shotoku. With its original lathe-turned, whitened wood pagoda. Purchase, 1985, with the rare book collection of the University of Detroit.

 

 

Flemish Book of Hours

[Horæ B. M. V.]
Illuminated manuscript. Bruges, ca. 1455-60. 175 leaves, on vellum, in Latin.
An exceptional Book of Hours, with illuminations attributed to the Flemish artist Willem Vrelant (d. 1481), active in Bruges from the mid-1450s to the end of his career. The manuscript contains 12 full-page miniatures and 11 smaller depictions of saints in a separate section at the end; of special note is the "Holy Face" or "Salvator mundi" miniature after Jan van Eyck. Bound in nearly-contemporary full blind-embossed calf. Gift of Mrs. Thomas M. Evans, 2000.

 

 

The first book printed in Switzerland

Gregory I, Pope, Saint, ca. 540-604.
[Moralia, sive expositio in Job]
Beatus gregorius papa librum beati job petente sancto. [Basel: Berthold Ruppel, not after 1468]
First edition of Gregory's often reprinted work on the Book of Job, and generally regarded as the first book printed in Switzerland. Ruppel, the printer, had previously been an associate of Gutenberg. Bound in early 19th century half red morocco and marbled paper boards. Acquired from an undetermined source prior to 1970.

 

 

The first Euclid

Euclid.
Preclarissimus liber elementorum Euclidis perspicacissimi: in artem Geometrie incipit quã foelicissime. [Venice: Erhard Ratdolt, 1482]
First edition of Euclid's Elements, not published in the original Greek until 1533. With ownership inscriptions of Philippus Romualdus Bissonius, 1742. Rebound in recent full calf. Acquired from an undetermined source prior to 1868.

 

 

The first Greek New Testament

Bible. New Testament. Greek and Latin. Erasmus. 1516.
Novum instrument_ omne, diligenter ab Erasmo Roterodamo recognitum & emendatum. Basel: Io. Froben [1516]
First edition of the first publication of the New Testament in the original Greek, together with Erasmus' own translation into Latin, with his extensive commentary. Bound in original alum-tawed pigskin over wooden boards, clasps lacking. Inscribed "Duplum Bibliothecae Regiae Monacensis" on front pastedown. Acquired with the library of Rev. Thomas C. Levins, 1844.

 

 

Utopia

More, Thomas, Sir, Saint, 1478-1535.
Libellus vere aureus nec minus salutaris quam festivus de optimo reip. statu, deq: nova Insula Utopia.
Louvain: T. Martin [1516]
First edition of More's Utopia, one of only eight known complete copies. Rebound in later French (?) quarter red morocco and paper boards. Purchase, 1892, with the library of John Gilmary Shea.

 

 

"I have been like Esau. . ."

Francisco de Borgia, Saint, 1510-1572.
Autograph letter, signed. Oñate, 19 May [1551] one page, in Spanish, mounted.
An impassioned declaration of the writer's sinfulness and humility addressed to a group of fellow Jesuits in Portugal, saying in part "I have been like Esau, a mighty hunter, and chased not only birds, but souls, acting as a beater for the Devil." Gift of Mary Benjamin in honor of Father Francis X. Talbot, S.J., 1947.

 

 

The founder of the Society of Jesus

Ignatius, of Loyola, Saint, 1491-1556.
Document, signed. [Rome] 22 May 1551, one page, in Latin.
A grant of faculties (or celebret) sent by the founder of the Society of Jesus to one of its early members, Fr. Leonard Kessel. A fragment of bone from the skeleton of Ignatius was added to the document at a later date. Gift of Mary Benjamin in honor of Father Francis X. Talbot, S.J., 1944.

 

 

 

With manuscript additions

Molina, Alonso de, d. 1585.
Vocabulario en lengua castellana y mexicana. Mexico: En Casa de Antonio de Spinosa, 1571. Two volumes bound in one. First edition of the first great Native American vocabulary, with contemporary manuscript additions to the first section in a second Native American language. First title leaf in facsimile. Bound in early (but probably not contemporary) full vellum (ties missing). Bookplate of Otto Orren Fisher. Purchase, 1971.

 

 

 

The Psalms in Scots polyphony

Wood, Thomas, 16th cent. Autograph illuminated manuscript, signed. St. Andrews, Fife, 1586, 164 pages.
The altus part from the second set of what is generally known as the "St. Andrews Psalter" or "Scots Psalter," Wood's compilation of the Psalms in English in four-part polyphonic settings by the Scots composer David Peebles; at the end are added a number of other religious and secular songs. Despite the date in the manuscript (given above), composition of the manuscript may perhaps have begun as early as 1570. Bound in somewhat later half calf and marbled paper boards. Acquired from an undetermined source prior to 1937.

 

 

 

The cities of the world

Braun, Georg, fl. 1593-1618.
Civitates orbis terrarum. [Cologne, 1576-1618] Six volumes bound in two.
First edition of the first great city atlas, this copy complete with all the plates in uncolored state. Bound in full calf, each volume bearing the gilt arms of French diplomat Gaspard Coignet de la Thuilerie, comte de Courson (1596/97-1653). Gift of an anonymous donor, 1976.

 

 

 

The foundation of modern ophthalmology

Bartisch, Georg, 1535-ca. 1607.
Das ist / Augendienst.[Dresden: Gedruckt durch Matthes Stöckel, 1583]
First edition of the seminal work in ophthalmology. Bound in contemporary blindstamped pigskin over wooden boards, upper cover stamped with the date "1584" (clasps missing).
Gift of Mrs. G. William Schlindwein, prior to1970.

 

 

 

A Jesuit education

Jesuits. Ratio studiorum. 1586.
Ratio atque institutio studiorum per sex patres ad id iussu R. P. Præpositi Generalis deputatos conscripta. Rome: In Collegio Societatis Iesu, 1586.
First edition of the foundation work in Jesuit educational theory and practice. Bound in contemporary limp vellum, with the near-contemporary inscription on the title page of a Jesuit house in Bologna. From the collection of Sir Leicester Harmsworth. Purchase, together with the second edition (1591), on funds provided by Homer Hervey, Paul Straske, and Mrs. S. R. Straske, 1986.

 

 

 

New Mexico discovered

Montoya, Juan de, fl. 1602.
Relacion del descrubimiento del Nuovo Mexico: Y de otras muchas Provincias, y Ciudades, halladas de nuevo; Venida de las Indias, à España, y de alli mandada à Roma. Rome: Por Bartholame Bonfadino, 1602.
First edition of this early account of the exploration of present-day New Mexico; one of only two recorded copies. Bound in the 19th century in three-quarter sheep and marbled paper boards. Acquired from an undetermined source prior to 1970, possibly with the library of John Gilmary Shea.

 

 

 

A "new star"

Kepler, Johann, 1571-1630.
De stella nova in pede serpentarii, et qui sub ejus exortum de novo iniit, Trigono Igneo. Prague: Ex Officina calcographica Pauli Sessii, 1606.
First edition of a work dealing with the occurrence of a "new star" in 1604/5. Bound in 18th century half morocco and marbled paper boards. Gift of Lewis Strauss, 1985.

 

 

Jacobean Britain delineated

Speed, John, 1552?-1629.
The Theatre of the Empire of Great Britaine: Presenting an Exact Geography of the Kingdomes of England, Scotland, Ireland, and the Iles adioyning: With The Shires, Hundreds, Cities and Shire townes, within ye Kingdome of England, divided and described. London: To be sold by John Sudbury & Georg Humble, 1611.
First edition of the first great English atlas. Rebound in recent full calf. Acquired from an undetermined source prior to 1909.

 

 

The La Vallière copy

Pinto, Fernão Mendes, d. 1583.
Peregrinaçam . . . em que da conta de muytas e muyto estranhas cousas que vio & ouuio no reyno da China, no da Tartaria, no do Sornau, que vulgarmente se chama Sião, no do Calaminhan, no de Pegù, no de Martauão, & em outros muytos reynos & senhorios das partes Orientals. Lisbon: Por Pedro Crasbeeck, 1614.
First edition of this account of early travels in the Far East by an early associate of St. Francis Xavier. Bound in 18th century French red morocco, with the gilt super-ex-libris of the celebrated bibliophile Louis-César de la Baume Le Blanc, duc de La Vallière (1708-1780) on both boards. Purchase, 1985, with the rare book collection of the University of Detroit.

 

 

 

The First Folio

Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616.
Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies. Published according to the True Originall Copies. London: Printed by Isaac Jaggard, and Ed. Blount, 1623.
"First Folio" edition, first two leaves and final leaf in type facsimile, portrait on title leaf inset from a copy of the Fourth Folio; includes the first appearances in print of a number of Shakespeare's plays. Bound in full 19th century "pale Russia" (boards detached). Bookplate of Lucy Wharton Drexel (ca. 1888). Purchase, 1964.

 

 

 

Life in colonial New Mexico

Benavides, Alonso de, fl. 1630.
Memorial que Fray Iuan de Santander de la orden de san Francisco, Comissario General de Indias, presenta a la Magestad Catolica del Rey don Felipe Quarto nuestro Señor. Hecho por el Padre Fray Alonso de Benavides Comissario del Santo Oficio, y Custodio que ha sido de las Provincias, y conversiones del Nuevo-Mexico. Madrid: En la Imprenta Real, 1630.
First edition of the most important contemporary account of life in the American Southwest during the early colonial period. Rebound in recent full calf. Purchase, 1892, with the library of John Gilmary Shea.

 

 

 

Life and language in colonial Canada

Sagard-Théodat, Gabriel.
Le grand voyage du pays des Hurons. . . . Avec un Dictionnaire de la langue huronne. Paris: Chez Denys Moreau, 1632.
First edition of this primary work on the civilization and language of the Hurons, the principal Native American tribe encountered by the French in Canada. Although the dictionary was set up in type separately, both works are covered by the same official permission to publish, and the two works are here bound together, as usual, in the original speckled sheepskin. With the ownership inscription of the American historian Edmund Bailey O'Callaghan. Purchase, 1892, with the library of John Gilmary Shea.

 

 

 

Galileo's discourses

Galilei, Galileo, 1564-1642.
Discorsi e dimostrazioni matematiche, intorno à due nuove scienze Attenenti alla Mecanica & i Movimenti Locali. Leiden: Appresso gli Elsevirii, 1638.
First edition of the Italian scientist's foundational work on mechanics and dynamics. Rebound in 20th century German (?) coarse buckram; bookplate of Hans Ludendorff. Gift of Lewis Strauss, 1985.

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