The Liber Chronicarum (more commonly known as the Nuremberg Chronicle) is widely regarded as an outstanding example of early printing, largely due to the quality of its illustrations and masterful typography. Simultaneously printed in Latin and in German editions, it was the most lavishly illustrated book of its time. It was highly popular: approximately twenty-five hundred copies were printed and an unauthorized cheaper version appeared just four years later.
The Liber Chronicarum presents a history of the world from creation to the present day. The work includes the history of the Church, secular history, classical antiquity, and medieval and contemporary events mixed with fables, myths and legends. Many famous people and cities from throughout the world are depicted, but illustrations were often repeated in the book with only the labels changed; of over eighteen hundred illustrations there are fewer than seven hundred unique images.
This leaf from the Chronicarum’s German edition is the oldest print in Georgetown’s art collection.