Hot off the printing presses...three hundred and fifty years ago!
Look at this rare tome that appeared on our desk today from the closed stack. It's the Sylva Sylvarum: or A Naturall Historie In Ten Centuries
, by Francis Bacon, Viscount St Alban (1561–1626). It was originally printed in 1627, but our edition is from 1676. A relative youngster! It's kept in our closed stacks (Call Number: Q155.B14 S95 1676
You can read the University of Rochester's thorough description of the book and its engravings here
I asked my historian friend Benjamin Breen, editor-in-chief at The Appendix
, if he had any details to add to UR's description of the Sylva Sylvarum
. He wrote back that "the twin pillars in the frontispiece represent the Pillars of Hercules dividing the Mediterranean from the Atlantic, which for Bacon were a metaphor for the threshold between what we know (the Mediterranean of classical antiquity) and what there's left to find out (the New World beyond the seas)." Pretty cool!
Here are a few (somewhat blurry, sorry) images of the book:
The frontispiece, with its symbolic columns.
Bacon muses on what types of instruments meʃh well.
93. Experiment Solitary touching the Producing of Feathers and Hairs of diverse Colours. (^excellent band name idea)
Take note: sleep is really important. And naps have been awesome for centuries!
And now you know a cure for gout.
Check out The Appendix
, an extremely engaging history journal and a great resource, recently featured in the New Yorker, Jezebel, Slate, and Radiolab. Here's the Facebook page
Learn more about our collections at http://library.tc.columbia.edu/col_overview.php