Browse Exhibits (8 total)

Inquirere: Early Natural History Books at the CRRS

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On display in this exhibit is a selection of printed books from the CRRS’s collection that relate to the development of early natural history. They have been chosen primarily for their age (they were printed between the years 1500 and 1675 CE), the quality of the images they contain, the importance of each author to natural historians of the time, and to demonstrate the community that arose around this field of study.


Undergraduate Corbet Assistant Rare Book Presentations

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At the close of the academic year, each Corbet Assistant presents their research on an item from the Centre's rare book collection. This exhibit showcases the most recent (2014-2016) presentations and research by our Corbet Assistants.




This exhibit features works from the Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies’ collection written by Plutarch, the Greek philosopher and biographer. Plutarch is most famously known for the Lives of the Noble Greeks and Romans, commonly called Parallel Lives or Plutarch's Lives. The works selected for this exhibit range in dates published (from 1537 to 1619) and in languages (French, Italian, and Latin). 

Editions of Erasmus's Adagia


This exhibit highlights a selection of the many editions of the Adagia (Adages) by Erasmus Desiderius that are housed in the Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies' (CRRS) collection. Erasmus Desiderius of Rotterdam was a Dutch Humanist and an important figure both for the humanist Reniassance and for the Protestant and Counter-Catholic Reformation periods during the sixteenth century.

Spiritus Vitalis: Melancholy and Humoural Science in the Early Modern Period

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On display in this exhibit is a selection of printed books from the Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Centre’s rare book collection, related to melancholy and humoural science in the early modern period. They were published loosely over the course of a century considered the midpoint of the early modern period, from around 1530 at the earliest to 1670 at the latest. Together, the books were chosen to offer a broad overview of one of the most pressing social concerns in Europe during the time period – the notion of humoural balance, and in particular the concept of melancholy.

L'Homme Rouge: Cardinal Richelieu and the Control of Print Culture in France during the Ancien RĂ©gime

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This exhibition displays a selection of French-language printed books from the rare book collection of the Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies. The books range in publication dates from 1551 at the earliest to 1660 at the latest, and represent the period in France known as the Ancien Régime, or the period between the fifteenth and late eighteenth centuries before the French Revolution. These texts were chosen because they highlight the chief methods with which the French monarchy and government, particularly the Parlement of Paris, exercised control over the print culture of France in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.


Illustrating the Reformation

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Although the Reformation is often associated with iconoclasm—and some Reformers indeed did criticize, censor, and destroy Catholic art—there was no unified response to art, or even the unified movement that the singular term “Reformation” suggests of the religious changes that spanned the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The then-still-recent invention of moveable type resulted in a proliferation of books that promoted or endorsed religious change. Many of these “reformation” texts, in fact, were decorated and included images. This exhibit illustrates some of the different ways in which both Catholic and Protestant books employed images, ornaments, and decoration to complement text.

The Renaissance in Print

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When Johannes Gutenberg introduced his new invention, the printing press, in the 1450s, he could not have realized how much this new technology would transform Renaissance Europe. His new method of using moveable metal type to reproduce multiple copies of printed text from a single template, though mechanically simple by modern standards, revolutionized the way people in the Renaissance produced, read, and circulated books. The exhibits presented here explore the profound influence of print technology on three major cultural and intellectual movements in Renaissance history: humanism, religious reform, and the scientific revolution. Each exhibit page focuses on rare books from the CRRS holdings as case studies demonstrating how the printed book both shaped and was shaped by the radically new ideas proliferating in the Renaissance.