Epidemic print: medical incunabula and their readers – Incunabula Masterclass – 2 February 2012

The Vein Man: one of the woodcut illustrations in the Fasciculus medicinae by Johannes de Ketham, printed at Venice by Johannes and Gregorius de Gregoriis, 28 March 1500, Inc.3.B.3.45(1519), fol. a3v

On Thursday 2 February 2012, the Library will be holding its third masterclass as part of the Incunabula Project.

The masterclass, entitled ‘Epidemic print: medical incunabula and their readers’, will be led by Mr Peter Jones, Librarian at King’s College Cambridge.

Works on health and medicine were some of the earliest on the incunabular scene, and range from almanacs to plague tracts, herbals to physiognomy and magic, as well as academic works that comment on the classical tradition of Pliny and Galen. Some of the most elegant illustrated books of the 15th century were medical, but so were some of the most ephemeral and utilitarian.

This class will look at the scope and character of medical incunabula, and will also address the remarkable frequency with which readers and users of these books entered into dialogue with them, adding recipes or comments on efficacy.  We will examine examples from CUL’s impressive holdings of medical incunabula, and some of the useful bibliographical tools that provide access to early medical printing.

The seminar will be held in the Sir Geoffrey Keynes Room. It will start at 2.30pm and will last approximately 90 minutes, allowing time for questions and discussion.  Attendance will be limited in order to allow all attendees a chance to see the books under discussion up close, and to participate in the discussion.

To book your place, please contact William Hale at William.Hale@lib.cam.ac.uk.

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