Posts by Pablo Alvarez

Coffee and Old Lice? Join us to Celebrate a New Exhibit on the History of the Microscope

Left: Philippe Sylvestre Dufour (1622-1687). Traitez nouveaux & curieux du cafe, du the et du chocolate. Lyon: Jean Baptiste Deville, 1688; Right:

The Special Collections Library will host a reception to celebrate a new exhibit, "Through the Magnifying Glass: A Short History of the Microscope." Please join the exhibit curators, Pablo Alvarez and Gregg Sobocinski, to chat about this exciting display. There will be coffee and other refreshments. Date: April 24 (Friday) 3:00 pm -5:00 pm. Place: Seventh floor of the Hatcher Library.

Singing the Antiphonary: New Online Exhibit and Event at the UMMA

From left to right: Adam Wills Begley, Noah Horn, Austin Stewart, Glenn Miller, Matthew Abernathy, and Dr. Stefano Mengozzi.

On August 26 2014, led by Dr. Stefano Mengozzi, a group of six singers recorded a selection of Gregorian chant music at the St. Thomas Apostle Catholic Church in Ann Arbor. They sang from a fifteenth-century Antiphonary from the Special Collections Library, an extraordinary manuscript copied in Venice and richly illuminated by the Italian miniaturist, Benedetto Bordon.

A New Home for a Historical Microscope

Clamshell box storing a Culpeper-Style English Microscope (ca. 1760)

In 2013, an extraordinary collection on the history of medicine was transferred from the Taubman Library to the Special Collections Library, University of Michigan Library. Among the books, we came across three eighteenth-century microscopes stored in plain boxes and in need of conservation treatment. They have now been repaired and are in new homes. Here is a video explaining in detail the conservation work performed in one of these wonderful microscopes.

Beware! The Grey Drone-Fly is Watching You!

Plate 24, on the eyes and head of the grey drone-fly, from Micrographia. London: John Martyn & James Allestry. Printers of the Royal Society, 1665

This superb engraving depicts what the seventeenth-century English scientist, Robert Hooke, observed when exposing the head of a grey drone-fly through the lens of a microscope. The greatest section of the head was nothing else but two large “protuberant bunches,” mostly covered by thousands of tiny hemispheres arranged in “triagonal order”.

You Must Judge a Book by its Cover!

Gauffered edge from our copy of two medical commentaries by the sixteenth-century Italian doctor, Leon Roganus Caietanus: Leonis Rogani Caietani Medici, in Galeni Libellum de pulsibus, ad tyrones, Commentarius; Leonis Rogani Caietani Medici de urinis libri tres.  Venice: Jacobus de Maria, 1575

This recently acquired edition of two medical commentaries by the sixteenth-century Italian doctor, Leon Roganus Caietanus, is bound in limp vellum with bevelled boards, and the gilded edges of the text block have been expertly decorated, or gauffered, with a special tool.

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