20th May 2016 – Anatomy Department visit
Staff from the University of Aberdeen Anatomy Department visited the Wolfson Reading Room on Friday 20th May as part of their departmental away day to see the Special Collection’s copy of De humani corporis fabrica by Andreas Vesalius, printed in Basel, 1543 (Aberdeen University Library shelfmark- pi f611 Ves 1). Everyone enjoyed a chance to see a first edition of Vesalius’s famous book, one of only 132 in the world, with it’s beautiful plates produced by the Titian school, it’s innovative printing by Johannes Oporinus, and, of course, Andreas Vesalius’s scientific genius in both research and teaching; it is the perfect combination of science, art and printing.
28th May 2016 – Collections Close-Up and Bookbinding Workshop – May Festival 2016
As part of the annual MayFest programme Special Collections staff hosted two events, the first a Collections Close-Up with a particular focus on Renaissance Medicine. Some of the medical treasures from our collections were on display in the Wolfson Reading Room and Jane Pirie, Rare Books Cataloguer, Michelle Gait, Reading Room Manager, and Jan Smith, Principal Information Assistant, were on hand to answer questions about the material which included Johann Remmelin’s Catoptrum microcosmicum (1619) and Anatomia del cavallo by Carlo Ruini (1602). The event was well attended with around 150 people visiting the Reading Room during the course of the afternoon. A list of the material on display can be found here: Collections Close-Up May 2016.
In the evening, a Bookbinding Workshop was presented by our Book Conservator Brannah MacKenzie, who demonstrated how to make a miniature notebook (which the 15 attendees then tried themselves) and answered questions about the fantastic preservation and conservation work carried out in the Glucksman Conservation Centre. Jane Pirie then gave a fascinating talk about the importance of bookbindings to our knowledge and understanding of rare books and demonstrated this with a display of some material from our collections.