As curator of the James Ford Bell Library at the University of Minnesota, I work with rare books and other materials every day. It is the best type of adventure: discovering new things about old books, maps, and manuscripts, and then sharing that knowledge. Many of the posts here will feature items from the Bell Library's collections, but other things will surface, as well.
This content does not necessarily reflect the views of the University of Minnesota, or any related entities.
Wednesday, February 22, 2017
Library Cats I
wish we could have a library cat like other libraries do.However, we really can't risk a hairball
suddenly gracing the open pages of the first printed edition of Marco Polo's Travels (Bell Call # 1477 Po).Hence the title of this blog:it
reflects my own cat-like curiosity about the world and its books.And although I can't cuddle up with one on a
rainy afternoon at work, cats do grace several of the pages in the Bell
Library's rare book collection.Take
this one, for instance, a medieval mouser complete with trophy.
Bell Library shelf mark: 1400 oBa
It's a hand-drawn marginal illustration in our copy of Bartholomeus Anglicus' Le
propriétaire des choses. Thislate 14th-century Old French edition of the 13th-century Latin original, De proprietatibus rerum, is a marvelous example of a decorated and illuminated European book.
Bartholomeus, a Franciscan monk, compiled his master work ca. 1240; it was translated into French by Jean Corbechon in 1372.