Pliny at UBC

he Woodward Memorial Room in the Woodward Library has an excellent collection of rare books related to the study of science and medicine. The collection includes several early printings of Pliny's Historia Naturalis. On the left, you see, reading clockwise from the center, copies printed in 1496 (the large upright volume) in Venice; a set in 3 volumes printed in 1635 by the famous Dutch printing house of Elzeveir; a 1580 copy translated into Italian and printed in Venice; and a 1559 copy printed by Paulus Manutius. All the decorative initials on this page are taken from the 1559 Venetian edition.  
Below you see the description of Britain from the 1496 copy. Notice that space has been left for decorative initials that were never filled in.  
The next two images come from a copy printed in Venice in 1559, by Paulus Manutius, son of the famous printer Aldus Manutius. The anchor and dolphin is the Aldine symbol. Aldus Manutius was famous for inventing italic type.
    liny was translated into many languages: these next two images come from an Italian translation printed in Venice in 1580.
  ere is the description of Britain from the 1635 Dutch copy. The house of Elzevier was famous for its small format books.  

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©Siân Echard. Not to be copied, used, or revised without explicit written permission from the copyright owner.