Skip to Main Content

Rare Books in Science and Medicine

Highlighting rare science and medicine books at UBC. The History of Science and Medicine guide is also available.

Book Production and Trade


In addition to the intellectual and scholarly content contained in historical books, information about book production and trade can be gleaned from different elements of books, including publication information, printers' devices, and identifiable previous owners. This information, in turn, can be used to inform our understanding of how medical and scientific knowledge was disseminated and spread across geographic and temporal boundaries. One project undertaking this on a large scale is Material Evidence in Incunabula (MEI), "MEI has been developed to provide a physical representation of the circulation of books throughout the centuries, from place of production, to their present locations: this is now available in our visualisation tool, 15cV." Above is an example of a printers' note in 'Mikrokosmographia : a description of the body of man : together vvith the controversies and figures thereto belonging' by Helkia Crooke, printed Printed at London by Thomas and Richard Cotes in 1631, WZ250 C76 1631.