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Rare Books in Science and Medicine

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

Provenance and Marks in Books

Many of the books in the W.C. Gibson History of Science and Medicine Collection contain information about the provenance, or previous ownership of a book. Sometimes this information is recorded through bookplates, hand-written inscriptions, or anonymous annotations that none the less give clues as to the date and place of previous owners. These marks, or annotations, are studied by scholars to understand the reading practices of the past. Fore example, The Archaeology of Reading is a project devoted to understanding the annotations of two readers, Gabriel Harvey and John Dee, in early modern Europe. Below are some examples of marks and inscriptions from the Gibson Collection (Left to Right: 1) Markings in 'Emblemata' by Andrea Alciati, 1580, N7740 A45 1580 2) An inscription on the title page of 'Alexandri Aphrodisiei Commentaria in duodecim Aristotelis libros de prima philosophia' by Alexander of Aphrodesias, 1551, PA3895 A46 155 3) Trattato della natura de cibi et del bere, nel quale non solo tutte le virtù€ & i vitii di quelli minutamente si parlesano, ma anco i remedii per correggere i loro difetti copiosamente s'insegnano; tanto nell'apparecchiarli per l'uso, quanto nell'ordinare il modo di receuerli. by Baldassare Pisanelli, 1584, WZ240 P482 1584.