The Health Sciences Library’s copy of the second edition of Vesalius’ great anatomy book, De Humani Corporis Fabrica, will be on display at the University of Colorado Art Museum in Boulder from the 8th through the 31st of August. De Humani Corporis Fabrica, plus other items borrowed from collections at CU—including rare books from Norlin’s Special Collections and Archives and costumes from the Colorado Shakespeare Festival—is part of the museum’s exhibition celebrating the arrival of First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare, on loan from the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC.
Andreas Vesalius’ De Humani Corporis Fabrica, first published in 1543, marked the transition of the study of anatomy from medieval to modern. While not the first anatomical work based on direct observation, its scope and the quality of its illustrations and typography made it hugely influential. The best-known images in the Fabrica are the “muscle men” from book 2, a series of progressively dissected figures dramatically posed in a landscape. The second edition was published in 1555, nine years before Shakespeare’s birth. The Health Sciences Library’s copy is bound in a beautiful sixteenth-century alum-tawed pigskin binding with brass clasps.
The First Folio, the first collected edition of Shakespeare’s plays, was published in 1623, seven years after the playwright’s death. The Folger Shakespeare Library is sending selected copies of the First Folio on a national tour of American museums, libraries, and universities to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. Visitors to First Folio! will come face to face with the original 1623 book, displayed open to Hamlet’s speech in which he debates whether “to be or not to be.” The tour is organized and sponsored by the Folger Shakespeare Library, the Cincinnati Museum Center and the American Library Association. By the end of 2016, First Folios will have been exhibited in all 50 states, Washington, DC, and Puerto Rico.
The CU Art Museum, is located in the Visual Art Center at CU Boulder (1085 18th Street, Boulder CO 80309) and is open Monday through Saturday 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Tuesdays and Thursdays until 7:00 p.m. There is no admission fee, but visitors to the First Folio exhibit are asked to sign up for timed tickets at http://www.colorado.edu/cuartmuseum/exhibitions/view-upcoming/first-folio-book-gave-us-shakespeare
Learn more about the months of programming celebrating the arrival of the First Folio at the website: http://www.colorado.edu/shakespeareatcu/
While the Health Sciences Library’s copy of the second edition of Vesalius’ De Humani Corporis Fabrica is on display in Boulder, the first edition remains available for use in Aurora. Rare materials are available to individuals or groups by appointment on Wednesday mornings and Thursday afternoons, or at other times by arrangement. To schedule an appointment, contact Emily Epstein, firstname.lastname@example.org or call 303-724-2119.
[Emily Epstein, Cataloging Librarian]