De Humani Corporis Fabrica on Display in Boulder, August 8-31

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/

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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, emily.epstein@ucdenver.edu or call 303-724-2119.

[Emily Epstein, Cataloging Librarian]

500th Anniversary of Andreas Vesalius’ Birth

Celebration Event: Featured speaker Dr. Gabriel Finkelstein, Associate Professor, Dept. of History, CU Denver, on Vesalius at 500. Dr. William Arend, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, SOM Division of Rheumatology, will additionally recognize Dr. Charley Smyth.

Place: Reading Room, 3rd floor Health Sciences Library
Time: November 19, noon to 2 pm

Reception to follow with refreshments and an opportunity to view the original
Vesalius volumes held by the HS Library, plus a new 2014 English language
translation of the first and second editions of De Humani Corporis Fabrica.

Food will not be permitted in the vicinity of the books.

VERSALIUS BDAY

This event is co-sponsored by the Anschutz Medical Campus Retired
Faculty Association, in recognition of the Charley Smyth Library
Endowment, and the Arts and Humanities in Healthcare Program,
Center for Bioethics and Humanities.

New Acquisition: The Fabric of the Human Body, a new translation of Vesalius’ masterwork

2014 marks the 500th anniversary of the birth of physician and anatomist Andreas Vesalius.  Vesalius was a lecturer in anatomy and surgery at the University of Padua. He was an advocate for the study of human anatomy through dissection of human bodies, rather than animals. His great work, De Humani Corporis Fabrica, published in 1543 when he was 28 years old, was not only scientifically revolutionary, but a landmark in printing and art as well.

The Health Sciences Library’s Rare Materials Collection has both the first edition of 1543 and the second edition of 1555. The Fabric of the Human Body, a new annotated translation and facsimile of both editions was recently added to the collection. The two-volume set was purchased with funds from the Charley Smyth Library Endowment, established with the Library by the Anschutz Medical Campus Retired Faculty Association, in memory of colleague and friend Dr. Charley Smyth, former Head of the School of Medicine Division of Rheumatology.

Northwestern University Professors Emeritus Daniel H. Garrison and Malcolm H. Hast spent more than twenty years translating the texts of both the 1543 and the 1555 editions from Latin into English. It is the first translation to include both editions. Modern anatomical terms have been added parenthetically to clarify the sixteenth-century text. Extensive footnotes provide further explanation for modern readers, with highlighting to denote differences between editions. The annotations also incorporate newly discovered notes in Vesalius’ handwriting for a planned but unpublished third edition.

A new font based on the beautiful typeface used in the original publication, Basel Antiqua, was designed specifically for this translation. The illustrations and decorated initials were reproduced using high resolution digital scans, with thumbnails inserted in the margins of the text to help orient the reader.

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The Health Sciences Library will celebrate the birth of Andreas Vesalius on Wednesday, November 19th from 12 to 2 p.m.  in the Library’s Reading Room.  Dr. Gabriel Finkelstein, Associate Professor of history at the University of Colorado Denver will give a lecture, “Vesalius at 500.” The 1543 and 1555 editions of De Humani Corporis Fabrica and The Fabric of the Human Body will be on display, and light refreshments will be served.

[Emily Epstein, Cataloging Librarian]

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