Rare Books 101

So, what are rare books exactly? Your first thought might be something like this: Handsome, leather bound volumes that look old and valuable. To be sure, we’ve got a lot of books that look like this in Special Collections & Archives. Our rare books collections cover the spectrum, starting with the origins: fragments of papyrusContinue reading “Rare Books 101”

A Book About All the Things

The Liber de proprietatibus rerum Bartholomei angelici (On the Properties of Things) is a medieval encyclopedia that was written by the 13th century Franciscan scholar Bartholomeus Anglicus, who sought to gather the rapidly expanding corpus of knowledge of the Late Middle Ages into a single volume. As Bartholomeus himself says in the epilogue to De proprietatibus rerum, he wroteContinue reading “A Book About All the Things”

Judging Books by Their Covers

When it comes to studying the history of the book, the study of bookbinding presents a unique set of challenges to scholars. While today we might be tempted think of a book as an all-in-one package, whether we buy it in a bookstore or download it to an e-reader, historically the process of creating a bookContinue reading “Judging Books by Their Covers”

Defining (and Challenging) the Book

How do you define “the book”? What functions do books serve? What are the essential qualities of a book? How have these characteristics changed over time? Those are a sample of the questions raised during the Special Collections & Archives instruction sessions for the “Introduction to the History of Text Technology” classes (ENG 3803) and the “What is a Text” classContinue reading “Defining (and Challenging) the Book”

Introducing Ourselves

The Special Collections & Archives division of Florida State University Libraries includes Special Collections & Archives, Heritage Protocol & University Archives, the Claude Pepper Library, Cataloging & Description and the Digital Library Center. The division advances research by acquiring, preserving and providing access to primary and secondary source materials through our different areas. Our divisionContinue reading “Introducing Ourselves”