All in person Rare Book School classes in Charlottesville have been cancelled for this summer and many classes are going online. For my class, Caroline Duroselle-Melish and I are offering a 10 hour online class, ‘Making the Early Modern Illustrated Scientific Book’, 2 hours a day 26-30 July. 2021. Details and application procedure.
In this course we will concentrate on the production history of illustrated books in the fields of science, medicine, technology and natural history, 1500–1800. Topics will include letterpress book production; woodcut and engraved illustration; the cutting of woodblocks and the engraving of copperplates; the printing of woodcuts with text and the separate printing of engravings; and bibliographical analysis and description. Rather than just presenting a slimmed down version of the regular course, I want to take the opportunity to discuss what can—and cannot—be learned from digital surrogates, how to understand what we are seeing on the screen.
Assuming all is well we will be offering the full length course in Charlottesville in the summer of 2022. If you are trying to decide whether to apply for the online course this summer, or wait till next year, bear in mind that: during the in person course students get to see – and in most cases handle – over 100 early books giving us the opportunity for more analysis of images and their role in making and communicating scientific knowledge; we print on the eighteenth century replica common press and rolling press; there will be a field trip to the Oak Spring Garden Library; as well as talk, food and late nights on the lawn.