Rudbeck’s Remains

I recently gave an online presentation at the Linnean Society on the surviving woodblocks cut for Rudbeck’s Campi elysii (Upsala, 1701–2). This was to be an ambitious encyclopedia of all known plants but only a few copies of the first two of 12 projected volumes survived the great fire in… Read More »Rudbeck’s Remains

Illustrations of typesetting at Firmin-Didot in 1855

The wood-engravings of typesetting, correction and imposition in Lefèvres printers’ manual are among the most vivid and informative illustrations of the delicate work – and heavy lifting – involved in hand typesetting. They are by the celebrated wood-engraver Jacques Adrien Lavieille; I have not yet identified the artist. This post… Read More »Illustrations of typesetting at Firmin-Didot in 1855

The Scientific Woodblock to 1800

With Caroline Duroselle-Melish, I gave a Zoom presentation on 19 November 2020, which is now available online. This was a Rare Book School Online event. Text of the original announcement. In this presentation Roger Gaskell and Caroline Duroselle-Melish will consider not so much the woodcut—that is the impression on the… Read More »The Scientific Woodblock to 1800

What is the point?

‘As in Geometry, the most natural way of beginning is from a Mathematical point … closing’. So begins Robert Hooke’s extended verbal and visual pun on Euclid’s Elements, at the start of his Micrographia (1665). The Elements opens with the definitions of the point and line as Platonic ideals; Hooke… Read More »What is the point?


Diagram It is not known how the diagrams in the first edition of Euclid (1482), though it is clear they were not printed from woodcuts. In this article I will describe the ways that diagrams have been printed in books up to the end of the eighteenth century. But first… Read More »Diagram