Uncover the Library’s Rare Books and Special Collections Treasures in our series of lunchtime talks

Rare Bites is a series of 30 minute lunchtime talks held monthly during semester. Each talk features an expert speaker spotlighting specific Rare Books and Special Collections resources that are part of their field of study.

The series gives the opportunity for staff & students to learn about some of the treasures and lesser-known gems within Rare Books & Special Collections.

Talk One:
More than just its prayers: A late medieval Dutch Prayer Book in Fisher Library

Our first talk More than just its prayers: A late medieval Dutch Prayer Book in Fisher Library is by Dan Anlezark- McCaughey Professor of Early English Literature and Language; Director, Medieval and Early Modern Centre; Associate Dean Research (Education) Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Department of English who will be talking about the book from our collection: Add. Ms. 342

[A prayer book in Latin and Dutch]. 1501. Netherlands.

Add. Ms. 342 is an unstudied late medieval prayer book in Middle Dutch and Latin. This late fifteenth-century manuscript, written on paper, is only minimally decorated, and is the kind of book that was the output of mass production in the Low Countries in the later Middle Ages. The book appears to have remained in private ownership from the time it was made until relatively recently, as is indicated by the inscription of a number of names (including those of children) up to the early nineteenth century.

This short talk will provide a brief overview of the book in its evolving historical contexts, from the time of its manufacture, until it was acquired by the Fisher Library.

Cost: Free

When: 1:00pm – 1:30pm, Wednesday 20 March 2019

Where: Fisher Seminar Room (218), level 2

Register online (places limited)

Talk Two: Illustrations to micrographs: Visualising patterns in Botany

Learning about the world around us involves observing and recognising the patterns. In science, learning is about sharing and challenging “the what” and “the how” of our observations through discussion within the classroom and with the scientific community at large.

Botanische Wandtafeln (1874-1911), RB Elephant Folio 580 2
Online at https://digital.library.sydney.edu.au/nodes/view/6401

Join Associate Professor Rosanne Quinnell from Life and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Science discussing Botanische Wandatafeln – a series of technical scientific illustrations (1874-1911) distributed globally as teaching tools to support student learning in botany.

Reliance on these illustrations of resources fell out favour for a number of reasons including the advent of digital imaging which coincided with the explosion in the number of online resources (including the University’s eBOT collection). Re-utilising Leopold Kny’s series in a digital platform allows for an enriched dialogue about how science, in general, and botany, is communicated.

Associate Professor Rosanne Quinnell is from Life and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Science. Dr Quinnell’s research and teaching focus on plant sciences and the use of technology-enhanced solutions to improve student learning e.g. Botany, Zoology and Human Biology virtual microscopy slide collections, eBOT botanical image repository, electron laboratory notebooks, CampusFlora apps.

Cost: Free

When: 1:00pm – 1:30pm, Wednesday 17th April

Where: Fisher Seminar Room (218), level 2

Register online (places limited)

Stay tuned for details of more upcoming Rare Bites talks throughout the year.

The Golden Age of Dutch Printing

In the seventeenth century, a period known as the Dutch golden age, Dutch book production led the world.

Atlas minor…noveau revue, et augmente / Gerardus Mercator (1512-94). Amsterdami, excusam in aedilus Judoci Hondii [1613]. RB 6113.1

Dutch dominance of European printing at this time can be attributed to two main factors: the Dutch Republic’s position as a centre of international trade, and its relative freedom of the press. This exhibition showcases some examples of fine Dutch printing held in Rare Books & Special Collections.

When: 18th March – 23rd September 2019

Where: Fisher Library, Level 1

Rare Bites: The Renaissance of Euclid’s Elements

Illustration from Euclid text

This talk is focused on the Preclarissimus liber elementorum Eulidis (1432), the earliest Latin edition of Euclid’s Elements printed in Europe. Through this work, Dr Kotevska will discuss the re-emergence of the Elements in the Renaissance after its long disappearance from European culture in the Middle Ages. Those who tasked themselves with restoring Euclid’s mathematical works in the Renaissance variously described their project as one of revival, restitution and instauration. Who were these restorers of ancient learning whose ambition it was to return the Elements to its place as a cornerstone of mathematical learning? And what, in their view, made Euclid so obvious a candidate for intellectual consideration?

When: 25 October 2018; 1-1.30pm

Where: Fisher Library, Level 2, Seminar Room (218)

Speaker: Dr Laura Kotevska

Register here

This talk will be presented by Dr Laura Kotevska, a lecturer at The University of Sydney, appointed in the Department of Philosophy and the Education Portfolio in the Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor. Her research concerns the intersection of moral philosophy and mathematics in the early modern era.

Rare Bites is a series of informal and entertaining 30 minute lunchtime talks held monthly during semester. “The Renaissance of Euclid’s Elements” is the sixth talk in Rare Bites 2018 series. If you want to learn about some of the treasures and lesser-known gems within Rare Books & Special Collections at the University Library, this is your opportunity.

https://news.library.sydney.edu.au/rare-books-the-art-of-mathematics/

Rare Books: Centenary of Architecture Exhibition

Architectural drawings

The Library wishes the Faculty of Architecture a Happy 100 Year Anniversary! With the introduction of an Architecture degree at the University of Sydney in 1918, opportunities were created for Australians to contribute to the architectural landscape.

We have two small exhibitions featuring the Faculty’s early years:

The SciTech Library displays the academic work of three women graduates – Rosette Edmunds (1924), Marjorie Holroyde (née Hudson) (1924) and Helen Turner (1930).

Fisher Library features the childhood drawings of Leslie Wilkinson, the first Professor of Architecture at the University from 1919 to 1947,  as well as his professional architectural plans including a commission for a house in Boambillee Avenue, Vaucluse and his illustration for the Circular Harbour scheme.

The exhibition runs from 4th September to 19th October. Viewers are welcome to draw their own conclusion between Wilkinson’s Punch magazine cover and the gargoyles around the Main Quad.

 

Architectural drawings

 

True to Type

If you have ever created a digital document, chances are you’ve come across the terms Italic, Roman, and Sans Serif.

This exhibition tells the story of these three enduring letter-form classifications, through early examples drawn from Rare Books & Special
Collections.

When: 25 October 2018 – 31st January 2019

Where: Fisher Library, Level 3  Corridor & SciTech Library, glass cabinets

Rare Bites: Orientalism in Thomas Allom’s Engravings

section of Thomas Allom's Orientalist image

Orientalist painting was one of the many genres of the 19th Century art. Thomas Allom (1804-1872) was a well-known British illustrator in the 19th Century. In Allom’s publication — China Illustrated, there are 75 steel engravings of original sketches of Chinese social habits, scenery and architectures. Orientalism shaped how Allom depicted about things and what Allom understood about Chinese society. Jenny’s talk will refer to art historian Linda Nochlin’s groundbreaking essay The Imaginary Orient to discuss orientalism in Thomas Allom’s engravings.

When: 23 August 2018; 1-1.30pm

Where: Fisher Library, Level 2, Seminar Room

Speaker: Jenny Zhijun Yang

Rare Bites is a series of informal and entertaining 30 minute lunchtime talks held monthly during semester. “Orientalism in Thomas Allom’s Engravings” is the fourth talk in Rare Bites 2018 series.

If you want to learn about some of the treasures and lesser-known gems within Rare Books & Special Collections at the University Library, this is your opportunity. Audience attendance is free for all, please register here.

About the speaker:

Jenny Zhijun Yang is the curator of  a pop up exhibition currently on display in the Fisher Library on Level 4: Perspectives of an outsider: Thomas Allom’s fascination with 19th century China. Jenny is a postgraduate student studying Master of Art Curating at the University of Sydney. She graduated from the University of Auckland with a Bachelor of Arts in history and Asian studies in 2017, and was awarded the Summer Research Scholarship of the University of Auckland. Jenny is currently a gallery host at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia and was previously a gallery assistant at the Auckland Art Gallery. She co-curated the Giuseppe Castiglione Print Exhibition(宫廷画师郎世宁)at the George Fraser Gallery in collaboration with the Auckland Art Gallery Foundation and the National Museum of Taiwan. Moreover, Jenny has volunteered for many cultural institutions such as the Auckland War Memorial Museum, the Confucius Institute in Auckland, the Powerhouse Museum, the Verge Gallery and the Sydney Biennale. Jenny has a Chinese heritage and her global perspective was refined through exchanging to the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, attending a summer school at Sciences Po, Paris and doing an internship in Dublin, Ireland.