Ministry and medicine

Today we’re welcoming a group from the EAHIL + ICAHIS + ICLC 2015 Workshop to New College Library. The Workshop is a collaboration between the European Association for Health Information and Libraries (EAHIL), the International Conference of Animal Health Information Specialists (ICAHIS) and the International Clinical Librarian Conference (ICLC). Along with a tour of the library we have brought out some  Special Collections items on a medical theme to display.

Avicenna, 980-1037. Liber Avicenna. Venice : 1500. New College Library Inc. 22

Avicenna, 980-1037. Liber Avicenna. Venice : 1500. New College Library Inc. 22

This is a detail from Liber Avicenna, a work from the Incunabula Collection. Avicenna was a Persian scholar whose medical texts became standard works at medieval universities.

Piperno, Pietro. De effectibus magicis libri sex ... Naples : 1647. New College Library TR.395

Piperno, Pietro. De effectibus magicis libri sex … Naples : 1647. New College Library TR.395

Part of the TR Collection currently being catalogued as part of the Funk Projects, De effectibus magicis libri sex is a seventeenth century work on medicine, magic and the occult.

Sibbald, Robert. Scotia illustrata, sive, Prodromus historiae naturalis ... Edinburgh : 1684.

Sibbald, Robert. Scotia illustrata, sive, Prodromus historiae naturalis … Edinburgh : 1684. New College Library DPL 9

 

Robert Sibbald was an Edinburgh physician and later the first professor of medicine at the University of Edinburgh. This work, Scotia illustrata, is a descriptive regional guide to Scotland’s natural history, with reference to the health of the inhabitants of each region. It once belonged to another doctor, Dr John Hutton, who was court physician at the court of William and Mary. He gifted his library to the Presbytery of Dumfries, from where it came to New College Library where it is now part of the Dumfries Presbytery Library.

Christine Love-Rodgers, Academic Support Librarian – Divinity

Preserving the Dumfries Presbytery Library for the future

A guest post from Finlay West, Funk Projects Cataloguer

The recently completed cataloguing of the Dumfries Presbytery Library Collection housed at New College Library, finally allows the volumes to be readily available after an often fractured history .

Originally held in the Dumfries Presbytery Library until 1884, the collection had to be moved after the roof was damaged and the library was flooded. The volumes were kept in storage until 3rd March 1885 when they were lent to General Assembly Library. There they stayed until 1958 when the entire General Assembly Library was transferred to New College Library where they were dispersed by subject.

It was after John Howard became Librarian in 1965 that he noticed there were many items that had marks of provenance in the form “Ex libris bibliothecae presbyterii Dumfriesiensis ex dono Joan. Hutton M.D. 1714”, and that many were distinctive because of the water damage they received in the flooding a century before. Intriguingly almost all had the words “Ta ano” (ta ano) inscribed on the title page. Having identified them as part of a distinct collection he brought them together again.

The Practice of Piety  / Lewis Bayly, 1672. New College Library  DPL 912

The Practice of Piety / Lewis Bayly, 1672. New College Library DPL 912

The aforementioned John Hutton was born in Caerlaverock, Dumfriesshire and donated his book collection to the Dumfries Presbytery Library in 1714. He had an interesting history being personal physician to William of Orange and was with the King as his physician and advisor during the Battle of the Boyne in 1690.

The collection is made up of around 1500 volumes from the 16th to 18th century, with a range of subjects including, science, medicine, philosophy, politics, history , travel, and of course bibles, biblical studies and theology. It contains numerous interesting items such as “The Booke of Common Prayer and Administration of the sacraments …” (Edinburgh : Robert Young, 1637). This is the famous “Laud’s Liturgy”, the service book forced on the Church of Scotland by Charles I’s bishops.

After the collection was catalogued, it was surveyed by Caroline Scharfenberg, a specialist book conservator based at the University of Edinburgh’s Main Library, who made a number of recommendations for the future conservation and preservation of the collection.

Serenissimi et potentissimi Principis Iacobi, Dei gratia, Magnae Britanniae, Franciae, et Hiberniae Regis, fidei defensoris, opera … New College Library DPL.25

Serenissimi et potentissimi Principis Iacobi, Dei gratia, Magnae Britanniae, Franciae, et Hiberniae Regis, fidei defensoris, opera …
New College Library DPL.25

Both the cataloguing and the conservation survey for this collection were made possible by the generous donation of the Rev. Dr Robert Funk.

Finlay West, Funk Projects Cataloguer

New College Library Rare Books feature in Divinity Inaugural Lecture

The Practice of Piety  / Lewis Bayly, 1672. New College Library  DPL 912

The Practice of Piety / Lewis Bayly, 1672. New College Library DPL 912

The Redemption of Time / John Wade, 1692. New College Library F7 b1

The Redemption of Time / John Wade, 1692. New College Library F7 b1

Today Professor Susan Hardman Moore, Professor of Early Modern Religion, will deliver her inaugural lecture entitled ‘Time’ at 2pm. Professor Hardman-Moore’s lecture features a number of seventeenth century rare books from the New College Library collections, which will be on display in the Funk Reading Room after the lecture between 3-4.30pm.

The titles include John Wade’s  The Redemption of Time (1692) and the The Practice of Piety (1672) by Lewis Bayly. The Practice of Piety is part of the recently catalogued Dumfries Presbytery Library, and is inscribed Ex Libris Johannes Hutton, identifying it as part of the original bequest of 1500 volumes from Dr John Hutton.

Works of King James I & VI now on display at New College Library

Works of King James I & VI

Serenissimi et potentissimi Principis Iacobi, Dei gratia, Magnae Britanniae, Franciae, et Hiberniae Regis, fidei defensoris, opera …
New College Library DPL.25

New on display in the entrance to New College Library is the Works of King James I of England and VI of Scotland edited by  James Montagu, Bishop of Winchester, and Dean of the Royal Chapel.

With an engraved portrait  of Prince Charles (later King Charles I), and later the Royal Coat of Arms this contains James’  paraphrase of the apocalyptic books of the Bible, as well as works on royalty and church and state. It was published in 1619, in James’s lifetime.

The volume has a vellum binding covered in a stamped gilded decoration of scattered flowers around a central image of a wild boar.

Part of the Dumfries Presbytery Library, the volume is inscribed Ex Libris Johannes Hutton.  Dr John Hutton, a graduate of the University of Edinburgh, became the first Treasurer of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh (1681–82), and Court Physician to King William III and Queen Mary (1688–1702).
Later he was also MP for Dumfries Burghs (1710–12) and when he died in London, in November 1712, he gave as a bequest his library of 1,500 volumes to the Presbytery of Dumfries. Much of this is preserved as the  Dumfries Presbytery Library, now kept in New College Library.

This item was recently catalogued online as part of the Funk Cataloguing Projects.

A prayer for a pudding?

The booke of the common prayer and administracion of the Sacramentes : and other rites and ceremonies of the Churche, after the vse of the Churche of England.1549. New College Library DPL 70

25 November 2012 is traditionally Stir Up Sunday, when cooks plan to make their Christmas puddings so they have time to mature before eating on Christmas Day.

This tradition is linked with the opening words of the collect for the day in the Book of Common Prayer of 1549, which reads  ‘Stir up, we beseech thee, O Lord…’ Always read just before Advent, this became remembered as a reminder  to start stirring up the puddings for Christmas.

New College Library holds this copy of the  Book of Common Prayer printed in London in 1549, the year the Book of Common Prayer was adopted by the Church of England.  We can see the exhortation to “Stir up ..” , spoken over 450 years ago in the reign of Edward VI of England, about two thirds of the way down the page.

This book is part of the Dumfries Presbytery Library, currently being catalogued as part of the Funk Cataloguing Projects at New College Library. It bears the signature of Dr John Hutton, who donated the collection of books that form the foundations of the Dumfries Presbytery Library.

Seventeenth century botanical illustrations discovered at New College Library

Exoticarum aliarumque minus cognitarium plantarum centuria prima by Jakob Breyne, 1678. New College Library Special Collections DPL 59.

Recently catalogued online and now on display in New College Library’s entrance hall is this seventeeth century botanical work, Exoticarum aliarumque minus cognitarium plantarum centuria prima.

Written by Jakob Breyne, it has full page plates drawn by Andreas Stech and engraved by Isaac Saal.

This rare book is part of the Dumfries Presbytery Library, which is currently being catalogued as part of the Funk Cataloguing Projects at New College Library.

With thanks to our rare books cataloguer Finlay West for sharing details of this item.

 

More images from this work …

Treasures of New College Library : The Dumfries Presbytery Library

The Dumfries Presbytery Library is a collection of sixteenth and seventeenth century books that was first documented in 1710, with the acceptance of a substantial donation of books from Dr John Hutton. It was used as a lending library, for the ministers of Dumfries, for which records survive in a ledger in Dumfries’s Ewart Library. Titles are marked : “Ex libris bibliothecae presbyterii Dumfriesiensis”

In 1884, the decision was made to transfer the collection to the General Assembly Library in Edinburgh, following a gale that damaged the roof of the presbytery house letting in rain that soaked the books. With this transfer, at least some of the books were marked by the ownership stamp of the Library of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland : the symbol of the burning bush surrounded by the words “Bibliotheca Ecclesiae Scoticanae”.

In 1958 the General Assembly Library was transferred to New College Library, and the books of the Dumfries Presbytery Library were dispersed by subject as part of the New College Library collection. In 1962, New College Library came under the governance of Edinburgh University Library,  and in 1965 John Howard took over as New College Librarian. He took a particular interest in the Dumfries Presbytery Library and he reassembled c. 1500 volumes from the collection in their original pressmark order as a Special Collection.

In the summer of 2012, a project has begun to catalogue the Dumfries Presbytery Library online in its entirety. This project is one of the Funk Cataloguing Projects at New College Library.