Rare Books and Special Collections at UBC Library announces a new exhibition!

Papal Parchments and Blackletter Books: How the Middle Ages Shaped the Way We Read, 1245 AD to UBC

Image of Bull of Innocent IV, Lyons, 1245, seal

Bull of Innocent IV, Lyons, 1245, seal

This fascinating exhibition tells the medieval and early modern story of the written word using RBSC’s fantastic collection. Two recent acquisitions are of particular note: a papal “bull,” or legal decree, issued by Pope Innocent IV in 1245 (whose seal is depicted at the right); and a textbook used at the University of Paris during the late thirteenth century. But the exhibition also showcases pieces that have been here for decades, such as a single leaf from the Catholicon, a Latin dictionary probably printed in 1460 by Johannes Gutenberg, the inventor of typography. We also have a 1331 legal document donated to the library by the Bulwer family, whose ancestors are named in the manuscript and who moved from England to Vancouver in 1887.

The items found in this exhibition also explore the intersection between manuscripts and early books called incunabula (English “incunables”), texts printed during the period 1450-1500: the Biblia Pauperum (“Bible for the Poor”) is a printed book bound in the remnants of a medieval manuscript; and our copy of the Roman emperor Justinian’s Institutes has many annotations added by hand and even has fragments of an old manuscript book in its binding!

These pieces were produced over a period of nearly three hundred years, from 1245 to 1525, and together they tell the story of the written word as it moved towards the forms we use today. But we are part of the story too, moving that history forward as we write in English, French, or any of the other European languages.

You can explore the objects featured in the exhibition through the gallery below, but there is nothing quite like experiencing these treasures in person. The exhibition, which is free and open to the public, runs from May 1-31, Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Rare Books and Special Collections on the first floor of the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre. For more information, please contact Rare Books and Special Collections at 604 822-2521 or rare.books@ubc.ca.

 

Image of Papal Bull Image of Papal Bull Reproduction Image of Medieval Manuscript Image of Gradual Image of Catholicon Image of Biblia Pauperum Image of Biblia Latina Image of Biblia Germanica Image of Bulwer family deed Image of Justinian Image of Notarial act Image of 1 Corinthians sheet Image of Book of Hours fragment Image of De Nuptiis Philogiae Image of four wind roses

An exhibition of Yokohama woodcut maps from the Tokugawa period is on display at Rare Books and Special Collections from April 1st to 30th, 2015.  This exhibition is part of a series of events to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Vancouver’s sister-city relationship with Yokohama.

Exhibition Poster

Exhibition Poster

The exhibition is free and open to the public, and can be viewed 10am-4pm Monday through Friday, and 12pm-5pm on Saturday, April 11th and 18th.

For more information, contact Rare Books and Special Collections at 604-822-2521 or rare.books@ubc.ca.

Information about other Vancouver Yokohama Golden Jubilee 1965-2015 events are available here.

Papal bull of Pope Innocent IV

Papal bull of Pope Innocent IV

More excitement at RBSC over the last few weeks! An extraordinary Papal document that’s nearly 800 years old has come to UBC Library and promises to be a valuable teaching and research tool. The legal decree, called a Papal bull, was written in 1245 and issued in Latin by Pope Innocent IV to the Italian convent of San Michele in Trento. It features the signatures of the Pope and 13 cardinals (including future pope Nicholas III)! Not surprisingly, we’ve been pretty excited about the new acquisition, and so has the media. Here’s a little Papal bull media roundup for your Tuesday morning enjoyment:

Des Grieux : The Prelude to "Teleny"

Des Grieux : The Prelude to “Teleny”

It’s been exciting times here at Rare Books and Collections! With the help of PhD candidate Justin O’Hearn, RBSC has scored a coup by acquiring two exceptional examples of early gay literature, Teleny, or, The Reverse of the Medal and Des Grieux: The Prelude to “Teleny,” that share a connection with famed Victorian author Oscar Wilde. We’ve been very lucky that a number of media outlets have picked up the story of this amazing acquisition. Here’s a little media roundup for your reading, watching, and listening pleasure:

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