It was a crisp September day in 2015 when Timothy Young arrived at Houten, an unremarkable Dutch commuter town, determined to collect an almost 400-year-old debt. He carried a case containing a fragile piece of goatskin covered in dense writing and numbers. It was a bond, issued in 1648 by a group of Dutch landowners, who managed the dikes on a stretch of the river Lek. They had borrowed 1,000 guilders from a local merchant and the bond explained that, in return for the loan, the merchant would receive a 5
On Jan. 27, the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscripts Library unveiled its spring exhibit “Revisiting the Past — Imagining the Future.” Featuring artifacts spanning centuries and cultures, the exhibit is intended to add new perspectives to popular readings of history.
The process for building the exhibit began about a year ago when Timothy Young, curator of modern books and manuscripts at the Beinecke, reached out to his colleagues at Sterling Memorial Library, sparking a new collaboration between the Beinecke and other collections at Yale.
The Beinecke Library’s “The World in Maps, 1400-1600” reminds visitors that the intrepid need more than imagination, pluck and an indefatigable spirit. They also need good data – in the form of precise maps. It’s a circular equation. Maps depend on good navigators, who, in turn, depend on good maps.
Yale University’s Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library (Beinecke) and the Medical Historical Library together house early editions of many milestones of achievements in physics, including those from Copernicus, du Châtelet, Galileo, Kepler, Newton, and other scientists from the 16th-18th centuries, with topics ranging from early materials science, astronomy and cosmology, physics, and mathematics.
Beinecke manuscript fragment Takamiya MS 98 once belonged to a 14th-century manuscript known as the Stafford Gower (Huntington Library MS EL 26 A 17), a copy of John Gower's Middle English poem "Confessio Amantis." It was excised and used as binding waste.
Petrus Comestor’s Historia scholastica, composed in Latin and completed in Paris in the 1170s, was one of the key texts for historical and scriptural education among schoolmen throughout the Middle Ages. The Beinecke Library is fortunate to possess an early copy of this important medieval text: Osborn fa38, which was produced in England at the priory of Rochester Cathedral.