I-40. The Illustrated Scientific Book to 1800
Roger Gaskell, assisted by Caroline Duroselle-Melish
This course will consider the production, formal qualities, and function of images in scientific books. We will focus on how and why images were made. We will consider graphic technologies in terms of their impact on typography and layout and the ways that the illustrated book as a printed artifact influenced the development of scientific illustration and the history of science itself. Examples will be drawn from a wide range of scientific, medical, technical, and architectural books from the earliest years of printing to 1800, with case studies of illustrated books by such key figures as Vesalius, Galileo, and Hooke. Topics will include: the roles of authors and artists; the interrelationships of images and verbal texts; and the operation of diagrams, representational illustrations, and graphic displays of data in scientific communication. Students will learn bibliographical description of illustrated books and ways to incorporate current standards into the analytical study of illustrated books.
Students will practice relief and intaglio image making and printing during the course, and will analyze and describe images using the extensive collection of printing surfaces (copperplates and woodblocks) and leaves from printed books in Rare Book School’s teaching collection. There will be sessions in the Small Collections Library and a field trip to Washington, DC to visit the Cullman and Dibner Libraries of the Smithsonian Institution.
The course will be of value not only to librarians and historians who work with scientific materials, but also to other researchers with an interest in the material aspects of illustrated books.
In their personal statements, applicants should describe their background, if any, in bibliography and the history of science, though neither is a pre-requisite.
N.B., The tuition for this course is $1295 owing to the expenses associated with the scheduled full-day (roughly 6 am–8 pm) field trip on Wednesday.
Roger Gaskell teaches this course for the first time.