Skip to main content
Indiana
University Bloomington

Browse Items (21 total)

Pilgrim's Progress was the ninety-eighth title of the Grolier Hundred to be acquired by the Lilly Library, and it remains one of the most difficult (if not impossible) acquisitions for any modern collector of English literature. Its early popularity insured that nearly all copies of the first edition were literally read to pieces, and its appearance on the market in recent decades has been…

This is the first printed draft of the Constitution of the United States, one of perhaps sixty copies distributed to convention delegates on August 6, 1787. This copy belonged to Pierce Butler, the Irish-born delegate from South Carolina. The Constitution as it unfolded in this first printed draft was altered significantly by the convention before agreement in its final form. The preamble was…

These two conjugate leaves, one of which is blank, contain the text, from the Gutenberg Bible, of Exodus, chapter xxxii, verse 25 to chapter xxxiv, verse 20. This sheet contains textual errors not found in other copies of the Gutenberg Bible, as well as other typographical variations. There has been some scholarly speculation as to the role of this sheet in the production of the Bible, but no…

Various woodcuts in incunabula, notably those in Brant's Narrenschiff (Basel, 1494), have been attributed on stylistic grounds to Dürer's earliest period. The great full-page woodcuts of the Apocalypse, with their apocalyptic power and sublimity, are his first masterworks. The two tall columns of the text make an excellent balance to the cuts, being printed in each case on the verso of a cut,…

Harvey's small book is usually considered the most important single medical work ever published. In this book, Harvey announced his discovery of the circulation of the blood, gave a clear description of the heart's action, and reported the experiments that provided proof for his assertions. He had performed these studies by himself over a period of several years on many classes of vertebrate and…

This, the first suppressed edition of Lewis Carroll's classic Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (one of the rarest books in children's literature) was published in 1865 and illustrated by John Tenniel with whom Carroll collaborated very closely. Tenniel's depictions of Alice and the inhabitants of Wonderland are the ones most frequently associated with the story and were the only ones used until…

Unique among the many treasures in the Elisabeth Ball collection is the group of materials prepared by Jane Johnson for her son George William Johnson, who later became the High Sheriff of Lincolnshire. There are a total of 438 pieces arranged into twenty-three subgroups. In addition to two bound volumes of manuscript text, there are sets of alphabet cards, lesson cards, and story cards. Most of…

The modern age begins with the 'discovery' of America, which enormously expanded the known world and encouraged exploration, colonization, navigation, the knowledge of a new flora and fauna, and of meteorology, quite apart from its political and economic consequences. The voyage was prepared with great scientific method, and during it the variation of the compass needle was first observed.…

The famous Northwest Ordinance prescribed the stages of government to be followed by any given area in order to become a state and guaranteed certain rights of its inhabitants. As a result of this Ordinance the United States solved the problem of "colonies" which had baffled Great Britain, by allowing new territories to form into states and be admitted to the Union on an equal footing with the…

The Gutenberg Bible is the first major European printed book, and was produced in Mainz, Germany in the mid-1450s, by Johannes Gutenberg. It was the first printed edition of the Vulgate Bible, and although scholars have disagreed as to the number of copies printed, some estimates have ranged between one hundred eighty and two hundred. A recent census of surviving copies, by Paul Needham, which…