Library Treasures
Ptolemy's Geographia

Ptolemy was the author of several scientific treatises, at least three of which were of continuing importance to later Islamic and European science. The third of these, commonly called the Geographia, is a thorough discussion of the geographic knowledge of the Greco-Roman world. The maps in surviving manuscripts of Ptolemy’s Geographia, however, only date from about 1300, after the text was rediscovered by Maximus Planudes...

Conrad Gesner's Animals

Gesner had a startling range of interests, reflected in his writings. These include a Greek dictionary and a catalogue of all authors who had ever written in Latin, Greek, or Hebrew, together with a listing of their works (Bibliotheca universalis, 1545-1549). He also wrote voluminously about plants, although most of his botanical works were published posthumously. His magnum opus, however, was the Historiae animalium (“Accounts of Animals”), published at Zürich, between 1551-1558, a 4,500-page encyclopaedia of animals, now regarded as the starting point of modern zoology...

Blake Illustrations for the book of Job

William Blake, the author of The Tyger and the preface to Milton (now perhaps best known as the hymn “Jerusalem”), was also a skilled artist and a prodigious engraver. These illustrations, his last completed commission before his death in 1827, are arguably the greatest testament to his talents. Blake completed the engravings in relief etching – which meant that they were all composed in reverse. This achievement is all the more remarkable when we consider that Blake never drafted the intricate border designs and texts, composing them on the spot as he carved the plates – backwards!

Read more
Trinity's Libraries