Rare Science Books

The First Dystopian Novel

by AndreChevalier on February 27, 2017

Before Ernest Cline’s “Ready Player One”, George Orwell’s “Ninteen Eighty-Four” and Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World”, there was Yevgeni Zamyatin’s “We”, the first dystopian novel ever written. The book is a satire on life in a collectivist futuristic state, “One State”, located in the middle of a wild jungle.  It is surrounded by a wall […]

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In terms of total dollars, global auction sales of rare books in the 2nd and 3rd quarters of 2016 were slightly down from the same period in 2015; this year’s $87 million figure, for the period, represents a 6% decrease compared to last year. But a closer look at the top three markets – the […]

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17th century German Jesuit scholar, Athanasius Kircher, published around 40 works, exploring a variety of topics, ranging from a universal language scheme, to pneumatic, hydraulic, catoptric and magnetic science. His books are lavishly illustrated, written in Latin, and were in wide circulation during the 17th century. Collectors historically have sought some of his most notable […]

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During the Golden Age of Islamic science, (750 to 1258 AD) European medical practice was influenced by the important contributions of Muslims such as Al-Razi “Rhazes” (d. 925), Abul Quasim Khalaf ibn al-Abbas al-Zahrawi  “Albucasis” (940 – 1013), Ibn Sina (d. 1037). Al-Zahrawi considered to be the father of modern surgery, diagnosed and treated many […]

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On April 3rd of 1973, Martin Cooper, the leader of Motorola’s cell phone team, broke History. In a fashion reminiscent of Alexander Graham Bell 100 years prior, Cooper called Joel Engel, the research head of rival AT&T’s Bell Labs to say – “Joel, I’m calling you from a real cellular phone.” Historic breakthrough introductions such […]

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Books of inventions are a little-known category of Renaissance books: an excellent example is the 1578 the Théâtre des Instruments Mathématiques et Mécaniques de Jacques Besson, Dauphinois, Docte Mathématicien, published for the first time in 1571 or 1572 (Cornell University, Kroch Library, Division of Rare Books and Manuscripts, History of Science TJ144 B55 1578++). Born […]

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The field of mathematics has a long and fascinating origin. Its foundation is based in logic, which has greatly enhanced its significant development.  This invaluable foundation in logic is seen in a work that took place in ancient Greece in the centuries preceding Euclid. I am currently reading a very interesting commentary on the history […]

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In 1543 Andreas Vesalius published his opus De Humani Corporis Fabrica Librorum Septem (Fabrica) and, later the same month, the companion volume De Humani Corporis Fabrica Librorum Epitome (Epitome). The two volumes are considered to be the foundation of modern Anatomy. Vesalius viewed the Epitome as an introduction for the novice in medicine, serving as […]

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When an Apple I computer was put up for sale at the Sotheby’s Fine Books and Manuscripts auction last month, we could not help but wonder how close we are to the times when such events will carry the additional  “…and Electronic Devices”  somewhere in the name. Let’s hope that we are nowhere near such […]

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No other copy of the Voynich manuscript, “the world’s most mysterious manuscript,” exists in any other collection in the world, besides the one at Yale University’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library. The book was donated to the university library in 1969 through a gift of the legendary rare book dealer, Hans P. Kraus, who […]

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