The Michael G. Wilson Collection, presented by Mr. Wilson to his alma mater, Harvey Mudd College, and to Sprague Library in 1986, provides the college community with a splendid opportunity for the examination and appreciation of the beauty and quality of finely printed books. Most of the books are testaments to 15th and 16th century English, German, French, and Italian printing and book illustration. There are twenty-six outstanding examples of early printed books, eleven of which are incunabula.
Examples include a Book of Hours (Paris, 1502), printed on vellum and notable for the ornamental borders surrounding each woodcut; beautifully hand-colored initial letters appear throughout the text. The Nuremberg Chronicle (Nuremberg, 1493), a monumental work of world history by the town physician Dr. Hartmann Schedel, contains hundreds of fine woodcuts by the artists Wohlgemuth, under whom Duerer apprenticed, and Pleydenwurff. Among other items are Galileo’s Dialogue on the Two Great World Systems (Florence, 1632), Liber Geographiae of Ptolemy (Venice, 1511), an early world atlas, The Great Herbal by Peter Treveris (London, 1526), and Calendario (Venice, 1476) of Johannes Regiomontanus.
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