Highlight from the stacks: Kircher’s Tower of Babel (1679)


Nobody calls their children “Athanasius” any more…

Echoes from the Vault

I’ve been doing some work in the stacks lately with our interns and have been focusing some attention on our 17th century reserve collections (around 5,ooo volumes) which remain largely uncatalogued. This collection is one of our treasure troves and has recently received some cataloguing attention from the USTC interns who have been working with us this summer. As I have been browsing the stacks and familiarizing myself with the collection, I have noticed a great number of titles by Athanasius Kircher, whose Musurgia universalis was featured on this blog earlier this year. Although plenty has been written about him, I feel like I’m just getting to know Kircher through his books as I come across them in the stacks. I recently pulled his Turris Babel (Amsterdam: Jansson-Waesberge, 1679 — St Andrews r17f BS1238.B2K5) off of the shelves and was bowled over by the large, fold-out plate depicting his vision…

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About bibliodeviant

This is the journal of Jonathan Kearns Rare Books & Curiosities, and all who sail in her. Information, updates, rantings, musings and pretty pictures related (loosely I would imagine) to the world of rare and antiquarian books will be brought to you by a number of different personalities, some of whom cohabit in the same person's head. We welcome queries, comments and contributions of virtually any description, and in return we will attempt to rein in our multitudinous personality disorders and deliver wonders and joys beyond compare. At least that's the plan. View all posts by bibliodeviant

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