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Canon of Medicine (1475?)

Lower Library Aa.2.19 (G.A.S. 96)

Some of the rarest items in Caius College Library are its one hundred incunabula: books printed in the fifteenth century, while the art of printing was still 'in the cradle'. Most of the Caius incunabula are intact, but we have only two leaves from a very early printed Latin translation of Avicenna’s influential Canon of Medicine.

The leaves were given to the College by different donors in 1911 and 1923, but were separated again at some point when one was mounted for display; it was later believed to be lost. Having returned to the Library in 1996 as an unidentified fragment, the leaf was recognized by a conservator and reunited with its partner in 2018.

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