Out of the cradle of print online exhibition

  • 11 June 2021

All of Gonville & Caius College’s books published from 1450 to 1650 are now available to find worldwide, with a selection highlighted in the College Library’s latest online exhibition: Out of the cradle of print.

The College has been collecting books since its foundation in 1348, and now holds around 25,000 early (pre-1801) printed books in its Lower Library. Until recently, however, the paper slips pasted into the Library guardbooks were the only means of searching the collection.

Library staff began working on electronic catalogue records 15 years ago, with the work ongoing. But now books from 1450 to 1650 can be found online using iDiscover.

From the Catholic altar book that escaped a bonfire, to another volume given in penance for a student riot, and to the navigation manual of one 'Captain Carelesse' (really the Caian mathematician and sometime pirate Edward Wright), Library staff have selected some of the most memorable books they have met in the course of their work.

Fellow Librarian Professor Paul Binski said: “Caius has a truly great collection of manuscripts and early printed books and it is the Library’s long-standing and continuing ambition to make our collection better known to students and scholars around the world.”

View the College Library’s online exhibitions on our website: https://www.cai.cam.ac.uk/discover/library/online-exhibitions

A selection of pages depicting colourful images, including a skeleton

A selection of pages from the collection

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