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Loose Book Illustrations in the Fagel Map Portfolios

by Emily Monty

Dr Emily Monty was the Fagel Collection Visiting Research Fellow in autumn 2022. She was hosted by the Trinity Long Room Hub Arts & Humanities Research Institute at Trinity College Dublin. You can view a conversation between Emily and Ann-Marie Hansen, Project Manager of Unlocking the Fagel Collection here.

The Fagel Collection holds important material history for the study of publishing and collecting in the Dutch Republic of the eighteenth-century. The map portfolios alone contain over 1600 sheets and represent an extraordinary collection of rare and unusually well-preserved materials. Such collections of loose print and manuscript images in their original portfolios rarely survive intact, making the Fagel examples all the more important from the perspective of material and cultural history.

During a three-month Visiting Research Fellowship at Trinity College Dublin (TCD), I came across a series of illustrations for an eighteenth-century travel narrative of the Caribbean in Portfolio XXII. These precious fragments of a larger illustration project reveal material evidence about practices in book publishing and collecting in The Hague, and give insight into the other discoveries that are waiting to be made as scholars continue to study the portfolio prints and related books held in the Fagel collection. In the following blog post, I describe my research methods and conclusions in hopes of promoting future research on the contents of these portfolios.

Continue reading “Loose Book Illustrations in the Fagel Map Portfolios”

Lunar exhibit on show in the Berkeley Library

To coincide with the visit to Trinity College of the European Space Expo a celestial print by Johann Baptiste Homann and Johann Gabriel Doppelmayr is now exhibited in the BLU display case. Published in Nuremberg c.1707, it shows the cartographic systems of two astronomers, Johannes Hevelius and Giovanni Battista Riccioli. Hevelius published the earliest discourse devoted solely to the Moon, ‘Selenographia’, in 1647. Four years later Italian astronomer Riccioli first published his map in ‘Almagestum novum’. In that short space of time the nomenclature in Hevelius’ work was displaced by Riccioli’s lunar descriptive terms which we still use today. Sadly for Hevelius disaster struck in 1679 when a fire destroyed his home and his observatory in Danzig. Although aged 68, Hevelius rallied, built a new observatory and continued to print astronomical works shortly up to his death in 1687.