We invite you to an interesting creative activity. There is only one month of summer left, and there are many different plants around us. We offer to collect flowers and herbs, create your own herbarium and compare with the images on old prints. Did plants look like this 500 years ago? Place modern flowers next to an engraving from the past and compare!
"Herbarium" (from Latin - "herb") means dried plants. There are many collections of such specially collected exhibits designed for scientific research in the world.
The herbarium is also called a book describing plants and their images. Herbariums, which are more than 500 years old, are kept in the collection of the National Library of Belarus.
The book "Herbarium", published by Peter Schaefer in Mainz in 1484, belongs to the collection of incunabula, published in the second half of the 15th century. Initially, Schaefer worked as a copyist of manuscripts, and he began working in the printing houses of Johannes Gutenberg and Johannes Fust in 1452. Then Schaefer, together with the publisher Fust, opened his own printing house in 1457. "Herbarium" is one of the most famous books of this printing house. The author of the text is not mentioned in the book, but it is believed to be Frankfurt doctor Johann Foneken von Kube. The book describes and illustrates 150 plants. There are woodcuts hand-painted green, yellow, red and blue in the collections of the National Library of Belarus.
It is interesting that the copy was taken from the famous book collection of the Radziwill family in Nesvizh. The ex-libris and the red stamp are the evidence. The copy contains numerous manuscripts in Latin and Polish.
Another interesting copy from the collections of the National Library of Belarus is the book "Herbarium", published in Venice in 1509. The book contains 150 woodcuts depicting medicinal plants. The pictures show strawberries, garlic, onions and other plants.
The presented books can be used to search and compare with modern plants that grow nearby: in the garden, in the meadow, in the field or in the forest. Following the example of old books, you can make a modern book with sketches and descriptions of plants.
The Museum Plantin-Moretus in Antwerp has developed a booklet that you can use to create your own herbarium. It contains images from books by the printer Christophe Plantin. The pictures show famous plants: chamomile, maple, oats, poppy, clover, creeping buttercup, nettle, dandelion and others. You can download and print the booklet with an album where are names of the plants, place and date of collection signed on the sheets.
We suggest sending photos of the created herbariums to firstname.lastname@example.org till September 1, 2020. The best creative works will be posted on the library portal.
Bibliology Research Department