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Flora Illustrata: Great Works from the…
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Flora Illustrata: Great Works from the LuEsther T. Mertz Library of The…

by Susan M Fraser

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FLORA ILLUSTRATA edited by Susan M. Faser and Vanessa Bezemer Sellers explores carefully selected works from the LuEsther T. Mertz Library at the New York Botanical Garden.

The unique volume represents more than eight centuries of work. In the past, herbal books were second only to the Bible in importance. The authors note that marginalia in herbal books often focused on the results of treatments or tweaks that were made in directions by the reader. These notes reflected the significance of these works in everyday life.

The book is divided into five parts focusing on the library, great books and prints, groundbreaking works, celebrated works, and the landscape of the New York Botanical Garden. Individual chapters explore a spectrum of specialized topics.

FLORA ILLUSTRATA is exceptionally well-written and edited. Both well-known and lesser known examples are woven throughout the book to illustrate the key works. Full-color illustrations can be found on practically every page of this beautiful book. The quality of the illustrations is outstanding. Each figure is clearly labeled and explained.

As a faculty member who teaches a course in our library science program titled the History of the Book, I found the book to be an outstanding resource. While the text includes well-known and well-respected works, it also incorporates rare works that will peak the interest of both new and experienced researchers.

Millions of pages from the collection have been digitized and made available online at the Biodiversity Heritage Library at http://biodiversitylibrary.org/.

I highly recommend FLORA ILLUSTRATA for anyone with a passion for books and specifically works related to botany and horticulture. ( )
  eduscapes | Sep 25, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0300196628, Hardcover)

The renowned LuEsther T. Mertz Library of The New York Botanical Garden counts among its holdings many of the most beautiful and pioneering botanical and horticultural works ever created. More than eight centuries of knowledge, from the twelfth century to the present, are represented in the library’s collection of over one million items. In this sumptuously illustrated volume, international experts introduce us to some of the library’s most fascinating works—exceedingly rare books, stunning botanical artworks, handwritten manuscripts, Renaissance herbals, nursery catalogs, explorers’ notebooks, and more. The contributors hold these treasures up for close inspection and offer surprising insights into their histories and importance.
 
The diverse materials showcased in the volume reflect the creative efforts of eminent explorers, scientists, artists, publishers, and print makers. From the rare, illuminated pages of Pliny the Elder’s Naturalis historia (1483), to the earliest book ever published on American insects (1797), to lovely etchings of the water gardens at Villa Pratolino in Florence (1600s), the Mertz Library holdings will inspire in readers a new appreciation for the extraordinary history of botany and its far-reaching connections to the worlds of science, books, art, and culture.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:59:41 -0400)

"The renowned LuEsther T. Mertz Library of The New York Botanical Garden counts among its holdings many of the most beautiful and pioneering botanical and horticultural works ever created. More than eight centuries of knowledge, from the twelfth century to the present, are represented in the library's collection of more than one million cataloged items. In this sumptuously illustrated volume, international experts introduce us to some of the library's most fascinating works--exceedingly rare books, stunning botanical artworks, handwritten manuscripts, Renaissance herbals, nursery catalogs, explorers' notebooks, and more. The contributors hold these treasures up for close inspection and offer surprising insights into their histories and importance."--Jacket.… (more)

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