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New Acquisition: Pliny’s History of the World

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Special Collections recently made an exciting new acquisition: the first English edition of Pliny the Elder’s Natural History. Translated by Philemon Holland (1552-1637) and published in London in 1601 as The Historie of the World, this compendium of ancient knowledge about the natural world and man’s place in it exposed many English readers for the first time to Greek and Roman ideas about everything from physics, astronomy, and zoology, to agriculture, physiology, and the arts. Despite its many fanciful elements (such as the claim that men could live to 800 years of age) and dubious ideas about medicine (“the braines of a wild boar is highly commended against the venom of serpents”), Pliny’s work had been much admired in its original Latin form throughout the Middle Ages, and with the birth of printing in the fifteenth century, it became one of first books to be produced on a large scale and in scholarly editions. Holland’s translation came to be admired in its own right. Pliny would not be translated into English again until the nineteenth century, and some still consider Holland’s version to be the most charismatic. “If he seldom echoed the sound of Greek and Latin,” one commentor has written, “he never missed the sense, nor did he fear a comparison of his own work with the classical texts.”

This volume will make a welcome addition to the library’s already strong collection of early modern works on natural history.

Michael Taylor is Curator of Books, LSU Libraries’ Special Collections

Posted in Resources, Special Collections Tagged with: ,

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Recent Faculty Publications

2018

Hebert, Andrea. “Information Literacy Skills of First-Year Library and Information Science Graduate Students: An Exploratory Study,” Evidence Based Library and Information Practice Volume 13, Issue 3 (September 2018).

Miller, Marty. “Sacred vs. Profane in The Great War: A Neutral’s Indictment: Louis Raemaekers’s Use of Religious Imagery in Adoration of the Magi and Our Lady of Antwerp.” Catholic Library World, vol. 89, no. 1, Sept. 2018, pp. 20–32.

Wilder, Stanley. “Delayed Retirements and the Youth Movement among ARL Library Professionals,” Research Library Issues, no. 295 (2018).

Ziegler, Scott. “PAL: Toward a Recommendation System for Manuscripts,” Information Technology and Libraries, Vol. 37, No. 3 (2018).

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Caminita, C., Cook, M., & Paster, A. (2017). Thirty years of preserving, discovering, and accessing U.S. agricultural information: Past progress and current challenges. Library Trends, 65(3), 293-315.

Dauterive, Sarah, John Bourgeois, & Sarah Simms. “How little is too little? An examination of information literacy instruction duration for freshmen.” Journal of Information Literacy, 11.1 (2017): 204-219.

Fontenot, Mitch; Emily Frank; and Andrea Hebert. “Going Where the Users Are: Three Variations on a Theme,” Louisiana Libraries, Fall 2017.

Johnson, Hayley. “#NoDAPL: Social Media, Empowerment, and Civic Participation at Standing Rock,” Library Trends, Fall 2017.

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