Author Archives

Special Collections Project Manager: 'William Hunter's Library: A Transcription of the Early Catalogues'.

  • William Hunter’s Library: the Gs

    One name dominates Hunter’s library catalogue in the ‘G’ section of William Hunter’s library: Galen.

    Galen (129-c. 210) was a Greek philosopher-physician who summarised anatomical learning up to his time and added his own observations on human anatomy based on dissections of monkeys and pigs. Galen was influenced by the theory of the humours advocated by Hippocrates and other ancient Greek physicians.

  • William Hunter’s Library: the Fs

    The 268 entries that are listed in Museum Records 3 again demonstrate the variety of books that William Hunter collected. As in other sections of his catalogue, we find that Hunter’s interests in anatomy and medicine are well represented. Another theme that emerges in this section is travel and exploration.

  • William Hunter’s Library: the Es

    One of Hunter’s copies of Euclid’s Elements of Geometry was published in Venice in 1482 and features woodcut diagrams that illustrate mathematical equations. This was one of the 192 incunabula that Hunter purchased via his Paris agent at the sale of the library of Louis-Jean Gaignat, the late Receiver-General of Pleas at the Palace of Justice in Paris in 1769. Gaignat had died the previous year leaving a library of over 5,000 items. In addition to the 192 incunabula, Hunter bought eleven illuminated manuscripts and an assortment of other books. Euclides: Elementa geometriae. Venice: Erhard Ratdolt, 25 May 1482 is now Sp Coll Hunterian By.2.12.

  • William Hunter’s Library: the Ds

    D is for… Books listed in the ‘D’ section of William Hunter’s library once again demonstrate the variety of his interests.  It is impossible to offer more than a few highlights here. Classical authors in this section include Demosthenis, Diodorus… Read More ›

  • William Hunter’s Library: the Cs

    Regular readers of the Special Collections blog will have noticed that there is a plan to these William Hunter’s Library project updates by now. Each time a letter from Museum Records 3 (MR3) is completely transcribed and matched to the… Read More ›

  • William Hunter’s Library: the Bs

    B is for… The ‘B’ section of Hunter’s library catalogue provides a good example of the mix of medical and non-medical books Hunter collected. Among medical authors we find members of the Danish medical dynasty, the Bartholins [Caspar the Elder (1585-1629),… Read More ›

  • William Hunter’s Library: Transcribing the early catalogues (and the As)

    William Hunter. Painted postmortem by Joshua Reynolds c. 1787. Note the anatomical preparation on the desk. Hunterian Museum & Art Gallery GLAHA 43793

    Dr William Hunter (1718-1783) –  anatomist, physician, man-midwife, and collector of books, specimens, and art – is a major figure of the eighteenth century and of the Enlightenment. Hunter left his library and the rest of his varied collections to… Read More ›