ProQuest has announced that they are scanning 15,500 volumes from the Wellcome Library for Early European Books Online, which comprises the entire holdings of the Wellcome’s books printed before 1700.
The collection contains many rare or obscure texts on subjects ranging from alchemy to zoology, and includes many of the most spectacularly illustrated books of the period. Landmark works include the first edition of anatomist Andreas Vesalius’s De humani corporis fabrica (1543) [already available from OU in high resolution here], the complete works of surgeon Ambroise Paré (c.1510-1590), Rabanus Maurus’s encyclopedia De sermonum proprietate (1467), whose medical section is sometimes called the first printed medical book, and a beautiful colored copy of Hartmann Schedel’s Liber chronicarum (‘The Nuremberg Chronicle’, 1493), formerly owned by the artist William Morris (1834-1896). In addition to complementing the English works already digitized as part of ProQuest’s Early English Books Online database, the new resource will provide access to important continental editions of works by famous English medical authors, such as William Harvey’s seminal work on the circulation of the blood, De motu cordis (1628), which was first published in Germany.
Additional collaborating libraries in the Early European Books Online project include the Danish Royal Library in Copenhagen; the Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Firenze in Italy; and the National Library of the Netherlands. These collections include, for example, notable works by Tycho Brahe, Johann Kepler and many others of interest to historians of science.
Early English Books Online contains digital facsimile page images of virtually every work printed in England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and British North America and works in English printed elsewhere from 1473-1700.
Many of us have personalized our OU Libraries web page to include EEBO as a quick link (as shown, right); here’s how. We can now add Early European Books as a quick link, too.
With Early European Books Online, ProQuest is expanding upon EEBO by including titles in Latin and other European languages.