Nuremberg Chronicle (1493)

Written by: Andrew Lundeen

Primary Source: The Special Collections Provenance Project at MSU, November 24, 2015

The Nuremberg Chronicle (1493) is renowned for its fantastic woodcut illustrations.

A total of 1,809 illustrations adorn the book, but only 645 woodblocks were cut.  Most of the illustrations are re-used throughout the book – some as many as 11 times!

Above are six instances of the same illustration, as seen in the copy owned by the MSU Libraries.  The same image is used to depict the cities of Damascus, Mantua, Perusia, Verona, Serraria, and Sena.

Apparently, the accuracy of the illustration wasn’t very important!

I love the half-hearted attempts at hand-coloring some of these woodcuts. It reminds me of another early book from our collection, the 1532 Thurnier Buch.

The following two tabs change content below.
Andrew Lundeen
Andrew Lundeen, a Special Collections Librarian at MSU, is a recent master’s graduate in Library and Information Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (‘14). Since September 2013, Andrew has spearheaded the MSU Provenance Project, an effort to document marks of ownership and marks of use in rare books at MSU.
Andrew Lundeen

Latest posts by Andrew Lundeen (see all)