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Rare Books Digital Exhibition — Ornaments: Beautiful Books Beautifully Reproduced


Facsimiles are meticulous reproductions that convey the spirit and power of often-inaccessible, original books. A facsimile is a replica of an original book, created to look as closely the same as possible to the original through state-of-the-art electronic, digital, and conventional techniques in bookmaking. The facsimiles in this digital exhibition reproduce books that date from the early Middle Ages through the sixteenth century.

They range in subject from literary works,

spread with illustration of bulls

Virgil’s Georgics

La Roman de la Rose, Guillaume de Lorris and Jean de Meun

to religious texts,


The Book of Kells

to herbals,

Dioskurides' mandrake

Dioscorides’ De materia medica

travel books,

St. James

Liber Sancti Jacobi, Codex Calixinus

astrological treatises,

spread Scorpio & Sagitarius

Liber physiognomiae

artists’ workshop books,

alphabet leaf


Reiner Musterbuch

and more.

leaf with two initials and ornamental border

Li livre dou tresor

Take a virtual scroll through the Rare Books digital exhibition, Ornaments, for a colorful visit to medieval Europe and its treasured books.


  • Maxine Haggerty
    Posted at 18:51h, 15 January Reply

    What a gorgeous display of these medieval rare books! A needed pleasure at this time of the pandemic restrictions.

    • RareBooks
      Posted at 19:22h, 15 January Reply

      Thank you, Maxine!

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