A work by (the tongue-twisting) Johann Anton Moscherosch von Wißelsheim typifies the strengths of the history of science collections in the Department of Special Collections. The book, entitled Wohlmeinende, treue, und sehr nützliche Ermahnungen an die Anfänger in dem tiefsinningen Studio der Hermetischen Philosophie (Nuremberg: George Bauer, 1765), speaks to issues of early modern science, philosophy, and the occult, and fits with other holdings of Special Collections, notably the Duveen Collection of Alchemy and Chemistry and important holdings (especially pre-1801) for philosophy and theology.
This electronic facsimile provides broader access to a fragile and rare work by providing an overview of the structure of the text as well as several versions of each page of the original:
- thumbnail images;
- page images (775 pixels wide, file sizes 100K - 400K), which require some vertical scrolling but afford easily readable screen versions of each page; and
- large files in PDF format (between 2000K and 42,000K), which enable page enlargement and supply printable versions of the pages but are slow to download.
No machine-readable text is supplied.
By contrast, our Web-based introduction to Heinrich Khunrath's Amphitheatrum sapientiae aeternae of 1595 highlights the elaborate engraved illustrations of what Duveen described as "one of the most important books in the whole literature of theosophical alchemy and the occult sciences," affords close-up examination of the volume's important iconographic features and transcribes the engraved text surrounding the circular images. Each approach serves different scholarly purposes, and we invite your comments and questions.
Many thanks are due to Jenifer Ihde, Humanities Digitizing Intern. Working in conjunction with the General Library System Digital Production Facility, Jenifer produced the scans, designed this site, and thereby created this electronic facsimile of Moscherosch's volume. (The surname Ihde may be familiar to some readers of this site: Jenifer's grandfather was Aaron Ihde, influential professor of chemistry and of history of science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.)