2018 Highlights from the SC&A Team

I don’t know about you, dear readers, but the end of the year has crept up on us remarkably stealthily! (Although all the Christmas decorations and festive events around campus may argue otherwise…) With that in mind, we thought we’d take a look back at 2018 and share with you our particular highlights – work you may know about, projects you may not, or collections that are waiting for you to explore them.

In no particular order…

Karen (Special Collections & Archives Manager): “2018 has been a fantastic year for Special Collections and Archives. In February we welcomed our new University Archivist, Tom, who began work almost immediately on the fabulous “Our Templeman” Exhibition. The exhibition was created to celebrate the completion of the library extension and refurbishment as well as 50 years since the Templeman Library first opened its doors.

We are Archive Accredited and therefore Awesome

In March we had a party! We were very excited and proud to receive the National Archives Accreditation Award – and of course like all good parties we had a cake. In the summer we were lucky to be able to recruit two Bursary funded Interns. Janee and Philip spent the summer working on the Maddison collection and revealed some interesting discoveries from this science collection through a series of blog posts and pop-up sessions.

Interning at SCA: far more fun than making endless cups of tea and photocopying

Interning at SC&A: far more fun than making endless cups of tea and photocopying

Tom Ritchie needed a venue to demonstrate a Meccano based reconstruction. SC&A were happy to play host to Tom and the Meccano Men (they are real people!). We eagerly watched as the Differential Analyser was constructed and then opened the doors to a whole host of diverse people who were interested to see how meccano played an important role in the development of computers.

What do you get when you cross archives and toys?

What do you get when you cross archives and toys?

And just to whet your appetite about what is to come next year – in the summer we received a new collection, which focuses on the history of Music Hall – in the New Year we will reveal more about it but here is a taster of what is to come…”

Your Christmas starter for ten: what links all these items?

Your Christmas starter for ten: what links all these items?

 

Helen (Library Assistant, Curation & Metadata): “The ‘Prescriptions’ exhibition of artists’ books, on wellbeing and medicine, took place at the Beaney House of Art and Knowledge in 2016. Books by 82 artists, from 15 countries exhibited their work and many of them subsequently donated or deposited their works at the University of Kent’s Special Collections and Archives. The books deal with topics including “cancer, chronic illness, disability, mental health, surgery, medicine and wellbeing” (Bolaki & Ciricaite, 2017).

A rare sighting of the endangered cotton glove (Karen Apps, 'Losing Touch', 2016)

A rare sighting of the endangered cotton glove (Karen Apps, ‘Losing Touch’, 2016)

Working with these poignant, and sometimes harrowing, books proved to be a rewarding challenge. It was very moving to handle a succession of very personal artworks, created with care and documenting painful experiences. The collection as a whole captures a great breadth of different experiences. Many of the artists faced an initial shock and disruption around a diagnosis but came to terms with their illness and made peace with the impact it had on their lives. My experience cataloguing the collection took a similar trajectory, from a sense of intrusion and uncertainty to acceptance and even comfort.”

Rachel (Library Assistant, Curation & Metadata): “It’s been great to be part of a project to catalogue and digitise material from the Queen’s Own Buffs The Royal Kent Regiment Collection. It contains material from the Buffs (Royal East Kent Regiment) and the Queen’s Own Royal West Kent regiment who merged in the 1960s. There’s a variety of material in the collection, ranging from prisoner of war accounts to the Buffs Golfing Society records, as well as plenty of books surrounding the history of the Buffs, who are one of the oldest regiments of the British Army, tracing their roots back to the 16th century. As part of my work I spent a lot of time with the Dragon and the Queen’s Own Gazette, the regimental journals of the two regiments. They’re full of information on the history of the regiments, as well as plenty of reports of their leisure time, giving a fantastically detailed picture of life in these regiments from the late 19th century onwards.

The Buffs are for life, not just for Christmas

The Buffs are for life, not just for Christmas

My personal highlight was finding Pte. A. Baker listed as missing in an issue of The Queen’s Own Gazette from 1916. Arthur Percy Baker was my great great uncle who worked as a train conductor before the First World War. He died at the Somme in July 1916 and is one of the 72,000 men listed on the Thiepval Memorial.”

Who Do You Think You are in action

Archives have all the answers (sometimes)

 

Jo (Senior Library Assistant, Special Collections & Archives): “This year we’ve been full steam ahead with our education and engagement offering, welcoming over 900 visitors through group sessions in the Autumn Term alone! It’s always brilliant to see people who’ve never looked at or touched historic material before engage with our collections, but two particular sessions stand out:

No books were harmed in the making of this photo, apart from the one which is art

No books were harmed in the making of this photo, apart from the one which is art

In the Spring Term, we revamped our sessions to support a final year English course where students write and self-publish their own book. In previous years, groups have come in to look at modern poetry exclusively – but this year we pushed things a bit beyond that. One Reading Room table focused on a history of print from the early modern period to the present day – spanning everything from rare books to playbills and zines. The other table was split into modern poetry on one section and artists books on the other. By looking at the history of print material first, students were then able to see how contemporary works play on printing traditions – and it worked so well, we could barely get them to leave after three hours!

We were very glad to have more responses than 'old dusty things'

We were very glad to have more responses than ‘old dusty things’

In the Autumn Term, we undertook the obviously-very-small challenge of welcoming every single first year History student into Special Collections & Archives through their mandatory ‘Making History’ course. Using some of the reading I’ve inhaled through my MA, we planned a detailed 50 minute session that was split into parts – and included hiding the archive material in boxes so students couldn’t get distracted from the first activity about physical and digital archives. We’re looking forward to working with the School of History further to improve our support next year, but it really was wonderful to meet the very enthusiastic first years.”

Tom (University Archivist): “My highlight of 2018 was working on the exhibition the “Our Templeman” celebrations in March, marking the completion of the Templeman extension and refurbishment and the 50th anniversary of the library first opening. This was one of the first tasks given to me after starting work here in February and it allowed me to totally immerse myself in the University Archive in digging out a pictorial history of the library. It also allowed us to showcase some of our amazing other collections. We brought it out again for the start of the new academic year and it was great seeing how many staff, students and alumni engaged with it.”

Templeman Time-machine: spot the difference!

Templeman Time-machine: spot the difference!

 

Elspeth (Digital Archivist): “I’ve loved having the opportunity to explore two oral history collections from Special Collections & Archives through digitisation and cataloguing. The collections comprise unique, original oral history recordings, which are not archived in any other institution or heritage centre. They were recorded on reel-to-reel tapes, now an obsolete format, in the late 1960s and 1970s, so it is fantastic that we were able to have these digitised to ensure that the testimonies included on them are preserved and able to be made accessible.

The first of the two oral history collections, The Barker Oral History Tapes collection, comprises interviews with c. 100 people in Kent recorded in the late 1960s. The interviews were part of an oral history project, funded by the ESRC, directed by Professor Theo Barker (founding professor of Economic and Social History at the University of Kent in 1964) and John Whyman (Lecturer in Economic and Social History and Master of Rutherford 1996-1997), who were interviewing older respondents for their memories of life in Kent before 1900. Barker was an early supporter of oral history as a research methodology, and he became the Oral History Society’s first Chairman in 1973. The second collection is the Winstanley Oral History Collection.  This collection comprises interviews with over 160 people in Kent (mainly east Kent), recorded between 1974 and 1976. The recordings were undertaken as part of an SSRC-funded oral history project (called ‘Everyday Life in Kent before 1914’), looking at life in Kent at the turn of the 20th century.

Both collections, and the first-hand testimony within them, is unique. The interviews provide insight into life in the county in the period between 1890 and 1950 (although the focus is on life at the turn of the century), and cover topics such as work, industry, society, war, community, and women’s history. The testimonies will also provide a linguistics resource, providing a rich resource for those studying dialect and the changes in Kent dialect over time. The recordings can be accessed via the Special Collections & Archives reading room (email specialcollections@kent.ac.uk).

What’s been your highlight of 2018? Let us know below!

We’d like to wish all of our readers a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Our Reading Room is closed from the 19th December 2018 and will reopen on January 14th 2019. This slightly longer-than-normal closure period allows us a week to develop our collections, so we’ll be spending 5 days in January working on exciting projects in our storage areas!

A brief history of alchemy; or, My Alchemical Romance

First performed in 1610 by the King’s Men, the acting company to which Shakespeare belonged, Ben Jonson’s The Alchemist is a satire centred around three con artists who use subterfuge, guile and wit to relieve targets of their belongings. Jonson makes no attempt to conceal his low opinion of alchemy and its practitioners, with the titular alchemist an obvious fraud and this makes it a useful springboard into thinking about alchemy in its historical context. The Templeman Special Collections and Archives holds a copy of Jonson’s First Folio from 1616 in its pre-1700 collection which contains the play and so in order to demonstrate how the Maddison collection could be useful for study and research beyond the history of science, we are going to use The Alchemist as a framing device for this week’s blog post.

Title page from 'The Alchemist' by Ben Jonson in Jonson's First Folio of 1616.

Jo says we are not allowed to have favourites because it makes the other books sad. The Jonson Folio (Q C 616 Jon) is Philip’s favourite. Don’t tell Jo. Or the other books.

‘Alchemy is a pretty kind of game, / Somewhat like tricks o’ the cards, to cheat a man / With charming.’ (2.3.180-182, The Alchemist)

To the uninitiated, alchemy can seem a vague art form that seems to cover a range of random topics. Whilst researching for this post we read about people trying to turn base metals into gold or silver, about some trying to create a source of eternal life and others searching for ways to raise the dead. Alchemy has spanned a large number of fields in its history from supernatural and spiritualism to medicine and early chemistry but what many fail to realise is that alchemy was in fact an early science intent on answering many of the same questions we strive to answer today. It was only in the 1700s that a strong distinction between ‘alchemy’ and ‘chemistry’ was established; prior to this time that the study of both subjects was much more fluid.

A pictorial diagram of the four base elements in a cross. Each element is represented by a creature. Clockwise from top: fire (ignis) is an angel; earth (terra) by a bear; water (aqua) by a dragon-looking creature; air (aer) is a long-necked bird.

The dragon-demon-sea monster thing is our spirit animal.

 

Alchemy has a long history, dating back to  antiquity and it is possible to track its early modern evolution through the Maddison Collection in the form of dedicated volumes, notes and annotations, and handwritten recipes.The roots of Western alchemy are founded in the classical idea of the basic elements – fire, water, wind and earth – and it is primarily this Eurocentric alchemy which is covered in the Maddison Collection. Variant forms of alchemy have been practiced across the globe, particularly in the Middle East, China, and India. It is the various cultural and religious influences which make each strain of alchemy unique.

A taoist philosopher, alchemist, medical writer and poet, Ko Hung was the originator of first aid in traditional Chinese medicine.

A taoist philosopher, alchemist, medical writer and poet, Ko Hung was the originator of first aid in traditional Chinese medicine.

These aforementioned roots of alchemy are derived from the classical world and continued to evolve through the ages in Western Society by adopting and discarding knowledge from various influences. However, the core of alchemy always reflected its origins through its continued use of classical mythology as a communicative device. In multiple volumes within the collection the reader is able to see various illustrations utilised to express a concept or recipe in relation to alchemy, but to those unversed in identifying these alchemical signs these illustrations appear to be merely depictions of ancient myths and folklore.

Colour illustration of a peacock in the vase of Hermes

This peacock is serving all kinds of fabulous perfection.

‘Nature doth first beget the imperfect, then/ Proceeds she to the perfect.’ (2.3.158-9, The Alchemist)

There were alchemists working across Europe through the medieval period into the early modern. The collection’s earliest works on alchemy come from Agrippa, a German polymath, legal scholar, physician and theologian,who was an important alchemist in the early sixteenth century. He is an interesting man to study, as during his career he turned away from the occult and focused much more his theological work, rejecting magic in his later life.

Just look at all those instruments! Agrippa’s getting the band back together.

Just look at all those instruments! Agrippa’s getting the band back together.

 

Paracelsus is another influential figure in alchemical circles, also well represented. A respected physician, alchemist and astrologer during the German renaissance, Paracelsus is known as the father of toxicology, as well as being one of the first medical professors to use chemical and minerals in medicine. John Dee, Robert Boyle and Elias Ashmole were also important names in the history of alchemy and all of these alchemists have works related to them within the Maddison collection.

 

Guess who’s back, back, back. Back again, Boyle’s back! Tell a friend.

Guess who’s back, back, back. Back again, Boyle’s back! Tell a friend.

 

It is unsurprising that Boyle engaged in alchemy alongside his more conventional scientific research. Many regarded alchemists as great experimentalists, who engaged in complicated experiments, which they then documented and amended. Cleopatra the Alchemist was a Greek Egyptian alchemist from the 3rd century whom focused on practical alchemy and is considered to be the inventor of the Alembic, an early tool for analytical chemistry. She along with other alchemists such as Mary the Jewess focused on a school of alchemy which utilised complex apparatus for distillation and sublimation, important techniques still in use in the chemistry lab today. Cleopatra the Alchemist’s biggest claim to fame is as one of only four female alchemists who were supposedly able to produce the Philosopher’s Stone.

This was one method of distillation being utilised in 1653, which looks very similar to a modern day distillation technique! On a large drum sit 2 identical vessels, and in between them is a ventilation shaft allowing smoke to escape. The two vessels on the drum are connected by long thin spouts to two conical flasks,designed to receive the run off liquor.

This was one method of distillation being utilised in 1653, which looks very similar to a modern day distillation technique! On a large drum sit 2 identical vessels, and in between them is a ventilation shaft allowing smoke to escape. The two vessels on the drum are connected by long thin spouts to two conical flasks,designed to receive the run off liquor.

‘I am the lord of the philosopher’s stone.’ (4.1.156, The Alchemist)

Twenty-first century readers may be more aware of alchemy than they realise. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone placed alchemy front and centre in contemporary culture. Other references in popular culture include manga and anime Fullmetal Alchemist and fantasy video games, World of Warcraft and Final Fantasy, amongst countless more. F. Sherwood Taylor points out the misconception of alchemists as ‘magicians or wizards’ that is common to these modern representations, writing that ‘as far as we know the alchemists sought to accomplish their work by discovering and utilizing the laws of nature […] never […] by “magical processes”’ (p.1, The Alchemists: Founders of Modern Chemistry, F. Sherwood Taylor). The Philosopher’s Stone was one of the primary goals of alchemy. Supposedly the catalyst needed to turn base metals such as mercury, tin or iron into the noble metals, gold and silver, it was also theorised to cure illnesses and extend lifespan. Alchemists disagreed on just about every aspect of the stone; from what it symbolised to how it was created. What all alchemists did agree upon was that the Philosopher’s Stone was a tangible possibility and someone had managed to make and use it in the past. During our research we discovered a series of images related to transmutation that may be related to the Philosopher’s Stone. You can see those, with added captions, as part of the Adventures series here

Image of A New Light of Alchymie book

J K Rowling’s Half Blood Prince anyone?

‘If all you boast of your great art be true; / Sure, willing poverty lives most in you.’

(1-2, Epigrams VI, “To Alchemists”, Jonson)

The fortunes of alchemy and its practitioners waxed and waned through the centuries. Renaissance alchemist and thinker, John Dee is a prime example. A key adviser to Elizabeth I, after James I succeeded the throne Dee was accused of being a ‘Conjurer, or Caller, or Invocator of Divels, or damned Spirites’ and died impoverished.

John Dee books in the Maddison Collection

Maddison Collection and it’s not Boyle! What a shock!

Most other alchemists did not suffer quite so dramatic a reversal of fortunes, but the legality of alchemy was dubious and throughout history it was often concealed in coded language or symbolic imagery. Renaissance legal scholar, Sir Edward Coke, wrote on its illegal status in The Third Part of the Institutes of the Laws of England (1644), citing the 1404 Act Against Multiplication, which forbade ‘multiplication […] That is, to change other metals into very Gold or Silver’ (Institutes, p.74). Robert Boyle campaigned to overturn this law and it was repealed in 1689.

As the eighteenth century wore on and the scientific method took hold, alchemy became increasingly discredited and chemists, wanting to distance themselves from alchemists, succeeded in separating the disciplines.The decline of alchemy in Europe was in conjunction with the rise of modern science, which placed a high significance on quantitative experimentation and which regarded the “ancient wisdom” so highly prized in alchemy as redundant and useless.

Starting with gold? I thought we were trying to make it! This is alchemy for the 1%.

Starting with gold? I thought we were trying to make it! This is alchemy for the 1%.

Did alchemy work? Mostly not, but it was the forerunner to modern chemistry. Advancements in technology have now made some alchemical feats possible. For instance, it is now possible to turn lead into gold. It takes a chemist who knows what he is doing and a lot of time, energy and money, but changing lead to gold has been done. The method of doing so is nothing like what is recommended in the various alchemy books within the collection but the once scoffed at dream is now a possibility.

The Alchemist may treat its subject matter as a joke and its practitioners as charlatans but the tangible contribution of alchemy to scientific knowledge should not be undersold. As  Sherwood Taylor notes, ‘the hopeless pursuit of the practical transmutation of metals was responsible for almost the whole of the development of chemical technique before the middle of the seventeenth century, and further led to the discovery of many important materials.’ (x, F. Sherwood Taylor) They may not have attained everlasting life or succeeded in transmuting lead to gold, but the alchemists did pave the way for their successors to develop modern scientific theory.

Tune in for the next blog post where we will be investigating the man behind the Maddison collection, R. E. W. Maddison!

 

Further reading

On Alchemy

John Read, Prelude to Chemistry (London: G. Bell and Sons Ltd., 1939) [Maddison 23B1]

J. S. Thompson, The Lure and Romance of Alchemy (London: George G. Harrap & Company Ltd., 1932) [Maddison 24A14]

Sherwood Taylor,The Alchemists: Founders of Modern Chemistry (London: William Heinemann Ltd, 1951) [Maddison 24A7]

Arthur Edward Waite, The Secret Tradition of Alchemy (London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co., 1926) [Maddison 24B20]

On John Dee

Charlotte Fell Smith, John Dee (1527-1608) (London: Constable, 1909) [Maddison 13C8]

Peter J. French, John Dee: The World of an Elizabethan Magus (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1972) [Maddison 13C7]

Past exhibition at the Royal College of Physicians, 2016: ‘Scholar, Courtier, Magician: the lost library of John Dee’

On The Alchemist

Ben Jonson, The workes of Beniamin Jonson (London: W. Stansby, 1616) [Q C 616.JON]

Previously in Philip and Janee’s blog posts:

The honourable Robert Boyle; or, reaching Boyle-ing point? 

Introduction; or, how do you solve a problem like the Maddison Collection?

Adventures of our 2018 interns part two

Welcome back to our series of blog posts summarising some of the more eye-catching, fascinating and curious items found in our Maddison Collection, which is being carefully looked-after and researched this summer by our fantastic interns Philip and Janee.

Today, let’s take a look at one of the older items in the Maddison Collection: 1D1, which is a series of small astrological books bound together:

Starry fish in 'Nouicijs adolescetib': ad astronomica remp: capessenda aditu impenetratib' by Johannes de Sacro Bosco, 1482, Venice (Maddison Collection, 1D1)

Starry fish in ‘Nouicijs adolescetib’: ad astronomica remp: capessenda aditu impenetratib’ by Johannes de Sacro Bosco, 1482, Venice (Maddison Collection, 1D1)

Lunar charts in 'Nouicijs adolescetib': ad astronomica remp: capessenda aditu impenetratib' by Johannes de Sacro Bosco, 1482, Venice (Maddison Collection, 1D1)

Lunar charts in ‘Nouicijs adolescetib’: ad astronomica remp: capessenda aditu impenetratib’ by Johannes de Sacro Bosco, 1482, Venice (Maddison Collection, 1D1)

More hand-painted lunar charts in 'Nouicijs adolescetib': ad astronomica remp: capessenda aditu impenetratib' by Johannes de Sacro Bosco, 1482, Venice (Maddison Collection, 1D1)

More hand-painted lunar charts in ‘Nouicijs adolescetib’: ad astronomica remp: capessenda aditu impenetratib’ by Johannes de Sacro Bosco, 1482, Venice (Maddison Collection, 1D1)

Drawing of a heliocentric universe in 'Nouicijs adolescetib': ad astronomica remp: capessenda aditu impenetratib' by Johannes de Sacro Bosco, 1482, Venice (Maddison Collection, 1D1)

Drawing of a heliocentric universe in ‘Nouicijs adolescetib’: ad astronomica remp: capessenda aditu impenetratib’ by Johannes de Sacro Bosco, 1482, Venice (Maddison Collection, 1D1)

Illustrations of Roman gods in 'Nouicijs adolescetib': ad astronomica remp: capessenda aditu impenetratib' by Johannes de Sacro Bosco, 1482, Venice (Maddison Collection, 1D1)

Illustrations of Roman gods in ‘Nouicijs adolescetib’: ad astronomica remp: capessenda aditu impenetratib’ by Johannes de Sacro Bosco, 1482, Venice (Maddison Collection, 1D1)

Even more hand-painted lunar charts in 'Nouicijs adolescetib': ad astronomica remp: capessenda aditu impenetratib' by Johannes de Sacro Bosco, 1482, Venice (Maddison Collection, 1D1)

Even more hand-painted lunar charts in ‘Nouicijs adolescetib’: ad astronomica remp: capessenda aditu impenetratib’ by Johannes de Sacro Bosco, 1482, Venice (Maddison Collection, 1D1)

Manuscript annotations in 'Nouicijs adolescetib': ad astronomica remp: capessenda aditu impenetratib' by Johannes de Sacro Bosco, 1482, Venice (Maddison Collection, 1D1)

Manuscript annotations in ‘Nouicijs adolescetib’: ad astronomica remp: capessenda aditu impenetratib’ by Johannes de Sacro Bosco, 1482, Venice (Maddison Collection, 1D1)

A dog on a ship in 'Nouicijs adolescetib': ad astronomica remp: capessenda aditu impenetratib' by Johannes de Sacro Bosco, 1482, Venice (Maddison Collection, 1D1)

A dog on a ship in ‘Nouicijs adolescetib’: ad astronomica remp: capessenda aditu impenetratib’ by Johannes de Sacro Bosco, 1482, Venice (Maddison Collection, 1D1)

Like what you see here? Books from the Maddison Collection can be requested through LibrarySearch (for internal University of Kent members only) or by contacting us (for everyone).

This blog post is part two of an ongoing summer series exploring our Maddison Collection; more in depth posts will be coming soon. For part one, please see here!

Adventures of our 2018 interns part four

Welcome again to our series of posts exploring the Maddison Collection, brought to you by our summer interns Philip and Janee!

Today, we’re going to take a look at a particularly curious story about the philosopher’s stone… (No, not the Harry Potter one.) (But inspiration has to come from somewhere, right?!…)

Our edition of this book is in Latin, so our rough translations of this come from the Archive.org version of the text in English, which is held in California. The text describes how to make base metals, but there’s a particularly curious story about how to extract elements…:

Step one: The King sits on his throne ignoring requests from his sons and servants to share power.  From ' Pretiosa margarita : novella de thesauro, ac pretiosissimo philosophorum lapide' by Giano Lacinio, 1546, Venice. (Maddison Collection 2B7, F10528400)

Step one: The King sits on his throne ignoring requests from his sons and servants to share power.
From ‘Pretiosa margarita : novella de thesauro, ac pretiosissimo philosophorum lapide’ by Giano Lacinio, 1546, Venice. (Maddison Collection 2B7, F10528400)

Step two: the son, incited by the servants, kills the King. Step three: the son catches the King's blood on his robes. From ' Pretiosa margarita : novella de thesauro, ac pretiosissimo philosophorum lapide' by Giano Lacinio, 1546, Venice. (Maddison Collection 2B7, F10528400)

Step two: the son, incited by the servants, kills the King.
Step three: the son catches the King’s blood on his robes.
From ‘Pretiosa margarita : novella de thesauro, ac pretiosissimo philosophorum lapide’ by Giano Lacinio, 1546, Venice. (Maddison Collection 2B7, F10528400)

Step four: dig a grave in the furnace room. Step five: the son throws his father, the King, into the grave - but oh no! He falls in too!  From ' Pretiosa margarita : novella de thesauro, ac pretiosissimo philosophorum lapide' by Giano Lacinio, 1546, Venice. (Maddison Collection 2B7, F10528400)

Step four: dig a grave in the furnace room.
Step five: the son throws his father, the King, into the grave – but oh no! He falls in too!
From ‘Pretiosa margarita : novella de thesauro, ac pretiosissimo philosophorum lapide’ by Giano Lacinio, 1546, Venice. (Maddison Collection 2B7, F10528400)

Step six: the son tries to escape but is prevented from doing so. Step seven: the son and King's ashes putrefy. From 'Pretiosa margarita : novella de thesauro, ac pretiosissimo philosophorum lapide' by Giano Lacinio, 1546, Venice. (Maddison Collection 2B7, F10528400)

Step six: the son tries to escape but is prevented from doing so.
Step seven: the son and King’s ashes putrefy.
From ‘Pretiosa margarita : novella de thesauro, ac pretiosissimo philosophorum lapide’ by Giano Lacinio, 1546, Venice. (Maddison Collection 2B7, F10528400)

Step eight: The putrified ashes are inspected.  Step nine: the bones are taken from the tomb. From 'Pretiosa margarita : novella de thesauro, ac pretiosissimo philosophorum lapide' by Giano Lacinio, 1546, Venice. (Maddison Collection 2B7, F10528400)

Step eight: The putrified ashes are inspected.
Step nine: the bones are taken from the tomb.
From ‘Pretiosa margarita : novella de thesauro, ac pretiosissimo philosophorum lapide’ by Giano Lacinio, 1546, Venice. (Maddison Collection 2B7, F10528400)

Step ten: [Complex instructions for turning  bones into purified water, involving subjecting some to heat until they turn black and repeating this until water is acquired]  From 'Pretiosa margarita : novella de thesauro, ac pretiosissimo philosophorum lapide' by Giano Lacinio, 1546, Venice. (Maddison Collection 2B7, F10528400)

Step ten: [Complex instructions for turning bones into purified water, involving subjecting some to heat until they turn black and repeating this until water is acquired]
From ‘Pretiosa margarita : novella de thesauro, ac pretiosissimo philosophorum lapide’ by Giano Lacinio, 1546, Venice. (Maddison Collection 2B7, F10528400)

Step eleven: an angel is sent, and the servants pray for the return of their King.  Step twelve: a second angel places the bones on the earth until they are all thickened. From 'Pretiosa margarita : novella de thesauro, ac pretiosissimo philosophorum lapide' by Giano Lacinio, 1546, Venice. (Maddison Collection 2B7, F10528400)

Step eleven: an angel is sent, and the servants pray for the return of their King.
Step twelve: a second angel places the bones on the earth until they are all thickened.
From ‘Pretiosa margarita : novella de thesauro, ac pretiosissimo philosophorum lapide’ by Giano Lacinio, 1546, Venice. (Maddison Collection 2B7, F10528400)

Step thirteen: the  King rises from his tomb! From 'Pretiosa margarita : novella de thesauro, ac pretiosissimo philosophorum lapide' by Giano Lacinio, 1546, Venice. (Maddison Collection 2B7, F10528400)

Step thirteen: the King rises from his tomb!
From ‘Pretiosa margarita : novella de thesauro, ac pretiosissimo philosophorum lapide’ by Giano Lacinio, 1546, Venice. (Maddison Collection 2B7, F10528400)

Step fourteen: the newly humbled King decides to share his power with his sons and servants. The end.  From 'Pretiosa margarita : novella de thesauro, ac pretiosissimo philosophorum lapide' by Giano Lacinio, 1546, Venice. (Maddison Collection 2B7, F10528400)

Step fourteen: the newly humbled King decides to share his power with his sons and servants. The end.
From ‘Pretiosa margarita : novella de thesauro, ac pretiosissimo philosophorum lapide’ by Giano Lacinio, 1546, Venice. (Maddison Collection 2B7, F10528400)

Like what you see here? Books from the Maddison Collection can be requested through LibrarySearch (for internal University of Kent members only) or by contacting us (for everyone).

This blog post is part three of an ongoing summer series exploring our Maddison Collection; more in depth posts will be coming soon. See here for part one, here for part two and here for part three!

Adventures of our 2018 interns part three

Are you ready for more 17th-18th century adventures in our Maddison Collection? Let’s get stuck in!

Illustration from ' Traittez des baromètres, thermomètres, et notiomètres : ou hygromètres' by Joachim d'Alence, 1688, Amsterdam. (Maddison Collection 2A5, F10456500)

Illustration from ‘Traittez des baromètres, thermomètres, et notiomètres : ou hygromètres’ by Joachim d’Alence, 1688, Amsterdam. (Maddison Collection 2A5, F10456500)

Typescript note noting that Robert Boyle owned this book! 'Traittez des baromètres, thermomètres, et notiomètres : ou hygromètres' by Joachim d'Alence, 1688, Amsterdam. (Maddison Collection 2A5, F10456500)

Typescript note stating that Robert Boyle owned this book! ‘Traittez des baromètres, thermomètres, et notiomètres : ou hygromètres’ by Joachim d’Alence, 1688, Amsterdam. (Maddison Collection 2A5, F10456500)

Manuscript note confirming that Robert Boyle owned this book! 'Traittez des baromètres, thermomètres, et notiomètres : ou hygromètres' by Joachim d'Alence, 1688, Amsterdam. (Maddison Collection 2A5, F10456500)

Manuscript note confirming that Robert Boyle owned this book! ‘Traittez des baromètres, thermomètres, et notiomètres : ou hygromètres’ by Joachim d’Alence, 1688, Amsterdam. (Maddison Collection 2A5, F10456500)

Title page for 'Chimia : in artis formam redacta ubi praeter methodum addiscendi ... chimicas facilimam, disquisitio curata de ... praeparatione, auri potabilis instituitur' by Zacharias Brendel, 1671, Leidel. (Maddison Collection 2A16, F10466900)

Title page for ‘Chimia : in artis formam redacta ubi praeter methodum addiscendi … chimicas facilimam, disquisitio curata de … praeparatione, auri potabilis instituitur’ by Zacharias Brendel, 1671, Leiden. (Maddison Collection 2A16, F10466900)

Illustration from 'Chimia : in artis formam redacta ubi praeter methodum addiscendi ... chimicas facilimam, disquisitio curata de ... praeparatione, auri potabilis instituitur' by Zacharias Brendel, 1671, Leiden. (Maddison Collection 2A16, F10466900)

Illustration from ‘Chimia : in artis formam redacta ubi praeter methodum addiscendi … chimicas facilimam, disquisitio curata de … praeparatione, auri potabilis instituitur’ by Zacharias Brendel, 1671, Leiden. (Maddison Collection 2A16, F10466900)

Illustration from 'Des getreuen Eckharts entlauffener Chymicus : ... der Laboranten und Process-Krämer Bossheit und Betrügerey ...' by Johann Christoph Ettner, 1697, Augsberg and Leipzig. (Maddison Collection 2A24, F10610300)

Illustration from ‘Des getreuen Eckharts entlauffener Chymicus : … der Laboranten und Process-Krämer Bossheit und Betrügerey …’ by Johann Christoph Ettner, 1697, Augsberg and Leipzig. (Maddison Collection 2A24, F10610300)

Diagram from ' The art of distillation : or, a treatise of the choicest spagiricall preparations ... furnaces & vessels ... experiments and curiosities ...anatomy of gold and silver' by John French, 1653, London. (Maddison Collection 2A25, F10505800)

Diagram from ‘The art of distillation : or, a treatise of the choicest spagiricall preparations … furnaces & vessels … experiments and curiosities …anatomy of gold and silver’ by John French, 1653, London. (Maddison Collection 2A25, F10505800)

Diagram from ' The art of distillation : or, a treatise of the choicest spagiricall preparations ... furnaces & vessels ... experiments and curiosities ...anatomy of gold and silver' by John French, 1653, London. (Maddison Collection 2A25, F10505800)

Diagram from ‘The art of distillation : or, a treatise of the choicest spagiricall preparations … furnaces & vessels … experiments and curiosities …anatomy of gold and silver’ by John French, 1653, London. (Maddison Collection 2A25, F10505800)

Diagram from ‘The art of distillation : or, a treatise of the choicest spagiricall preparations … furnaces & vessels … experiments and curiosities …anatomy of gold and silver’ by John French, 1653, London. (Maddison Collection 2A25, F10505800)

Diagram from ' The art of distillation : or, a treatise of the choicest spagiricall preparations ... furnaces & vessels ... experiments and curiosities ...anatomy of gold and silver' by John French, 1653, London. (Maddison Collection 2A25, F10505800)

Diagram from ‘The art of distillation : or, a treatise of the choicest spagiricall preparations … furnaces & vessels … experiments and curiosities …anatomy of gold and silver’ by John French, 1653, London. (Maddison Collection 2A25, F10505800)

Like what you see here? Books from the Maddison Collection can be requested through LibrarySearch (for internal University of Kent members only) or by contacting us (for everyone).

This blog post is part three of an ongoing summer series exploring our Maddison Collection; more in depth posts will be coming soon. See here for part one and here for part two!