From the treasury
16th century metropolises: Braun’s & Hogenberg’s Civitates orbis terrarum

In the 16th century a lot of travelling was done. Save the pilgrims, the number of travelers was higher than ever. Tradesmen, students, ‘tourists’ and other adventurers went from one place to the other in steadily increasing numbers. Cities were most visited, at the time the centres of trade and social life. The interest in cities was at least as great as the interest in countries and regions. Therefore it is no surprise that – two years after the publication of the first modern world atlas in 1570, the Theatrum orbis terrarum by Abraham Ortelius – a book came on the market that tried to describe and depict every city in the world: the Civitates orbis terarrum.

Recently digitized
A Renaissance herbal owned by a noble lady

Den nieuwen herbarius is the Dutch version of a Renaissance herbal that marks an important step in the history of botany: De historia stirpium commentarii insignes (Notable commentaries on the history of plants), compiled by the German physician and botanist Leonhart Fuchs (1501-1566). There are two copies of Den nieuwen herbarius at Utrecht University Library, with shelfmarks Rariora qu 236 and ALV 162-459. The copy discussed here, Rariora qu 236, had an eminent female owner at some point in the sixteenth or early seventeenth century, as indicated in the hand-written phrase “Herbarius toebehoorende vrouwe Henrica van Egmondt vrouwe tot Warmont” (Herbal belonging to the Lady Henrica of Egmond, Lady of Warmond) on the endpaper connecting to the front cover.