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German Studies Materials in the Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library: Alchemy, Science, and Medicine

History of Medicine Collections: Popular Searches

The Duke University History of Medicine Collections acquire, preserve, interpret, and make available for research and instruction materials documenting the history of medicine in the global context of the Westen medical tradition. The collections seek to bring historical perspectives to bear on contemporary health issues and to facilitate an interdisciplinary understanding of the history of medicine. Many of these items are in German or were published in Germany, especially from 1450-1850.

Click here to search for "History of Medicine" anywhere in the Rubenstein catalog and to limit the search using German in the language field to find many fascinating resources.

Click here to search for "History of Medicine Collections (Duke University)" in the Author field in the Rubenstein catalog, and limit in the same way.

Or search the entire Rubenstein Library's catalog here for a more specific keyword, subject, author, or title, and limit the results according to your needs. 

History of Medicine Collections: Highlights

Below are some important pieces in our collection:

Feldtbuch der Wundt Artzney : sampt des Menschen Cörpers Anatomey, unnd Chirurgischen Instrumenten, wahrhafftig Abcontrafeyt, und beschrieben ...  Hans von Gersdorff. Franckfurdt am Mayn : durch Hermann Gülfferichen, 1551:

A 16th century surgical guide for wounds, especially wounds from battle. This copy contains contemporary hand colored illustrations.

Hebammen Buch, daraus man alle Heimligkeit desz weiblichen Geschlechts erlehrnen, welcherley Gestalt der Mensch in Mutter Leib empfangen, zunimpt unnd geboren wirdt ... Sampt einem nützlichen Angang, von Cur und Pflegung der newgebornen Kindtlein. Jakob Rüff.  Franckfort am Mayn : [S. Feyerabendt], 1588:

Book pertaining to obstetrics, infertility, and abnormalities.

Ophthalmodouleia, das ist Augendienst : newer und wolgegründter Bericht von Ursachen und Erkentnüs aller Gebrechen, Schäden und Mängel der Augen und des Gesichtes, wie man solchen anfenglich mit gebürlichen Mitteln begegenen, vorkommen und wehren, auch wie man alle solche Gebresten künstlich durch Artzney, Instrument und Handgrieffe curiren, wircken und vertreiben sol ... George Bartisch.  [Dreszden : Matthes Stöckel], 1583:

One of the earliest works on ophthalmology. The History of Medicine’s copy is one of four or five worldwide to have contemporary hand colored illustrations. This work also contains three dimensional anatomical flaps of the eye and the brain.

Paracelsus. Opus chyrurgicum : des weitberumbten Hochgelehrten und Erfarnen Aureoli Theophrasti Paracelsi medici &c., Wund vnd Artzney Buch ... Getruckt zu Franckfurt am Mayn : durch Martin Lechler in Verlegung Sigmund Feyrabends vnd Simon Hüters, 1565:

First illustrated edition, with woodcuts by Jost Amman, of Paracelus’s Grosse Wundartzney, his most important medical text, and a highly influential edition.

Contact Rachel Ingold for more information about our History of Medicine collections!

Pages From Bartisch's Opthalmodouleia

This work is full of beautiful, intricate, and slightly creepy illustrations of opthamological knowledge and practice from the 16th century. The picture on the left includes flaps that can be lifted up to see deeper into the eye; there are several other such interactive illustrations in this work.

History of Alchemy and Science: Popular Searches

The David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manusript Library also has very strong collecting interests in works of early science and alchemy, many of which are published in German or in Germany.

Begin a search in the Rubenstein's catalog for works in German using subject headings such as "alchemy," "magic," and "science." You can then limit your results according to publication date, additional subjects headings, and format, among others.

From Kupfer-Bibel

History of Alchemy and Science: Highlights

Aureum vellus, oder, Guldin Schatz und Kunstkam̃er : darinnen der aller fürnemisten, fürtreffenlichsten, ausserlesenesten, herrlichisten und bewehrtestẽ Auctorum Schrifften und Bücher ...

We have many items related to Paracelsus and alchemy; the item above is a good place to begin.

Jacob Biernauers nutzbares Kunst-Buchlein, so wieder von neuem übersehen worden. Jacob Biernauer. [Germany? : s.n., 181-?]:

The listing above is for a Provincial German Book of Secrets. It covers poisons, baldness, medicine, ghosts, fish en papillote, blond hair dye, snaring wild fowl, gilding, verifying virginity, making wine, unbreakable glass, and colors.

Kupfer-Bibel, in welcher die Physica sacra, oder, geheiligte Natur-wissenschafft derer in Heil. Schrifft natürlichen Sachen deutlich erklärt und bewährt.  Johann Jakob Scheuchzer.  Augspurg ; Ulm : Gedruckt by Christian Ulrich Wagner, 1731-1735:

This work contains four illustrated volumes that combine biblical interpretation with natural history.