Monday, January 27, 2014

The 16th century version of Kindle - it gives you six books in one!

It looks like I'm not the only one who disliked having to carry around a lot of books. Back in the mid-16th century a German publisher created this six books in a book, where you can open it up in different ways to read the different texts.

This particular book is owned by the National Library of Sweden, and it contains religious texts including one by Martin Luther. You can see more images of it from the Flikr page of the National Library of Sweden, but if you want to see it in action, check out Erik Kwakkel's Tumblr! You can also follow him on Twitter @erik_kwakkel

Monday, January 20, 2014

A Kangaroo in a 16th century manuscript?

An image from a 16th century Portuguese manuscript may indicate that Europeans visited Australia earlier than previously thought.

A drawing that appears to show a kangaroo has been found in the manuscript belonging to a Portuguese nun. The small manuscript, which dates from between 1580 and 1620, has recently been acquired by Les Enluminures Gallery of New York.

Laura Light, a researcher from Les Enluminures Gallery, told the Sydney Morning Herald, "A kangaroo or a wallaby in a manuscript dated this early is proof that the artist of this manuscript had either been in Australia, or even more interestingly, that travellers' reports and drawings of the interesting animals found in this new world were already available in Portugal."

While it is commonly believed that the first Europeans to reach Australia in 1606 were Dutch, some historians suggest that the Portuguese visited the continent as early as 1521.

Click here to read the full article from the Sydney Morning Herald