Guest Post by Brooke Jackson
For this week’s blog post, I have decided to share some of my personal favorite books which I have cataloged or come across during my time at Vanderbilt, as this is the last week of my internship! Looking back on this internship, I’ve come across many interesting rare books from the University of Nashville collection. Characteristics of these books include being hand-made, containing vellum covers, marbled paper and edges, printer’s devices, closures such as book claps, engravings, misnumbered pages, and more, all while ranging from the late 1500s to the early 1900s.
The book above, titled Aditus syriæ reclusus by Johann Andreas Danz, (Call Number: UNASH 0140) is about the Syriac language (although it is written in Latin). Syriac is a form of Aramaic, that was once spoken throughout the Middle East from the 4th to the 8th centuries, but declined in the 14th century (Mardutho, 2017). Since the book was published in 1700, all of the symbols and shapes that make up the Syriac alphabet was hand carved to print upon the pages!