New Acquisitions for the W. Bruce Fye History of Medicine Library

Two new volumes were recently added to the W. Bruce Fye History of Medicine Library using funds from the Laurence and Hazel McColl Endowment Fund.

Details about these new books follow:


The Surgeons Mate or Military and Domestique Surgery

The Surgeons Mate or Military and Domestique Surgery

Woodall, John.  The Surgeons Mate or Military and Domestique Surgery.  London, Rob: Young for Nicholas Bourne, 1639.

The first book for naval surgeons in its original English binding.

A contemporary of Harvey, Woodall was surgeon to St. Bartholomew’s Hospital and to the East India Company.  His Surgeons Mate was widely used by surgeons on land and at sea for many years.  In it Woodall gives details of his methods of amputation.  He recommended amputation through healthy tissue but “most of the discussion of the subject in his Surgeons Mate (1639) concerned division through the upper level of the dead tissue.  Woodall explained that such excision was painless and that after a limb had been removed the surgeon could whittle away the dead tissue until it was almost gone; two or three men sufficed to help with the operation” (Wangensteen and Wangensteen, The Rise of Surgery, p. 18).

Published over a century before the appearance of James Lind’s famous classic, A Treatise on Scurvy (1753), this is the earliest medical work to give an account of the use of citrus fruits for the prevention of scurvy at sea.  ‘Woodall knew the value of limes, lemons, and oranges, and gave them a prominent place in his account of the treatment of scurvy … [and the book] was made required reading for all naval surgeons in the East India Company’ (Garrison-Morton).

De Sterilitate utriusque sexus, opus in quatuor libros distributum

            Medical Instruments foldout from The Surgeons Mate




Hucher, Jean.  De Sterilitate utriusque sexus, opus in quatuor libros distributum: cui annexus est liber de diaeta et theraphia puerorum.  [Geneva,] Gabriel Cartier, 1609.


Sterility continued as a subject of major interest throughout the [seventeenth] century.  Jean Hucher, Chancellor at the University of Montpellier, wrote on sterility of both sexes.  Louise Bourgeois discussed the problem from various angles in 1609 under the title Observations divers sur la stérilité.  Daniel Sennert of Wittenberg (1572-1637) in his Opera made the amusing statement that sterility was due to “imbecility” of the uterus.  François Blondel (1613-1703) of Liège argued that small lean women were more fecund than large adipose ones.  However, of all these works Hucher’s is by far the most extensive and thorough.  He includes discussions of superfoetation and monstrous births, and hydrocephalus in children.

These and hundreds of other unique and rare titles are housed in the W. Bruce Fye History of Medicine Library.

Submitted by Hilary J. Lane
Instructor in History of Medicine
Coordinator – W. Bruce Fye History of Medicine Library

March 31, 2017 at 10:59 am Leave a comment

New Interactive Emeritus Staff Kiosk in Mayo Archives

Emeritus Staff Kiosk ScreenA new interactive display is available to staff, patients, and visitors on Plummer 3. Located in the W. Bruce Fye Center for the History of Medicine, the Emeritus Staff Biographies Interactive Kiosk contains short biographical sketches of all Emeritus Staff (physician and administrative), as well as those who died while in practice at Mayo.

The biographies collection was started decades ago by Mayo’s first archivist, Clark W. Nelson. Initially housed in binders, the collection eventually grew so large that the decision was made to transfer it to digital format for ease of accessibility. The clinic’s cabinetry shop designed and built a handsome cabinet matching the woodwork in the Historical Suite to house the kiosk. Over the course of a year and a half, all of the biographies were entered into a WordPress database, which now contains almost 1,500 entries.

We hope you will have an opportunity to come see the new display and read about some of the fascinating individuals who have contributed to Mayo’s rich history. You can also access the kiosk content online .

Submitted to LibLog by:
Nicole Babcock
Historical Archives Specialist
W. Bruce Fye Center for the History of Medicine

March 7, 2017 at 3:17 pm Leave a comment

MLA Oral History Project features J. Michael Homan, Director Emeritus of the Mayo Clinic Libraries

J. Michael Homan

The Medical Library Association has an extensive Oral History Project, featuring interviews with influential people in the field of medical librarianship. J. Michael Homan, AHIP, FMLA, Director Emeritus of the Mayo Clinic Libraries, was interviewed by Rick B. Forsman, FMLA in late 2015, and the completed transcript of the interview is now available for download. A summary of highlights is also available at the MLA’s website. Homan served as Director of Libraries at the Mayo Clinic from 1994 until he retired in 2014.


March 1, 2017 at 11:01 am Leave a comment

More New Library Staff

New Staff Joining the Mayo Clinic Libraries in January

leslieJanuary 16th, 2017, Leslie Hassett joined the Mayo Clinic Libraries; she will serve as one of the Plummer Library’s Health Sciences Outreach Librarians.  Leslie moved to Rochester from Port Orchard, Washington, where she had been a Librarian for Olympic College since 2007. Prior employment included serving as a Medical Librarian for Loma Linda University from 1987-2005. Leslie holds a Master of Library and Information Science degree from the University of California, Los Angeles and a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Political Science from California State University, Northridge. Leslie loves performing complex literature searches to assist people in their research and enjoys teaching advanced literature searching techniques.  Leslie is also an award winning gourd artist. She shows and sells her work in juried fine art shows. Most recently, in December 2016, she was in the Bainbridge Island Studio Tour in Washington State. Leslie’s art website is

February 2, 2017 at 5:03 pm Leave a comment

New Platform for Journal Citation Reports

Journal Citation Reports will soon be migrating to the InCites platform where you can find new metrics, reports, and visualizations for analyzing journal impact and performance.  Take a quick tour of the new interface.  Questions? Contact the Mayo Library.

January 31, 2017 at 2:52 pm Leave a comment

Announcing New Library Staff


Effective December 14th, Julie Taylor is now serving in the Plummer Library as a Health Sciences Outreach Librarian.  Julie comes to the Plummer Library after seven years of working in Mayo’s Patient Libraries, primarily serving at the St. Marys Patients’ Library. Julie has a Master of Library and Information Science from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee and a Bachelor of Science degree in Vocational Rehabilitation. Julie is a Dragon Boat paddler and paddles at various races and festivals in the Midwest.  She is looking forward to paddling in Florence, Italy in 2018.



Matthew B. Hoy also joins the Plummer Library in December, serving as the Associate Director of the Mayo Clinic Libraries. After serving in Eau Claire, Wisconsin at the Mayo Clinic Health System since 2003, Matt has joined the library team in Rochester. Matt’s credentials include a Master of Library and Information Studies degree from the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa and Bachelor of Arts in English and Technical Writing from the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire. His research interests include alternative publishing models and emerging library technologies.  He is also an avid gamer and a fan of trivia.

December 27, 2016 at 11:34 am

The oldest book in the Mayo Library

liber-serapionisThe oldest title in the Rare Book Collection of the W. Bruce Fye History of Medicine Library is Liber Serapionis aggregatus in medicinis simplicibus (translated as The Book of Simple Medicaments) by the Arabian physician Ibn Sarabi (also known as Serapion, Johannes, the Younger), who was one of the most influential authors for the development of medical theory and practice, and for the Arabic medical tradition in general.

This title was translated from the Arabic into Latin about 1292. In the first part Serapion classifies substances according to their medicinal properties and discusses their actions. The second part is a compilation of the works of Dioscorides, an army doctor in the reigns of Caludius, Nero and Galen. There is also mention of around 40 other Greek and Arabian authors.

(Submitted by Hilary Lane, History of Medicine Library specialist)

December 7, 2016 at 11:37 am

From the History of Medicine Collection: The Mayo Clinic in Comic Strips

Dr Polley with part of his collection of Mayo Clinic comic strips

Dr Polley with his collection

The W. Bruce Fye History of Medicine Library collects more than just books.  Some of the more interesting items in the collection are comic strips.  In 1983
Dr. Howard F. Polley (1913-2001) donated his collection of cartoons referencing the Mayo Clinic to the library.  Whenever Dr. Polley saw or heard about about a cartoon that mentioned the Mayo Clinic, he contacted the cartoonists and asked if they would be willing to donate an original or printed signed copy for his unique collection.  His collection comprises approximately 82 cartoons and is currently housed in the History of Medicine Library .  The library continues to gather these cartoons and add them to the collection.




The following comics are a small part of the Dr. Polley’s collection:

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October 21, 2016 at 10:22 am

New Exhibit at the W. Bruce Fye History of Medicine Library: Treasures from the Browsing Collection of Henry S. Plummer, M.D.

dr-plummer-bas-reliefDr. Henry S. Plummer, Mayo’s very own Renaissance man, harbored a dream for the Mayo Clinic Library.  He believed physicians who had completed their medical training were in danger of thinking there was nothing in the world but medicine.  His passion was to establish a special collection of fine editions in art, literature, history, travel and philosophy for Mayo physicians to enjoy at their leisure.  Sadly, Dr. Plummer did not live long enough to see his dream fulfilled but his devotion to this idea, and his discriminating taste, live on in what is affectionately called the “Browsing Collection”.

This special collection was opened in April, 1937 and many of these beautiful leather bound books were purchased by Dr. Plummer or were gifts from his personal library.

From the day the Browsing Collection was made available it was a favorite spot with physicians.  There were frequent winter afternoons when all chairs in the room were occupied.  The Browsing Collection was originally housed on the 12th floor and later moved to Plummer Hall to allow more space for study and reflection.

history-of-medicine-libraryThis exhibit was part of Mayo Clinic Heritage Days and displayed in Plummer Hall Saturday, October 1st.  It has now been re-assembled in the W. Bruce Fye History of Medicine Library on Plummer 15 for staff and visitors to enjoy.  Viewing hours are between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. Monday through Friday.


Submitted to LibLog by:
Hilary J. Lane
Instructor in History of Medicine
Coordinator – W. Bruce Fye History of Medicine Library

October 7, 2016 at 9:59 am

Recent publications and scholarly activity by Mayo Clinic Libraries staff

Mayo Clinic Libraries staff frequently publish in both the library and medical literature.  Some of the publications library staff were involved in the last 6 months are listed below. Library staff names are noted in bold text. To see more publications by library staff, visit the Mayo Authors Database.

Publications Primarily Authored By Library Staff

Brigham, TJ. Feast for the Eyes: An Introduction to Data Visualization. Medical Reference Services Quarterly, 35(2), 215–23.

Hoy, MB. Smart Buildings: An Introduction to the Library of the Future. Medical Reference Services Quarterly, 35(3), 626-31.

Lisa A. Marks, Diana Almader-Douglas, and Diana Rogers. Drop-in Fridays: Literature Searching for All. Journal of Hospital Librarianship. 16(4), 1–6. (IN PRESS).

Publications with Library Staff Credited as Authors

Altarabsheh SE, Deo SV, Dunlay SM, Obeidat YM, Erwin PJ, Rababa’h A, Sarabhu N, Navale S, Cho YH, Lamba HK, Markowitz AH, Park SJ. Tissue valves are preferable for patients with end-stage renal disease: an aggregate meta-analysis. Journal of Cardiac Surgery.  2016 Jul 8.

Asi N, Mohammed K, Haydour Q, Gionfriddo MR, Vargas OL, Prokop LJ, Faubion SS, Murad MH. Progesterone vs. synthetic progestins and the risk of breast cancer: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Syst Rev. 2016 Jul 26;5(1):121.

Bellolio MF, Puls HA, Anderson JL, Gilani WI, Murad MH, Barrionuevo P, Erwin PJ, Wang Z, Hess EP. Incidence of adverse events in paediatric procedural sedation in the emergency department: a systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ Open. 2016;6(6):e011384.

Benkhadra K, Alahdab F, Tamhane SU, McCoy RG, Prokop LJ, Murad MH. Continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion versus multiple daily injections in individuals with type 1 diabetes: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Endocrine. 2016 Aug 1.

Boehmer KR, Barakat S, Ahn S, Prokop LJ, Erwin PJ, Murad MH. Health coaching interventions for persons with chronic conditions: a systematic review and meta-analysis protocol. Syst Rev. 2016 Sep 1;5(1):146.

Brewer JD, Gonzalez AB, Baum CL, Arpey CJ, Roenigk RK, Otley CC, Erwin PJ. Comparison of Sterile vs Nonsterile Gloves in Cutaneous Surgery and Common Outpatient Dental Procedures: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. JAMA Dermatology. 2016 Aug 3.

Cintron D, Rodriguez-Gutierrez R, Serrano V, Latortue-Albino P, Erwin PJ, Murad MH. Effect of estrogen replacement therapy on bone and cardiovascular outcomes in women with turner syndrome: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Endocrine. 2016 Jul 29;

Cintron D, Lipford M, Larrea-Mantilla L, Spencer-Bonilla G, Lloyd R, Gionfriddo MR, Gunjal S, Farrell AM, Miller VM, Murad MH. Efficacy of menopausal hormone therapy on sleep quality: systematic review and meta-analysis. Endocrine. 2016 Aug 11.

Eckert R, Huberty J, Gowin K, Mesa R, Marks L. Physical Activity as a Nonpharmacological Symptom Management Approach in Myeloproliferative Neoplasms: Recommendations for Future Research. Integr Cancer Ther. 2016 Jul 24.

Ellsworth MA, Dziadzko M, O’Horo JC, Farrell AM, Zhang J, Herasevich V. An appraisal of published usability evaluations of electronic health records via systematic review. J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2016 Apr 23.

Heaton HA, Castaneda-Guarderas A, Trotter ER, Erwin PJ, Bellolio MF. Effect of scribes on patient throughput, revenue, and patient and provider satisfaction: a systematic review and meta-analysis. American Journal of  Emergency Medicine. 2016 Jul 28.

Hunt Cl, Nassr A, van Wijnen AJ, Larson AN, Eldrige JS, Mauck WD, Pingree MJ, Erwin PJ, Bydon M, Qu W. Current understanding of safety and efficacy of stem cell therapy for discogenic pain: a systematic review of human studies. Techniques in Regional Anesthesia and Pain Management 2016.

Khera R, Murad MH, Chandar AK, Dulai PS, Wang Z, Prokop LJ, Loomba R, Camilleri M, Singh S. Association of Pharmacological Treatments for Obesity With Weight Loss and Adverse Events: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. JAMA. 2016 Jun 14;315(22):2424-34.

Nelson AD, Camilleri M, Chirapongsathorn S, Vijayvargiya P, Valentin N, Shin A, Erwin PJ, Wang Z, Murad MH. Comparison of efficacy of pharmacological treatments for chronic idiopathic constipation: a systematic review and network meta-analysis. Gut. 2016 Jun 10.

Parsaik AK, Mascarenhas SS, Hashmi A, Prokop LJ, John V, Okusaga O, Singh B. Role of Botulinum Toxin in Depression. J Psychiatr Pract. 2016 Mar;22(2):99-110.

Rajjo T, Almasri J, Al Nofal A, Farah W, Alsawas M, Ahmed A, Mohammed K, Kanwar A, Asi N, Wang Z, Prokop LJ, Murad MH. The Association of Weight Loss with Cardiometabolic Outcomes in Obese Children: Systematic Review and Meta-regression. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2016 Sep.

Shazly SA, Laughlin-Tommaso SK, Breitkopf DM, Hopkins MR, Burnett TL, Green IC, Farrell AM, Murad MH, Famuyide AO. Hysteroscopic Morcellation Versus Resection for the Treatment of Uterine Cavitary Lesions: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. J Minim Invasive Gynecol. 2016 Sep-Oct;23(6):867-77.

Singh B, Hughes AJ, Mehta G, Erwin PJ, Parsaik AK. Efficacy of Prazosin in posttraumatic stress disorder: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Primary Care Companion CNS Disorders 2016; 18(4):16r01943.

Visscher DW, Frost MH, Hartmann LC, Frank RD, Vierkant RA, McCullough AE, Winham SJ, Vachon CM, Ghosh K, Brandt KR, Farrell AM, Tarabishy Y, Hieken TJ, Haddad TC, Kraft RA, Radisky DC, Degnim AC. Clinicopathologic features of breast cancers that develop in women with previous benign breast disease. Cancer. 2016 Feb 1;122(3):378-85.

Yadav H, Peters SG, Keogh KA, Hogan WJ, Erwin PJ, West CP, Kennedy CC. Azithromycin for the Treatment of Obliterative Bronchiolitis Following Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation: a Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Biology of Blood Marrow Transplantation. 2016 Aug 26.

Zaid HB, Parker WP, Safdar NS, Gershman B, Erwin PJ, Murad MH, Boorjian SA, Costello BA, Thompson RH, Leibovich BC. Outcomes following complete surgical metastasectomy for patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Urology. 2016 Jul 26.

Publications with Library Staff Contributions Acknowledged

Wright-Peterson, Virgina M. Women of Mayo Clinic, The Founding Generation.
Dawn Littleton, Renee Ziemer, and the staff of the Mayo Clinic Historical Unit are all acknowledge for their contributions by the author.

Robbins MS, Starling AJ, Pringsheim TM, Becker WJ, Schwedt TJ. Treatment of Cluster Headache: The American Headache Society Evidence-Based Guidelines. Headache. 2016 Jul;56(7):1093-106.  Acknowledgments: We thank Lisa Marks, MLS,AHIP, for her assistance with developing and conducting the literature search”

Paper and Poster Presentations by Library Staff

Brigham TJ, Rethlefsen ML, Farrell AM, Osterhaus Trzasko LC. Librarian Use and Advocacy of Author Tools to Determine Research Impact. Medical Library Association Annual Meeting 2016, 12th International Congress on Medical Librarianship, 8th International Conference of Animal Health Information Specialists, and the 7th International Clinical Librarian Conference; Toronto, ON

Farrell AM,Brigham TJ, Marks LA, Golden AK,Osterhaus Trzasko LC, Schram J, Almader-Douglas D, Bongiorno CM, Hoy M. Building the Big Picture: Creating a Systematic Review Process Across a Multi-Site, Multi-Library System. Medical Library Association Annual Meeting 2016, 12th International Congress on Medical Librarianship, 8th International Conference of Animal Health Information Specialists, and the 7th International Clinical Librarian Conference; Toronto, ON

Marks L, Alamder-Douglas D, Rogers D. Drop in Fridays: Literature Searching for All. Medical Library Association Annual Meeting 2016, 12th International Congress on Medical Librarianship, 8th International Conference of Animal Health Information Specialists, and the 7th International Clinical Librarian Conference; Toronto, ON

Marks L, Attwood C, Pettenati N, Almader-Douglas D. iPads® for Patients: Sharing Authoritative Health Care Resources. Medical Library Association Annual Meeting 2016, 12th International Congress on Medical Librarianship, 8th International Conference of Animal Health Information Specialists, and the 7th International Clinical Librarian Conference; Toronto, ON

To see other publications by library staff, visit the Mayo authors database. (available only on-campus)


September 30, 2016 at 3:30 pm

What are PlumX Metrics?

PlumX1You might have seen this colorful image  recently when searching for citations in the CINAHL database or any of the other EBSCOhost databases. So what is it, what do those different colors mean, and why should researchers care?

What is it?
That colorful image is a “widget” and it provides some interesting and insightful information regarding the scholarly attention surrounding that particular citation. The PlumX Metrics widget, from Plum Analytics, provides metrics that allow searchers to visualize the research impact of articles, books, chapters, e-books and institutional repository materials.

What do those different colors mean?

The colors on the widget change depending on the altmetrics found in each of the five categories: Usage (green), Captures (purple), Mentions (yellow), Social Media (blue) and citations (orange). If more altmetrics data is found in a certain category for an article, the more pronounced the color is shown in the widget. As an example, see both Figures 1 and 2 below – notice how the article in Figure 1 has attracted significantly more attention than the article in Figure 2. Hovering over the PlumX Metrics widget provides a brief visual breakdown of the altmetrics, and clicking on it brings users to the Plum Suite platform for more in-depth information.

Plum analytics screenshot Figure 1

Figure 1

Plum analytics screeshot Figure 2

Figure 2

Why should researchers care?

Traditionally, research or scholarly impact has been measured using a range of different citation metrics, such as journal impact factor or the number of publications that have cited another publication. However, traditional citations metrics are not comprehensive and typically take longer to truly reflect the impact of a publication.

As mentioned above, PlumX metrics are based on altmetrics, which are different than traditional metrics. The concept of altmetrics is fairly new and is a reflection of an increasingly interconnected world. Altmetrics are mainly composed of data gathered from a variety of online tools and environments. Due to this arrangement, most altmetrics are produced quickly and available earlier than traditional metrics. Altmetrics can also provide a greater understanding of how a publication is being used; it can disclose which publications are being read, discussed, saved, and recommended as well as cited. While altmetrics have potential, there are also some limitations preventing their full acceptance alongside traditional citation metrics.

In summary, PlumX metrics harness altmetrics data and provide a simplified, visual indicator of the scholarly and research attention surrounding a particular citation.


For more information about PlumX metrics:

For more information about altmetrics:

Contributed to LibLog by :

Tara Brigham
Winn Dixie Foundation Medical Library
Mayo Clinic Libraries

July 13, 2016 at 3:58 pm

Book Notes: The Mayo Clinic Handbook for Happiness

book cover imageThe first sentence of The Mayo Clinic Handbook for Happiness: A 4-Step Plan for Resilient Living:

“Allow me to start with a silly question – actually, a very silly question.”

The last sentence of this very good handbook:

“The best way to not postpone joy is to make a commitment to kindness – toward others and toward yourself.”

The pages between walk the reader through the four steps of the ten-week plan to a happier, healthier, more peaceful you.


According to the Preface to The Mayo Clinic Handbook for Happiness, the book and the 4-step plan are: scientific, skills-based, simple, scalable, structurally sound, secular, and suited to 21st century living. The book then leads the reader through 3 sections:

  • Section I: Prepare Your Mind
  • Section II: Get Your Feet Wet
  • Section III: Take the Plunge: Introducing the 4-Step, 10-Week Program.

The book is both focused and wide-ranging, and covers topics such as:

  • decrease your load
  • take a moment for gratitude
  • your brain’s 2 modes
  • your mind
  • train your attention
  • cultivate emotional resilience, gratitude, and compassion
  • acceptance
  • meaning
  • forgiveness
  • relationships
  • start a mind-body practice
  • pick healthy habits for a healthier you

Sprinkled throughout the book are many question-and-answer checkboxes, and boxes are provided for the reader to briefly write their thoughts.

The Mayo Clinic Handbook for Happiness: A 4-Step Plan for Resilient Living, by Dr. Amit Sood, guides the reader through a step-by-step practical transition to greater peace, happiness, and kindness to self and others.

Contributed to LibLog by :

Barbara McTighe
Cataloging Department
Plummer Library
Mayo Clinic Libraries

June 15, 2016 at 4:19 pm

Mayo Clinic Libraries Welcome New Executive Director

logo-social-bluwht-mc-212The Mayo Clinic Libraries are pleased to welcome Anna Beth Morgan as their new Executive Director.  Ms. Morgan is filling the vacancy left by J. Michael Homan, who retired in 2015.

Ms. Morgan was previously Associate Vice President for Academic Resources and Director of the Library at Union University in Jackson, Tennessee. Prior to that she served as Director of Medical Library Services for St. John’s Health System in Springfield, Missouri for 21 years. St. John’s, now called Mercy – Springfield, is a very large regional integrated health care system serving a 23-county geographic area in Missouri and Arkansas.

Ms. Morgan earned a Master of Library Science with an emphasis in Health Sciences Librarianship from Texas Woman’s University and a Master of Science in Health Services Administration from Southwest Baptist University.

The library staff look forward to serving the needs of the Mayo community under Ms. Morgan’s leadership.


April 4, 2016 at 10:29 am

New Acquisition in the History of Medicine Library: Bock Kreütterbuch from 1595.

Boch Kreutterbuch Image

Monies from the McColl Endowment Fund for 2016 were used to purchase the following title for the W. Bruce Fye History of Medicine Library:

BOCK, Hieronymus.  Kreütterbuch, darin underscheidt Namen und Würckung der Kreutter, Stauden, Hecken und Bäumen, mit ihren Früchten, so in Teutschen Landen wachsen … Item von den vier Elementen, zamen und wilden Thieren, auch Vögelen und Fischen, Milch, Käss, Butter, Honig, Wachs, Zucher, Saltz, Brot, Wein, Essig, Oeln, Eyer, Blüt, Schmaltz, Unschlit, allerhand Kochkreutter, Specerey, und Gewürtz. Auch wie alle Speiss und Dranck, Gesunden und Krancken, dargereicht werden sollen … Strassburg, Josias Rihel, 1595.


This book is a very attractive colored copy of the final edition of Bock’s great herbal, including the Teutsche Speisskammer, a “gallery” of food and drink preparations both for the healthy and the sick, illustrated by 19 woodcuts depicting food gathering and preparation, markets, wine making, etc., by Tobias Stimmer and Christoph Maurer.

bock kreutterbuch

The first illustrated edition of Bock’s herbal was published in 1546, and contained 468 woodcuts (enlarged to 530 in the 1551 German edition) by David Kandel. Kandel for the most part based his woodcuts on those of Fuchs and Brunfels, but some one hundred are entirely original, and include several with charming genre scenes accompanying the plant depictions, many with his initials.  In this copy all of the woodcuts are in fine contemporary coloring, using water and bodycolors, with careful shading of leaves, etc.  Interestingly, where the woodcut is based on Fuchs, the coloring follows that of the publisher’s colored edition of Fuchs, which was ‘based upon the artist’s original colored drawings made from living specimens’ (Blunt).  The coloring of the present copy has the points set out by Dr. William T. Stearn (in Bibliography and natural history, Thomas R. Buckman ed., Lawrence, Kansas 1966, pp. 3-4) for distinguishing publisher’s coloring in Fuchs from copies colored privately or later.


Bock was one of the ‘fathers of German botany’, the triumvirate that included Brunfels and Fuchs.  As a botanist Bock was their decided superior.  He was not shackled to the classical authority of Dioscorides and Pliny, and therefore could recognize new plants without his perception being clouded by supposed classical precedents.  He pioneered descriptive botany, giving a detailed developmental history of each plant in its stages of growth, and was the first to discuss plant communities, thus foreshadowing the science of ecology.

The Speisskammer was first published in an unillustrated quarto edition in 1550.


Nissen BBI 182; Ritter 220; Johnston 138; Wellcome 914.


Submitted to LibLog by:
Hilary J. Lane
Instructor in History of Medicine
Coordinator – W. Bruce Fye History of Medicine Library

March 28, 2016 at 12:03 pm 1 comment

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