New Acquisition: Incunable Book of Hours

December 2017: An exceptionally rare and beautiful book of hours has been acquired by the library's Department of Special Collections and University Archives: L’Heures a l’usaige de Romme, Parigi: Philippe Pigouchet per Simon Vostre, 8 Agosto, 1497.

Thiis small volume, printed in Latin and French, appears to be one of only six extant copies in the world. Unlike most of these other copies, ours is complete, with the exception of 3 missing pages.  

Extraordinary miniatures and borders fill the book, depicting scenes from the Bible and daily life. Panels of the calendar borders for each month contain signs of the Zodiac and vignettes of seasonal labors. Other panels feature a variety of plants, structures, animals, and grotesque figures. 

This is truly an outstanding addition to our growing collection of incunabula—books that were mechanically printed prior to 1501, during the very earliest use of the printing press in Europe.

To inquire about or view this rare book, contact Amy Cooper Cary, head of the Department of Special Collections and University Archives.

Detail from the Book of Hours showing mermaid

Page from the Book of Hours