Mummy Printing in the Rare Book Collection

Cover of Seyppel’s Christoph Columbus Logbuch, likely printed in 1890 | PT2639.E9 C47 1890z

Recently added to the Rare Book Collection and now fully cataloged is Carl Maria Seyppel’s Christoph Columbus Logbuch, or Christopher Columbus’ logbook, one of a number of Mumiendrucke (mummy prints) created by the German author and artist. Some scholars believe that Seyppel’s work was a forerunner for the modern comic, and looking through this particular piece and others that have been digitized, that seems a valid assumption (Grüner 7). A Mumiendruck is a work that has been printed on paper and processed to look old, even adding elements, such as sand and seaweed in this case, to add to the aura of aging. The paper is deliberately destroyed and stained to make it appear older than it actually is. Carl Maria Seyppel is the most prominent figure in this form of book-making. Continue reading “Mummy Printing in the Rare Book Collection”

A Family Affair: Lewis David de Schweinitz’s Drawings of Fungi

Title page of Lewis David von Schweinitz, Drawings of fungi (1805–1816) | QK608.G4 S39 v.4

One of the newest additions to the stacks of UNC’s Rare Book Collection at Wilson Library is the unpublished manuscript fourth volume of David Lewis de Schweinitz’s Fungorum Niskiensium Icones, or Drawings of fungi. The volume was separated from a larger set of volumes and a portfolio of additional drawings, which are held by the library of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia. Together with the four volumes and portfolio, the Wilson volume is the only extant set of this work. This leaves the question: why were these volumes separated? Continue reading “A Family Affair: Lewis David de Schweinitz’s Drawings of Fungi”