Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Exhibiting Valvasor

Years ago a friend and I wrote to the Royal Library in Copenhagen suggesting that they arranged an exhibition of books relating to vampires. Well, we got a polite no, but I still think it is a promising idea. One of the books in the collections of the library that should be included in an exhibition like this one is the magnificent book Die Ehre des Hertzogthums Crain by Johann Weichard Valvasor published in 1689.

In an earlier post I have reprinted a small portion from this book while discussing the shepherd of Blov, but a digitalized edition of the whole book is available here. The link goes directly to the page where you will find the excerpt that I reprinted from my old photocopy in my post.

Reading a digital book on the internet certainly isn't like holding the book in your hands, but the digital edition of Valvasor does allow you to study all the nice engravings that are included in this large format book, and you can do so 24/7 all around the globe, so I'm not complaining. But the book would be ideal in an exhibition of vampire books!

The Royal Library in co-operation with libraries in a number of EU countries is offering eBooks on demand (EOD), which means that the first one to order a book pays a fee to have the digital book made, whereas future users can use the eBook for free! As the fee is pretty low, it is hopefully a very handy way of getting books digitized for the benefit of everyone interested in old books!


Anthony Hogg said...

Funnily enough, I was recently wondering if Valvasor's work was online.

There seems to be a growing trend for archaic vampire works to be put online!

I wonder if Rzaczynski's 1721 Historia naturalis curiosa regni Poloniae is out there, too...

Niels K. Petersen said...

I can't remember seeing an online version of that one. Unfortunately, there is still no easy way of locating e-books, so it may be out there. This Polish site does contain a couple of pages, but sadly they are hard to read.

Anthony Hogg said...

Cheers for that. I hope it does go online soon.

It looks like we're in a bit of a new age, for all these obscure vampire works to start being publicly available. It never ceases to amaze me.

You previously mentioned a Danish Document Delivery Service, if I'm not mistaken. It seems to be leading the vanguard!

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