Teaching with Type: Design for the Renaissance Grammar Classroom

A lecture to be given by Paul F. Gehl, as part of the Johns Hopkins University Fall Special Collections Seminar Series. October 18, 2017, 5:15PM | Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore Homewood Campus, Brody Learning Commons Macksey Seminar Room, 2043, M-Level RSVP to Shellie Dolan at libraryfriends@jhu.edu or 410.516.7943 Textbooks — defined as instructional tools intended for use in…

Learned Spider's Epitaph

A Learned Spider’s Epitaph

“Here laid down, a small spider, caught resting between the lines of a long night’s lessons, now like a curious letterform…” For nearly two centuries, it’s possible this little insect has been buried here, in the second edition of Edward Everett’s translation of Buttmann’s Greek grammar. Everett, the Greek scholar, United States congressman, pastor, professor, diplomat (the list goes on) is remembered as one of the great American orators of his time.

The Art of Grammar: Buno’s Neue Lateinische Grammatica 1651

In 1651, a highly unconventional Latin grammar was published in Gdańsk, Poland. Written in German by Johann Buno and entitled “Neue Lateinische Grammatica in Fabeln und Bildern” (A New Latin Grammar in Stories and Illustrations), the book includes ten extremely unusual grammatical engravings. Ostensibly designed to aid understanding and memorization, the engravings are richly detailed and include strange, exotic, and sometimes violent imagery.

Harvey's Grammar Cookbook

Adjectives, Doughnuts in Rhyme, and Excellent White Bread

I recently stumbled across an unusual copy of Thomas Wadleigh Harvey’s Elementary Grammar and Composition.The book has been almost entirely repurposed, with the text obscured by newspaper clippings of recipes and remedies that look to be mostly late 19th century. Recipes for all your old favorites can be found in its pages—mush, corn pone, doughnuts in rhyme, Philadelphia puffs, cod balls, and of course, excellent white bread.