In the libraries and archives everywhere, photographer Joan Fontcuberta sought out old books that have been victims of censorship. Here is a few examples of her findings.
A French translation of L’Arcenal de Chirurgie by German surgeon Johannes Scultetus (1595-1645), one of the outstanding surgeons of the 17th century, is another book in Fontcuberta‘s collection.The book describes and illustrates an arsenal of surgical equipment, methods of treatment of common ailments, and even two human monsters.
Images of censored pages:
Sebastian Münster (1488 – 1552) was a German cartographer, cosmographer and a Christian Hebraist scholar. His magnum opus, the Cosmographia was written in 1544, and considered to be the earliest German description of the world. The National Library of Spain, Madrid, has an edition of Cosmographia published in Basel in 1550. Pages devoted to Erasmus looking like this:
Conrad Gessner (1516 – 1565) wrote his Mithridates, de differentiis linguarum […] obseruationes in 1555. Although this is a volume of modest length, its author intended for it to be a comprehensive survey of the world’s languages. The vastness of Gessner’s scholarship yields a cumulative index – both of the direct sources of the Mithridates and of authors quoted – in excess of 150 names, cited more than 500 times.
National Library of Spain, Madrid, has a Mithridate published in Zurich in 1610 with a title page looking like this:
The letter starts: “Brilliant and noble Peter de Bredenrode, adviser to the united confederation of Belgian regions, ambassador to Germany.
I suggest to you, oh virtuous man, the fruit of our most glorious gift — Gessner’s “Mithridates” (what a work and what a man!) etc.
Someone must’ve been a lesser admirer of a noble Peter de Bredenrode and obliterated his name from the title page.