Recipes, Remedies, and Rituals: Rare Book Botanicals, 1500s–1800s

Recipes, Remedies, and Rituals

Rare Book Botanicals, 1500s–1800s

Collaboration and the exchange of botanical information were the foundation for these indexed and richly illustrated volumes which defined the relationship between humans and the natural world.

Authors drew readers into the pages of books in this exhibition, with layers of translations, additions, and annotations which personalized herbal recipes, medical remedies, and gardening rituals. These literary conversations reveal confidence in encyclopedic narratives and expectations that locally sourced old and new plant varieties were beneficial for mind, body, and soul. Explore selections of bound printed and manuscript works representing crowdsourced Western botanical knowledge accumulated during the Renaissance through the Victorian era.

On loan from the Collection of the Morris County Park Commission, Elizabeth Donnell Kay Rare Book Collection Julia Appleton Cross, Horticultural Reference Library Frelinghuysen Arboretum, Morristown, NJ.

Image Credit: “Poinsettia Pulcherrima (Showy Poinsettia),” Paxton’s Magazine of Botany and Register of Flowering Plants IV, no. XLI, edited by Joseph Paxton (London: Published by W. S. Orr & Co., Paternoster Row, 1838), 95-96. Courtesy of the Morris County Park Commission.

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