The "Tradescant Collection" of the Ashmolean Museum is an online exhibition about some of the surviving objects from the Tradescant Collection of rarities, with information placing the collection in its historical context. The Tradescant Collection was presented by Elias Ashmole to the University of Oxford in 1677, and constituted the nucleus of the Ashmolean Museum, which opened in 1683. The surviving objects from the collection are still housed in the Museum in the Tradescant Room. This website includes sections covering: the Cabinet of Curiosities; the John Tradescants; the Tradescant Collection; 'Musaeum Tradescantium', the first catalogue of the collection, published in 1656; the Tradescant Room; and a brief list of suggestions for further reading. In addition the site makes available images of 22 surviving items from the collection, together with the full accompanying entries from the 1985 catalogue, 'Tradescant's Rarities'. The objects include portraits of the Tradescants and items from the Americas such as 'Powhatan's mantle'. The images may be enlarged. The Collection was formed in the first half of the seventeenth century by John Tradescant the Elder, gardener to the nobility and royalty, and by his son John Tradescant the Younger. On their travels both men acquired rare objects, both man-made curiosities and items from the natural world. This collection is an example of the cabinet of curiosities, or 'Wunderkammer'. This resource is linked to by the web page for the Further Subject on 'Court Culture and Art in Early Modern Europe, 1580-1700', which is part of the Modern History BA degree course at the University of Oxford. However, it is also of considerable general interest, and would be useful to students and teachers at many levels. The site is now archived.
The Web Site "Wirtualna historia książki i bibliotek (Virtual history of the book and of libraries) is an excellent and extremely well-illustrated site in Polish. Compiled by Stanisław Skórka of the Akademia Pedagogiczna, in Cracow, the site describes itself as a portal with sections on the history of the book, history of writing, important historical libraries, biographies, and sources. The history of the book section contains images of and commentary on famous early works from Poland, Egypt, Mesopotamia, Ireland, Rome, and Byzantium among others. It also covers papyrus and paper. The History of Writing section focuses on Egypt, Central America, writing implements, Arab countries, scribes, and Europe. There are features on ancient, islamic and medieval libraries, as well as those of the Polish monasteries of the Cistercians at Mogiła and the Benedictines at Tyniec. At the time of cataloguing the biography section had only a few entries. This is a wonderful site for all those who are interested in the history of the book, Polish Studies, or who want to see a superb online exhibition of beautifully reproduced books and manuscripts.