Thursday, April 26, 2018

Money! Knowledge! Geography! — Tracking Vesalius's Fabrica

Coming up for air just briefly to post a fun project with Dániel Margócsy tracking the spread of Andreas Vesalius's famous De humani corporis fabrica — the foundational work of the Western anatomical tradition — from 1600 to the present. Dániel and his collaborators have just published a book about their findings, and I helped map their data to show how copies of the Fabrica have been gradually displaced away from their European birthplace. The big shift happened when the new money of the US, and later Japan, began collecting old books as prestige objects.

Some bonus charts also appear in an article in Slate about how the Fabrica was read — especially for the sexy bits.