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Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg

Illustrated Nature Books

Illustration: Grasshoppers and CricketsThe encyclopaedic illustrated nature books of the Middle Ages changed in the early modern period, branching out into numerous specialist areas, such as botany, zoology, geology, etc.

This process was advanced even further in the 18th Century by academics, such as the Swedish researcher Carl von Linné, who introduced systems for the classification of individual species. The world-wide research into Flora and Fauna benefited enormously from the resulting standardised nomenclature. The identification and naming of types and species achieved levels never seen before.

New methods, such as the use of the microscope, allowed research to be carried out in areas where it had previously been impossible.

Essential for the distribution of these new discoveries was their timely publication in richly illustrated works. Some of the most important works of this type, not only scientifically but also in terms of their artistic merit, held by the Library of Heidelberg University, are being successively digitalised and made available online.

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Requests, suggestions and criticism to Brief Dr. Maria Effinger.

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