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Friday, April 10, 2020

Answers to Our Virtual Rare Books Quiz

Below are the answers to our first virtual rare books quiz.  Thanks to everyone for participating, and congratulations to the winners!

1.  At first we were looking for Diderot or Montesquieu (the picture is supposed to be Diderot); but we also accepted the wigless Gracchus Babeuf.  It's not for us to argue a likeness!   

Babeuf is the subject of a beautifully illustrated collection item in our current spring exhibit.  He was a radical firebrand journalist and could be considered generally a philosophe.  Perhaps figures like Rousseau, Voltaire, d'Alembert - even Jefferson and Franklin - should not be so exclusive!

2.  This incunable was published on January 8, 1498 in Venice.  (Venice was probably the most famous early center of printing.  The most famous Venetian printer, Aldus Manutius, also has the most famous printer's device, a dolphin entwined with an anchor.  It relates to his motto: "make haste slowly."  The Latin original, festina lente, might be a good motto during our current moment.)

3.  The answer is "D.  Answers A and B only."  Richard Tottel (or variously Tottill, Tothill, Tottle, etc.) had an exclusive royal patent to publish English common law books from 1553.  Some early legislation on unlicensed printing is in acts of 1637, 1649, 1662 and the famous Statute of Anne (copyright).  Roman type is a big thing in the history of typography.

4. Justice O'Conner grew up on Lazy B cattle ranch in Arizona (incidentally, the cow's head also bobbles).  See her great book on growing up (and Majesty of the Law if you have not read it). 

Justice Breyer's five sheep (and a cow, on the bike's other side) are a reference to his opinion in Public Lands Council v. Babbitt: "[T]he Department would issue a permit measuring grazing privileges in terms of 'animal unit months' (AUMs), i.e., the right to obtain the forage needed to sustain one cow (or five sheep) for one month.... [R]egulations in effect from 1938 to the present day made clear that the Department retained the power to modify, fail to renew, or cancel a permit or lease for various reasons." Public Lands Council v. Babbitt, 529 U.S. 728, 735 (2000).

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