For the past year, our 1570 first English translation of Euclid’s Elements of Geometry (call number D0127) has been getting some much-needed TLC from Jennifer Robertson at Book and Paper Conservation Services. One of the highlights of our collection, this edition is an important work in both the transmission of Euclidean geometry and the history of print. Translated by Sir Henry Billingsley, Lord Mayor of London, with a preface by John Dee, and printed at the press of John Day, this work is a veritable “who’s who” of 16th century England. Billingsley’s translation, besides being the first ever done in English, also had what was at the time the most comprehensive notes on Euclid’s works ever written – a true labour of love! A wonderful feature of this particular edition is the incredible 3D pop-ups of polyhedra to help students to understand the concepts presented in the book.
Jennifer spent time with each page of the volume doing a pulp infill treatment to fix the fraying edges, and also worked on cleaning and repairing the binding and replacing the original head and tail bands.
The images below show before and after shots of the book as well as the treatment process. A huge thank you to Jennifer for all of her work – we’re so excited to have this book back on the shelves for researchers!
Pulp infill process