Hands-on History: Making and Knowing in Early Modern Europe: Finding Recipes

Books of Secrets at Columbia

How do you find books of secrets or early alchemical texts in Columbia's collections? (Visual instructions below).

  1. Go to http://clio.columbia.edu.
  2. Click on Catalog.
  3. Change the dropdown menu on the right side of the search box to "Subject"
  4. Enter "Pigments." into the search box.
  5. Once the results appear, click on the Sort by Relevance dropdown menu and change it to "Published Earliest" to see the oldest available texts at Columbia:

Columbia has one print edition of Hugh Platt's The Jewel House of Art and Nature (1653), held in RBML.

The same edition from 1653 is also available online.

There are several editions of Alessio Piemontese's Book of Secrets (1555) available at Columbia.

English editions (all online)

  • 1558 (Trans. William Warde)
  • 1560 (Trans. William Warde)
  • 1562 (Trans. William Warde)
  • 1569 (Trans. Richard Androse)
  • 1665 (Adapted by W.J. Gent)

Latin editions (all in print)

Italian editions (all in print)

Columbia also has several editions of Vannoccio Biringuccio's Pirotechnia (1540), including 2 copies of the 1st edition!

See also:

4 Italian editions of I Secreti by Isabella Cortese in RBML: 1565, 1588, 1603, 1677