Capsule

From the library’s historical treasures

Students peruse first editions of the classic anatomy text by Renaissance physician Vesalius.

In 1543, when Andreas Vesalius published his text of the human anatomy, De Humani Corporis Fabrica Libri Septem (Seven Books on the Fabric of the Human Body), he embarked on a revolutionary path. Today, De Fabrica is considered the first great book of modern medicine and the first publication to contain extensive illustrations based on observations drawn from human dissections.“It’s extraordinarily important because it’s one of the first actual dissection guides to the human body,” said Thomas P. Duffy, M.D., professor of medicine and director of the Humanities in Medicine program.Three copies of De Fabrica and other works from the period were the subject of a special session in April of the Humanities in...

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