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Alchemical Manuscripts

Nature volume 145, pages 6566 (13 January 1940) | Download Citation



VOLUME 6 of Osiris, dedicated to Prof. Bidez, contains his portrait and a bibliography of his publications. The rest of the volume of 844 pages consists of a "Catalogue of Latin and Vernacular Alchemical Manuscripts in the United States and Canada" by W. J. Wilson, of the Library of Congress, Washington. After a brief but very interesting general introduction, the text consists of detailed and annotated analyses of 79 manuscripts, with 41 facsimile figures. The dates of the manuscripts range from the thirteenth to the nineteenth centuries. Many of them contain collections of recipes. There is a very full index (pages 690–844). The work is thorough and reaches a high standard of scholarship; it is a notable addition to the literature of a subject which has recently attracted a good deal of attention, namely, the history of alchemy.

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