An Interactive Annotated World Bibliography of Printed and Digital Works in the History of Medicine and the Life Sciences from Circa 2000 BCE to 2022 by Fielding H. Garrison (1870-1935), Leslie T. Morton (1907-2004), and Jeremy M. Norman (1945- ) Traditionally Known as “Garrison-Morton”
Permanent Link for Entry #13689
De omni rerum fossilium genere, gemmis, lapidibus, metallis, et huiusmodi, libri aliquote, plerique nunc primum editi.Zurich: Jacob Gesner, 1565.
A collection of eight separate tracts, most with their own title page, by seven authors, all edited, and some with commentary by Gesner. The work is relevant for the history of "natural history" for containing Kentmann's Catalogus, the earliest printed catalogue of a mineral collection. This was probably also the earliest printed catalogue of any private collection in natural history. Though Kentmann's collection may have existed only in a cabinet, and was not formally a museum, because of the very early date, I think it is worthwhile to include his collection in this bibliography.
Supposedly Kentmann's catalogue was also published separately, but because no copies appear to exist with their own title page, I suspect that separate publication was doubtful. On the other hand, Kentmann's catalogue of calculi (No. 11489) was clearly issued with its own title page, and was thus probably available both in Gesner's collection and as a separate work.
Curtis Schuh's online Biobibliography of Minerology has this to say about Kentmann's minerology catalogue:
Catalogus rerum fossilium Io. Kentmani numerous folii puncto praeeunte, faciem priorem indcat:sequente, posteriorem.
"This early catalog describes the "fossils" or "things dug from the earth" collected by Johannes Kentmann. Although some petrified remains of animal and plants are included in the descriptions, it is essentially a portrait of a fifteenth century mineral collection. This treatise is therefore the earliest work to catalog mineralogical items in their own right.
"The text gives a detailed inventory of 1,608 individual specimens, with an unusual feature for the period of providing accurate locality information for each sample described. As would be expected, over 1,100 of the specimens originated from the region around Saxony where Kentmann flourished. Yet a suprising aspect are the 472 specimens described as having come from foreign lands. This indicates the vigor and great expense Kentmann used to acquire material for his ever growing collection. Unfortunately, none of the specimens was illustrated. However, a major novelty of the work was a woodcut illustration of the actual mineral cabinet used to store the collection. The picture shows thirteen drawers that were used to segragate the specimens. This closely follows the method of classification outlined in the text.
"The system devised by the author is based principally on the work of Georg Agricola, but modified and enlarged upon Gesner's insistance. It consists of twenty-six major divisions with headings such as earths, stones, flourites, hard-bodied minerals, marbles, ores of gold, silver, copper and lead, pyrites, antimony, iron, etc. Each division was then subdivided according to the kind of species. For example, this separation included male and female loadstone, which respectively, attracted or repeled iron particles. A good modern translation and analysis of Kentmann's work is provided in Prescher, H., J. Helm and G. Fraustadt, "Johannes Kentmanns Mineralienkatalog, aus dem Jahre 1565," Abhandlungen des Staatlichen Museums für Mineralogie und Geologie zu Dresden, 30 (1980), 5-152."
Digital facsimile from the Internet Archive at this link.
(Thanks to Arnaud Mignan, medium.com, for drawing my attention to this work.)
Subjects: MUSEUMS › Natural History Museums / Wunderkammern, Minerals and Medicine, NATURAL HISTORY