EECD – An Original Copy Online

By a very fortunate and timely coincidence, the University of Ghent has recently uploaded a digitized version of the copy of Gerbier’s Eer Ende Claght-Dicht in its library to Google Books, where it can be seen in its complete form. As well as giving us a rare opportunity to see an original copy, this also offers the chance to compare it with the one in the British Museum’s Department of Prints and Drawings.

The UGent copy, which carries the book-plate of the 19th century Amsterdam collector Isaac Meulman, is essentially the same as the BM copy. Its pages have not been trimmed in the same way as the BM copy, and so letters have not been lost from some of the marginal notes – for example, those on pages 37 and 44. ( I see that in my transcript, n.65 on P 44 should read ‘om de Edele Gheeste eer aen te doen’, rather than ‘naer aen te doen‘. It makes much better sense!) At the top of the dedication page of both books is an ornament which does not run parallel with the top of the page. In the BM copy, I had assumed this to be the result of trimming, but the UGent version is the same. This may say something about Aert Meuris’s printing press, or its operator, rather than the subsequent history of the two copies. It perhaps also suggests that the two books were part of the same print run, but this is probably a question for the specialist.

As a digitized version of the book is now available, there is no real need to include page images here. However, from a bibliographical point of view it may be of interest to see the outer cover of the BM copy, as well as the handwritten notes within.

The UGent copy can be seen here

The presence of the Eer Ende Claght-Dicht in Google Books means that the vast majority of Gerbier’s printed works are now accessible online. The many Gerbier publications among the Thomason Tracts are available through EEBO, and some of his other works are online elsewhere. I’m planning to upload a catalogue of these soon, including at least one further pamphlet from the Civil war period that I think can be attributed to him with a reasonable degree of confidence.

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