Last month, Linda Hall Library added to its rare books collection with the acquisition of Mikroskopische Gemüths-und Augen-Ergötzung (1761), an illustrated microscopy text by Martin Frobenius Ledermüller.

The volume was acquired from a British bookseller, and will be a companion to other works by Ledermüller already in the Library’s collection. The acquisition also builds upon the Library’s collection on microscopy and optics.

Ledermüller (1719-1769) is best known for popularizing the microscope as a tool for scientific research and amateur observations of the natural world. This book was Ledermüller’s first published work on the subject. It contains 100 hand-colored copper plates featuring close-up views of plants, animals, and other objects commonly found in a fashionable 18th-century household.

“Ledermüller wrote for an educated, upper-class audience,” said Ben Gross, Associate Vice President for Collections. “This work was meant to show that microscopy was a worthwhile leisure pursuit for the scientifically curious. Physically, it is also a beautiful book.”

We encourage patrons to visit the Library’s Rare Books Room for an up-close viewing of the vibrant illustrations in this book.