Undergrads @ the Collections

Revisiting Robert Fludd

The Oklahoma Daily recently ran a story about undergraduate research in the Collections. Students supervised by Samuel Huskey, chair of the department of classics and letters, are digitizing and translating Robert Fludd, Technica macrocosmi historia (London, 1618).

Integrae Naturae, Robert Fludd, Utriusque cosmi maioris scilicet et minoris metaphysica (Oppenhemii, 1617)

Robert Fludd, portraitFludd, a London physician, produced this work with hope that he would thereby be invited to join the Rosicrucians. In the plate above, Integrae Naturae, Fludd represents the alchemist as the ape of nature, simulating the creation of the macrocosm (universe) and the microcosm (the Earth) - click the images on this page to see more detail. The alchemist grasps a great chain reaching from the deity down to him through nature (the female figure).

Robert Fludd, Utriusque cosmi maioris scilicet et minoris metaphysica (Oppenhemii, 1617), title page

The title page plate reproduced here indicates that the human body is also a microcosm, proclaiming that alchemy holds the key to medicine as well as creation. Read the OU Daily article. Our thanks to Prof. Huskey and his undergraduate students who are working on this project.

Fludd's book, along with other rare works in chemistry and alchemy, were on display in the Collections' lobby last spring as part of a tribute to the International Year of Chemistry and the OU programs of chemistry, biochemistry and chemical engineering. See the Collections' Online Galleries for more images of Fludd here and here. Undergraduate research in the History of Science Collections from a number of disciplines, spanning the humanities, fine arts and the natural sciences, represents a multitude of interests and perspectives.