Leyden: Johannes Elzevir, 1655.
In the seventeenth century, scientists and wealthy collectors amassed great natural history collections as cabinets of curiosities. One well-documented example was the collection of Ole Worm, a Danish physician and polymath. This treasury of specimens would serve as a teaching collection for Worm’s medical students at the University of Copenhagen, but also attracted considerable outside interest. This remarkable catalogue of the items, including works of art and ethnographic specimens, includes as well a view of how the Museum looked at the time of Worm’s death. The various boxes of herbs, roots, barks, woods, fruits, and seeds in the foreground right included various samples of American origin.