11. Girdle books: Breviarium
What we know today as a typical book wasn’t always how they looked. During the medieval period between the 13th and 16th centuries, European monks, clergymen, and aristocrats often carried with them small portable girdle books. Made with a large piece of leather knotted at one end, girdle books were often tucked into the belt, allowing for easy transport.
Breviarium is one such book, having been owned by Brother Sebaldus, prior to the Benedictine monastery in Kastl, now Germany. As a breviary book used for praying the canonical hours, Brevarium was modest in nature featuring very little in its design. What stands out the most from the book is a series of four hand-colored woodcuts pasted into the interior.
Other items not to miss at The Polonsky Exhibition include a Berliner Gram-O-Phone, an Underwood & Underwood photography Perfescope for viewing stereograph images, a ballet flat by Coco Chanel, the umbrella belonging to Mary Poppins author P.L. Travers, Shakespeare’s First Folio and so many more. The Polonsky Exhibition of The New York Public Library’s Treasures’ is free but requires advance ticketing.
Next, check out The Top 10 Secrets Of The New York Public Library At 42nd Street!