Making History: The Nuremberg and Augsburg Chronicles
Drawn from The Hyde’s permanent collection, the Museum showcases two treasures, Nuremberg Chronicle and Augsburg Chronicle. The Nuremberg Chronicle was created from 1493 to 1497 in Germany. Commissioned by Sebald Schreyer and Sebastian Kemmermeister, the 600-page book tells the history of the world as it was believed at that time. Illustrated with more than 1,800 woodcut images, the Nuremberg Chronicle was the most complex publication of its day, exploiting the new creation of the printing press to disseminate knowledge. Latin and German editions were printed. Relying heavily on the Bible, humanist physician Hartmann Schedel chronicles time from Creation through Last Judgment. The Hyde’s book, in Latin, is hand-tinted and has been described by scholars as one of the finest examples in the country. In the years following release of Nuremberg Chronicle, an Augsburg printer named Johann Schönsperger abridged the text, commissioned woodcuts largely copied from the earlier book, and released a smaller format, undercutting the price of the original. Augsburg Chronicle can be argued to be among the earliest examples of theft of intellectual property.