Core Academy Library Acquires “Incunable” Book

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Core Academy Library Acquires “Incunable” Book

August 31, 2021 Library and Archives 0


Core Academy Library recently acquired a medieval commentary on Genesis originally printed in 1495.  The commentary comprises 112 pages covering Genesis 1-49, removed from a larger 968-page commentary volume covering the Old Testament books through Esther.  The comments were written in Latin by three medieval scholars: Nicholas of Lyra, a fourteenth century Franciscan teacher, Anselm of Laon, a twelfth century teacher from France, and Walafrid Strabo, a ninth century Benedictine from Germany.

The acquisition surprised Todd Wood, president of Core Academy.  “I bought this from a dealer who said it was printed in the 1700s,” said Wood, “But when I saw the typeset and how big the pages were, I immediately suspected this was something special.”  Since the collection of pages lacked the first pages of the book, Wood had to examine early print editions of Nicholas’ commentary to identify the original source.  “After about an hour of searching online European libraries, I found an exact match: A copy of the Latin Bible printed in Venice in 1495,” Wood explained.  “This was an incunable.”

Books that were published prior to 1501 using movable type are known as incunables or incunabula, from the Latin word for “cradle,” signifying the earliest period of printed books.  They are highly prized by book collectors and typically sell for thousands of dollars at rare book auctions.  “I spent about the same as the average college science textbook,” Wood said.  “It’s an amazing blessing.  To have an early printing of a medieval Genesis commentary is wonderful, but to have an incunable—that’s a gift from God!”

Core Academy of Science maintains a library of research and archival materials related to Genesis and the creation/evolution debate.  Students and scholars interested in using the collection can make arrangements to visit during regular business hours.  Contact us at for more information.