New York Academy of Medicine's Rare Book Room: Medieval Sex and Death - Atlas Obscura
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New York, New York

New York Academy of Medicine's Rare Book Room: Medieval Sex and Death

Discover the fascinating history of sex, medicine, and reproduction in the Medieval period through an after-hours exploration of the Rare Book Room's incredible collection.

Inside the privacy of the library, we’ll gather around to explore highlights from the New York Academy of Medicine’s rich collections on medieval medicine. How did medieval men and women avoid the plague?  Was it possible to influence the gender of a baby during conception?  

Medieval Europe takes shape through a varied manuscript tradition and early modern print culture as a glittering, volatile period, where plague and disease reminded individuals of their mortality, and the mysteries of conception and birth were mysterious and opaque.  During this visit to the rare book room, we’ll dive into this spirited time by exploring the woodcuts of Sebastian Brant’s Ship of Fools, the tradition of the Danse Macabre in anatomy, and early medieval attempts to draw and understand reproduction.  Born, loved, wounded, and buried, the medieval bodies you’ll encounter in our rare book room afford a glimpse of what it was to be human a thousand years ago.



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Advance tickets only. All sales final. No refunds or exchanges.