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George Fabyan Collection

Early editions of works of seventeenth-century English literature, publications relating to cryptography.

George Fabyan (1867-1936), a member of Chicago Stock Exchange and founder of Riverbank Laboratories in Geneva, Illinois, was an accomplished cryptographer. During World War I he trained army intelligence officers in deciphering codes, winning the French Legion of Honor for his efforts. One of his areas of specialty was the Shakespeare-Bacon authorship controversy, and he published writings on principles of Baconian ciphers and their application in sixteenth and seventeenth-century books. The Cryptographer's research collection was received by the Library of Congress in 1940 through his bequest. The Fabyan Collection incorporates the Francis Bacon material assembled by John Dane of Boston and includes 33 distinct editions of Bacon's works published between 1597 and 1640. In addition to many volumes of seventeenth-century English literature, the collections contains early cryptographic texts such as Johannes Triteness' Polygraphiae Libri Sex, present in the first edition (1518) and seven subsequent printings. The collection numbers approximately 1,550 volumes.

Digitized Materials Available from the George Fabyan Collection

Monas Hieroglyphica Ioannis Dee ... Dee, John, 1527-1608. Monas Hieroglyphica Ioannis Dee ... Antuerpiæ, G. Silvius typog. regius, excud., 1564.
Page Turner - PDF (29.13 MB) Bibliographic Information
Sylva Sylvarum

Bacon, Francis, 1561-1626. Sylva Sylvarum; London, Printed by S. G. and B. Griffin for T. Lee, 1677.
Page Turner - PDF (209.38 MB) - Bibliographic Information

Also see blog post: A Thinker's Thinker

Polygraphiae Libri Sex Ioannis Trithemij, Abbatis Peapolitani Quondam Spanheimensis, ad Maximilianum Caesarem Trithemius, Johannes, 1462-1516. Polygraphiae Libri Sex Ioannis Trithemij, Abbatis Peapolitani Quondam Spanheimensis, ad Maximilianum Caesarem. [Reichenau]: Impressum ductu Ioannis Haselberg de Aia, biblipolae, anno a Christo nato 1518, men. Iulio.
Page Turner - PDF (196.01) - Bibliographic Information
Steganographia qvæ hvcvsqve a nemine intellecta, sed passim vt svpposititia, perniciosa, magica et necromantica, reiecta ... nvnc tandem vindicata, reserata et illvstrata Trithemius, Johannes, 1462-1516. Steganographia Qvæ Hvcvsqve a Nemine Intellecta, Sed Passim vt Svpposititia, Perniciosa, Magica et Necromantica, Reiecta ... Norimbergæ, apvd J. F. Rvdigervm, 1721.
Page Turner - PDF (176.60) - Bibliographic Information
Mercury Wilkins, John, 1614-1672. Mercury; or, The Secret and Swift Messenger. Shewing, How a Man May with Privacy and Speed Communicate His Thoughts to a Friend at Any Distance. London, Printed for Richard Baldwin, 1694.
Page Turner - PDF - (88.54 MB) Bibliographic Information

 


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  December 10, 2015
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