The Rare Books of Abecedarium

Cover of the ABECEDARIUM book showing a dozen illustrated letters

Part history, part coloring book, and part guide to historic books, the Smithsonian Libraries’ Abecedarium: An Adult Coloring Book for Bibliophiles is a contemplative and inspiring way to experience art, science, and culture from the Renaissance through early modern times. Where possible, the rare books featured in Abecedarium were digitized cover-to-cover and are collected here for you to explore!

The Smithsonian Libraries is extremely grateful to all those who have supported this project, and especially to Mark Andrews for his deep and continued generosity.


Cover of Alchabitius cum comento

Alchabitius cum comento

ʻAbd al-ʻAzīz Ibn ʻUthmān; Alten, Bartholomäus; Johannes de Saxonia; Joannes, Hispalensis
p[er] Joa[n]nem [et] Gregorius de gregoriis fratres
1502 die 28 februarii
Cover of Aristotelis Mechanica

Aristotelis Mechanica

Aristotle; Monantheuil, Henri de
Apud Ieremiam Perier
Cover of Bybel der natuure v. 1

Bybel der natuure v. 1

Swammerdam, Jan; Boerhaave, Herman
I. Severinus [etc.]
Cover of Censura celebriorum authorum

Censura celebriorum authorum

Blount, Thomas Pope, Sir
apud S. de Tournes
Cover of De coloribus libellus

De coloribus libellus

Aristotle; Porzio, Simone
ex officina Laurentii Torrentini
Cover of De dictis factisq

De dictis factisq

Fregoso, Battista, Doge of Genoa
I. Ferrarius impressit
Cover of Elettricismo atmosferico

Elettricismo atmosferico

Beccaria, Giambatista
All'Insegna dell'Iride