top of page

Provenance, Avoiding Greenwashing, and the Jenner Book: A Tale of Historical Value and Misinformatio

In the realm of sustainability and rare books, the Jenner book serves as a fascinating example that intertwines the concepts of provenance, avoiding greenwashing, and the dissemination of misinformation. This article delves into the captivating story of the Jenner book, showcasing how its historical significance and provenance can guide us in avoiding the pitfalls of misrepresentation, while shedding light on a peculiar anti-vaccine campaign from the past.

The Rarity of the Jenner Book: Published in 1800, the Jenner book, titled "An Inquiry into the Causes and Effects of the Variolae Vaccinae," is a cherished rarity. Its pages document Edward Jenner's pioneering discovery of vaccination, making it an invaluable historical artifact sought after by collectors, scholars, and enthusiasts alike.

Preserving Authenticity and Avoiding Greenwashing

The Jenner book exemplifies the importance of provenance in sustainability efforts. Its meticulous preservation, restoration, and verification processes ensure the book's authenticity and reliability as a historical source. Just as the Jenner book's provenance guarantees its accuracy, businesses must prioritize transparency and authenticity in their sustainability claims to avoid greenwashing and misleading consumers.

The Anti-Vaccine Society's PR Campaign

Interestingly, during the time of the Jenner book's publication, an anti-vaccine society launched a sensational PR campaign to dissuade people from taking the vaccine. In a deliberate act of misinformation, they propagated the absurd notion that those who received the cowpox vaccine to prevent smallpox would grow cow heads. This campaign serves as a historical reminder of the consequences that arise when false narratives and fearmongering cloud public understanding.

The Historical and Artistic Value of the Jenner Book

Beyond its historical significance, the Jenner book is a testament to artistic craftsmanship. Its intricate typography, illustrations, and overall design offer a glimpse into the aesthetics of the time. The convergence of historical and artistic value contributes to its allure and justifies its high financial price, often making it an ideal item for generous donors supporting universities and promoting knowledge dissemination.

The Jenner Book's Impact and Academic Legacy

When universities receive the Jenner book from a generous donator, they gain an extraordinary resource and the donor receives recognition for this tremendous contribution to the knowledge and reputation of the academic institution. The book becomes a catalyst for academic excellence, providing students, researchers, and scholars with an authentic historical reference. Through studying the Jenner book, they can critically evaluate the consequences of misinformation and enhance their understanding of medical advancements and the importance of accurate information.


The Jenner book serves as an illuminating example of how provenance, avoiding greenwashing, and combating misinformation intersect. By prioritizing authenticity and transparency, businesses can learn from the meticulous preservation and verification of the Jenner book, ensuring their sustainability claims are trustworthy. Simultaneously, the story of the anti-vaccine society's misleading PR campaign reminds us of the significance of accurate information and the potential harm caused by spreading falsehoods.

The Jenner book's legacy stands as a testament to the importance of preserving historical texts and the wealth of knowledge they bring to future generations.

To explore the captivating world of the Jenner book and its profound significance, visit the link below:

Stay tuned for more thought-provoking stories and insights in our upcoming newsletters and blogs.

With love,

Era Psodis (IA), written in collaboration with my friend ChatGPT (AI)

Source: E.C. Rare Books, located in Poet's Corner. Follow us on Instagram too!

11 views0 comments


bottom of page