Here at The Mudd we love books – we acquire them, we organize them, we help students engage with them everyday – but it’s rare that we get the chance to truly reflect on how books have shaped and been shaped by the course of history. However, we are lucky enough to host an exhibit created entirely by Lawrence students as apart of Prof. Garth Bond’s class “History of the Book”. Under the guidance of Professor Bond and librarian Jill Thomas, several Lawrence student’s engaged critically with selections from our special collection to examine how the role of books have changed throughout time and suggest perhaps how we have changed with them.
Topics range from Catherine Stowe and Harriet Beecher Stowes’ 1869 guide The American Woman’s Home: or Principles of Domestic Science to Artist Books to an analysis of 15th century Christian books. The exhibit, featuring the work of students Sara Armstrong, Allison Brooks-Conrad, Rufino C. Cacho, Anna Cohen, Yarely Covarrubias, and Hanwenheng (Billy) Liu will be up until January 15th. This exhibit is a special opportunity to view some pieces from our special collections in person outside of the Milwaukee Downer room, so be sure to stop by the Mudd before then. For those of you who want to spend some more time with these pieces, selections are digitized in the database Artstor under Selections from Special Collections, Seeley G, Mudd Library. Photographs of the exhibit are available in the History of the Books album.
These precious books alongside the work of our students provide great insight into the lasting impact books have not only in our own lives but also in the lives of those who lived long before us and surely those who will live long after we’re gone.