The History of Material Texts seminar, led by Professor Peter Stallybrass of the Department of English, was the original inspiration for this exhibition. Since its inception in the spring of 1993, this stimulating seminar, which meets Monday evenings during the academic year in the Henry Charles Lea Library, has brought together a multitude of scholars and students to discuss and reflect upon the nature of books and manuscripts, of writing, printing, and reading.
While working as a Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships (CURF) intern in the summer of 2007, Brooke Palmieri was asked to conceive of an exhibition relating to one of the themes of the seminar. Following from discussions with Rare Book and Manuscript Library staff, Brooke developed the guiding concept for this show on the history of reading - to focus attention on reading practices by examining specific spaces where people actually read.
All exhibitions are the work of many hands. Key to any exhibition is its designer. Andrea Gottschalk ran with Brooke's idea and transformed it into the visually engaging, three-dimensional display you see here in the Rosenwald Gallery. Andrea and her assistant, Jude Robison, were joined by Barbara Bispham, Catherine Turcich-Kealey, Kalisha Jones, and Ruthann Dorn in the work of mounting, cutting, and installing the large panels that define each space. Conservation for objects on display was provided by Sue Bing and Sibylla Shekerdjiska-Benatova. High-quality digital scans, which are essential to this exhibition, were made at the Library's Schoenberg Center for Electronic Text and Image (SCETI). Marissa Hendriks was indispensable in making sure all the scans were done in a timely and organized fashion. The online exhibit site was developed in SCETI by Alyssa Rosenzweig and Dennis Mullen.
1. MARKET PLACE
3. COURT ROOM
5. HOUSE of WORSHIP
6. SCHOOL HOUSE
7. LADY'S CLOSET
12. COFFEE HOUSE