Reading material


What does it mean to use a book, rather than read it? Exploring this question through a wide collection of old and unusual texts, Book Use, Book Theory: 1500–1700, a Special Collections Research Center exhibit on display through June 15, focuses on the book as a material object and practical tool. Prominent among the displays are eye-popping anatomies, intricate sky maps, and other illustrated works, including the anachronistic Greatest of All Time: A Tribute to Muhammad Ali (Taschen, 2004), a book so large it’s “almost unmovable.” Nestled among these are smaller treasures, such as an intricately embroidered Bible and a tiny Latin medical guide, only a few inches square.



William Cowper (1666-1709). The Anatomy of Humane Bodies, with Figures Drawn After the Life by Some of the Best Masters in Europe. Oxford: for Sam. Smith and Benj. Walford, 1698. Rare Book Collection, From the Collection of Mortimer Frank.

April 29, 2005