Thursday, April 03, 2008

Joint Exhibit Focuses on History of the Printed Word

The Ball State University Libraries and the Department of Art’s Visual Communications Program are jointly participating in a collaborative exhibit. Called Archetype: The Social Revolution of Writing, the exhibit runs through April 30, 2008.

Encompassing two floors at Bracken Library, the exhibit includes unique items from the Libraries’ Archives and Special Collections and artwork created by students under the guidance of Prof. Christine L. Satory. Student Casara K. Heaton helped to develop the concept of the exhibition and designed all of the print material.

“This is an example of an immersive learning experience as Casara was a full collaborator during the course of two semesters,” said Prof. Satory.

Students in Prof. Satory’s class created several multimedia works of art for the exhibit, which help to explore the various ways people have historically used symbols, typography, and the visual arts to communicate.

The University Libraries’ Archives and Special Collections included illuminated manuscripts, a page from the Gutenberg Bible, a double fore-edge painted book, an illustration by Salvador Dali from Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, a chained lectern book from 1506, chapbooks, and hornbooks. Other popular items include an antique typewriter and an early Macintosh computer (circa 1987) complete with a small screen, printer, and mouse.

The Friends of the Alexander M. Bracken Library sponsored an evening program on March 18, 2008, to support the exhibit. Prof. Christine L. Satory and Philip J. Deloria, Archivist for Digital Projects and University Records, discussed the history and development of the printed word from cave paintings through the alphabets and the Gutenberg Press to the invention of the personal computer and the World Wide Web.

The exhibit can be seen on Bracken Library’s first floor east and in wall display cases next to the Archives and Special Collections area on the second floor.

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