Exhibition Dates: January 3 - April 28, 2023 Location: The Joseph Regenstein Library, 1100 East 57th Street, Chicago, IL 60637
One of life's most familiar objects, the codex book is also one of the most innovative and adaptable technologies for making and sharing meaning devised by humankind. But what makes a book a book? Must it have a binding, pages, text, and a rectangular shape to qualify? Is a clay tablet, a parchment scroll, or an artist's book really a book? How do we decide?
But Is it a Book? is a choosable-path exhibition that investigates the nature of the material text, considering in turn the attributes that signal "bookness"—format, shape, binding, pages, and text. Using examples from the long arc of book history and book technology, from a clay tablet made in the 3rd century B.C.E. to audio- and e-books manifesting themselves materially the instant one presses "play," this show attempts to get at the heart of what makes a book a book.
Elizabeth Frengel, Curator of Rare Books, The University of Chicago Library
Use of Images and Media Contact
Images from the exhibition included on this page are available for download to members of the media and are reserved for editorial use in connection with University of Chicago Library exhibitions, programs, or related news. For more information, contact Rachel Rosenberg at firstname.lastname@example.org or 773-834-1519.