Between the Boards: Collections, Compilations and Curiosities from the John Crerar Collection of Rare Books in the History of Science and Medicine

Exhibition catalog for Between the boards

Exhibition curated by Naomi Hume, Graduate Student in the Department of Art History, and Alice Schreyer, Director of Special Collections Research Center.

Recent developments in digital technology and the work of contemporary book artists have stimulated debates about the nature of a book. Shared assumptions about what will be found "between the boards" persist--a printed or handwritten text, sometimes accompanied by tables, charts, illustrations, or other media. Over 20,000 volumes from the John Crerar Collection of Rare Books in the History of Science and Medicine were recently cataloged, thanks to a gift from University of Chicago Trustee Harvey Plotnick. This exhibition celebrates the completion of the project and the surprising discoveries it made possible. Online records for many landmark books in the history of science and medicine are now fully accessible to researchers. So too are collections of lichen, algae, and wood samples; compilations of clippings and articles on aeronautics; books on anatomy and machines with models and moveable parts; and other novel uses of the book format to communicate and preserve information. The examples on view illustrate the ingenuity of the authors and other compilers, the creative scope of the personal and institutional collectors who brought these items together, the skill of catalogers who described the materials, and the exciting opportunities awaiting researchers.

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Online Exhibit Catalog
catalogue 24p. (stapled) with postcard set

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