Saturday, April 26, 2008

Exhibition Celebrates Beauty and History of the Book

Even while modern tech types scramble trying to scan every book in the world, in Australia, an exciting exhibition celebrates the beauty and usefulness of the book in its most traditional forms. The Australian reports:
Unlike the stone tablets and papyrus scrolls that preceded it, the book in its bound form was highly ambitious in the amount of information it could carry. Books could be handed down through generations and passed across borders. Scholars could study them, and missionaries travel with them through barbarian lands to show -- as well as tell -- the word of God.

“As a way of ordering knowledge, understanding knowledge and communicating knowledge, the book is really an extraordinary invention,” says Shane Carmody, director of collections and access at the State Library of Victoria.

In recent months Carmody has been immersed in the world of medieval manuscripts. He is co-curator of the library’s fascinating new exhibition, the Medieval Imagination: Illuminated Manuscripts from Cambridge, Australia and New Zealand. The exhibition, co-curated by eminent art historian Margaret Manion, features more than 90 manuscripts from the 8th to 16th centuries.
The Australian’s piece is here.


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