From Student Life:
When I opened the Gutenberg Bible, the oldest book in both the library and the Western world, I was hit with a sense of reverence; a sense that I was looking at something that changed the world. This is first-hand learning in it’s purest form, and it’s what attracted 50 classes to the Rare Books Collection last year.
“The question we always get is ‘Can we really touch that?’” said Anne Poesga, head of the Department of Special Collections at Olin Library.
About half of the classes that visit the department come from the history, literature and classics departments. What fewer people may suspect is that is that the most heavy users of the collection are art students, Posega said. The Rare Books Collection aims to give students a respect for the way a book’s form meets it’s function in the art of making books by hand before mass-production. This respect is a tradition that dates back centuries, one which the Rare Books Collection documents through its expanding inventory.