Anomalies and Curiosities of the Baldwin Library of Historical Children’s Literature
An exhibit making the case for (very) used books
Closing reception - 9/12
Final day - 9/15
The Baldwin Library of Historical Children’s Literature contains more than 100,000 volumes, many of which were used by children. The interaction of the child and the book is evident in the mark of the hand in the Baldwin; there are many examples of marginalia, doodles and inscriptions, bookplates, prize books, crayon scrawl, hand-colored plates, love notes and book curses. In addition, many of these books have been used so heavily that they expose somnotexts, or sleeping texts, of scrap paper that were bound into the spines of nineteenth century children’s books as padding. These fragments, traditionally referred to as binder’s waste, revel in their eccentricity; handwritten sheet music, surgical texts, advertisements for moth killer, Shakespeare and artifacts of the bindery have all survived in this manner. These unusual para- and peritextual phenomenon are now on display!
Haven’t had a chance to stop by the exhibit yet? That’s alright—It’ll be open for one more week, until Thursday, September 15th. It’s on the second floor of Smathers Library East, by the Special Collections reading room, and is open from 9am to 4pm, weekdays.
Most importantly, there will be a closing reception at 5pm on Monday, September 12th, with refreshments and a brief talk by the curator, English undergraduate Krissy Wilson, professors Dr. John Cech, Dr. Terry Harpold, Dr. Kenneth Kidd, and Dr. Anastasia Ulanowicz, as well as the department chair of Special and Area Studies Collections at the UF libraries, Richard Bennett. If you’re planning on seeing Cary Nelson that evening, why not get there a little bit early? We hope to see you there!
Anomalies and Curiosities - Facebook, UF Digital Collections
More about the Baldwin - Center for Children’s Literature and Culture, Special and Area Studies Collections
Cary Nelson - Something Wicked This Way Comes—How to Save the University