Exhibit of 15th-century books opens at Bridwell Library

Bridwell ancient books exhibitA new exhibition in SMU’s Bridwell Library explores the different ways in which Europeans in past centuries discovered the power and potential of Gutenberg’s invention of the printing press.

Invention and Discovery: Printed Books from Fifteenth-Century Europe will be on display through May 3, 2010 in Bridwell’s Elizabeth Perkins Prothro Galleries. The exhibition features 60 books and broadsides printed between c. 1455 and 1500 from the library’s collection and is free and open to the public during library hours.

Early readers were not content to leave their books exactly as they came off the presses, but were inclined to engage in their contents. Employing local artisans to provide rubrication, illumination and bindings, readers added their own annotations, inscriptions and other signs of ownership and use.

As a group, the exhibited items reflect the active participation of countless individuals in the initial spread of print culture across Europe.

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Watch a slideshow of books in the exhibition slideshow
See an online version of the exhibit at the Bridwell Library website
Check the Bridwell Library’s hours of operation