Last month I had every intention of writing about my road trip to Hope College — but alas, my nasty cold turned into right lobe pneumonia and it took just about everything I had in me to not fall behind in my course work for library school. In fact, I was pretty sick when I visited campus and ended up cutting my visit shorter than planned which resulted in me missing the opportunity to tour an exhibit at the Van Wylen library.

Better late than never!

With that said, on Thursday, March 8, I cruised across the state to visit Hope College which is located in beautiful Holland, Michigan. Why did I visit Hope College? A good friend of mine (Amy) shared information about an exhibition of rare books titled Reading Between the Lines: The History and Production of Books and it just so happened that one of the two classes I was taking during this past winter term was the History of Books, Printing, and Publishing (LIS 7790). To me, it was a no-brainer — books…rare ones at that…and a road trip — I definitely had to check out the exhibition! 

Prior to my campus visit, I contacted Dr. Anne Heath-Wiersma who was listed as the contact person for the event as it was her group of nine students in the advanced art history seminar who put together the fascinating exhibit. I obtained permission from both Dr. Heath-Wiersma and Kelly Jacobsma, Director of the Van Wylen library, to photograph the exhibit and share the images via my Flickr account and this blog.

Index Librorum Prohibitorum

The exhibition was downright amazing and I think I probably could’ve spent all day in the gallery pouring over the books if I had been feeling better and made the trip alone. Books on display ranged from the 15th – 20th century and included a handwritten manuscript to books printed soon after Gutenberg invented moveable type to more modern methods of printing. While I thoroughly enjoyed every artifact on display, I was quite taken by the 1758 edition of the Index Librorum Prohibitorum (Index of Prohibited Books). It is one of my dearest wishes (a bucket list item, in fact) to own a copy of the Index Librorum Prohibitorum — preferably an early 1940s edition. (Note: the Catholic Church stopped updating the Index in 1948 and it was abolished in 1966.)

Without further ado, here is the slideshow of images from
Reading Between the Lines: The History and Production of Books

I’d like to say ‘thank you’ and ‘good job’ to Athina Alvarez, Amanda Dewey, Jacob Dombrowski, Kristin Dunn, Katherine Kirby, Colleen Kolba, Sarah McMullin, Cynthia Schutt, Katie Sluiter — the nine students who curated the exhibit.  And special thanks to Dr. Anne Heath-Wiersma and Kelly Jacobsma for allowing me to photograph the exhibition. Much appreciated.