New exhibit in the Archive’s Reading Room

Bookmaking in the 18th Century in Diderot’s Encyclopédie, 1751-1780

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Find out how books were produced in the 18th century, in this exhibit that features reproductions of copper engravings that describe the mechanical arts and trades of man. Former University Archivist James Cartwright assembled the exhibit, selecting images from Denis Diderot’s Encyclopédie ou Dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers, a set of volumes housed in the library’s rare book collection. The Encyclopédie describes, in painstaking detail, the mechanics of everyday trades in 18th century France. Cartwright focused on papermaking and the casting of metal alphabets for printing on sheets of handmade paper that would eventually be turned into books.

The exhibit includes four original volumes of the Encyclopédie on display, as well as implements of the papermaking and printing trades. Artifact loans from Mission Houses Museum and contemporary Hawaii-based book artist James Rumford, complete the narrative of the bookmaking arts. Pages in the original volumes will be turned weekly to reveal more engravings that illustrate the complex processes of book making.

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The John and Gertrude Troupe Moir Reading Room
Hamilton Library, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa
Room A550 (Library Addition; take the elevator to the 5th floor)

Hours: Tuesday through Friday, 10:00am to 4:00pm
Dates: Through the end of August 2014

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