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New exhibit in Special Collections: Reduce, reuse, recycle

Today, an old book often lands in the trash can, but before the industrial revolution, they were often used as sources of paper and parchment. Fragments of old books were often used to provide covers for new books, or to reinforce their spines and hinges. Some texts only survive today because they became part of other books. For this exhibit in the Special Collections reading room, we show off some books in our collection that incorporate print and manuscript waste as part of their covers.

The exhibit will last through the end of July and shows a book with a medieval manuscript used to reinforce its spine, a book with a wrapper made of a fifteenth-century page, and a book with a parchment pastedown from a medieval manuscript.

John Henry Adams

John Henry Adams is a librarian in the Special Collections and Rare Books department. He provides instruction and reference for the history of the book in general, but especially for medieval manuscripts, early European printing, the history of cartography, and English and German literature.