An Exhibition of Wholly Engraved Books

Engraving is an intaglio method of printing in which the text or image to be reproduced is incised into a copper plate. This copper plate is then covered with ink and wiped clean, leaving the ink only in the incised grooves. A sheet of paper is placed on top of the plate and the paper and plate are then passed through a rolling press, which forces the paper down into the ink-filled grooves. The text or image is thereby transferred to the paper. Towards the end of the 15th century, engraving was adopted as one of the principle techniques used for the illustration of books. Engraving, was not generally favored, however, for the reproduction of large amounts or text—letterforms are very difficult to engrave, so it was much easier to use moveable type, of the sort developed by Johannes Gutenberg, to print the text of a book. A few engravers, however, did undertake to produce books in which both text and illustrations were wholly engraved. This exhibition features engraved books housed in Special Collections & Rare Books, and includes some of the finest engraved books ever made.

Engraved Throughout was presented by the Special Collections & Rare Books Department of the University of Missouri Libraries in 2017. The exhibition was curated by Timothy Perry. Website constructed in Omeka by Timothy Perry.