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 Students discuss their selections for the mini-exhibit, with people visible in the foreground

Making an Impression

By Henry Handley

In a new Spring 2024 mini-course — UDI 218, History of the Book — students learned about the technological and cultural history of the book as a material object through readings, discussions and hands-on learning with historic books and manuscripts — including curating a mini-exhibit. 

As their final project, students Amy Schiffler, Jane Carney, Michael Dwyer, and Steven Slomka applied terms they’d learned from the specialized worlds of printing, binding, selling and reading to curate an exhibit case with examples. The student-selected books, ranging from 1536 to 1896, are part of the display Making an Impression, on the first floor of Roesch Library from March 19 through June 30. 

Experiential learning in the History of the Book mini-course and mini-exhibit is just one way that students are actively engaging with special collections in the University Libraries. Spring 2024 exhibits like Beyond the Byline: Erma Bombeck’s Story and Mary in Catholic Education highlight unique-to-UD learning opportunities and wouldn't be possible without the support donors have provided. In this case, acquiring a book cradle with adjustable height and angle for the oldest and smallest volume on display was possible thanks to gifts to the Marian Library Fund. 

April 9 is One Day, One Dayton, UD’s annual day of giving. Your gift to the Marian Library Fund will enhance student experiential learning with our collections and exhibits.

— Henry Handley is an assistant professor and collections librarian in the Marian Library at the University of Dayton.

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