I Was Here, a new exhibition on display in the Archives & Special Collections Gallery (level 3) through December 19, explores the fascinating range of inscriptions, scribbles and doodles left by centuries of readers and writers, the identity of whom is now mostly lost in time.
On display are rare printed books from the 15th through 19th centuries, facsimile leaves of the famous Ellesmere Canterbury Tales (ca. 1400 A.D.), and ancient artifacts on loan from the LMU Archaeology Center, the oldest of which is over three thousand years old.
From finely detailed sketches and scholarly comments to random pen trials and shopping lists, the people who touched these objects once upon a time have become a permanent part of their historical record. Did they know how their inscriptions and squiggles, curses and scratchings would change the character of the objects and give them unique personalities? Did the graffiti writers expect their work to last so long?
This exhibition is curated by graduate student intern Shannon Billimore, Museum Studies, Massey University, New Zealand.
The Archives & Special Collections Gallery is open to the public from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Click here for more information about exhibits at the William H. Hannon Library.