Visiting Treasures from the UH Rare Books Collection

Wednesday, January 24, 2018 - 7:00pm
2421 Bissonnet Street
Houston, TX 77005

Please join us for a visit from rare books! On view will be a European hymnal leaf from the late 14th century that shimmers with gold surrounding painted images of religious figures. There will also be other treasures from the UH Rare Books Collections.

Usually you go to a library reading room to view rare books. But for one night only, the rare books will come to you at the Brazos Bookstore. A selected group of items from the University of Houston Libraries’ Special Collections will be available for up-close viewing. Following an introduction by curator Julie Grob, UH librarians and archivists will be on hand to answer your questions about how these treasures were made, how they were used in the past, and how they support teaching, exhibits, and research at the university today.

These visiting books include both manuscript (written by hand) and printed items. A European hymnal leaf from the late 14th century shimmers with gold that surrounds painted images of religious figures. A 15th century book printed by Peter Schoeffer of Mainz (a contemporary of Johann Gutenberg) opens with a gorgeous hand-decorated letter “B.” The embroidered binding of a small ladies’ book from 17th century England features a blue and white tulip and decorations in silver thread.

You’ll also discover several intriguing items on the more “modern side.” A book of 19th century naval history reveals a hidden painting in its pages. A special edition of Men & Women by Robert Browning, printed on vellum with hand embellishment, exhibits the beauty of the English Arts and Crafts movement. And the American artist Alan James Robinson’s rich etchings of ravens make his limited edition of Edgar Allen Poe’s The Raven something special.

For the ultimate book lovers’ evening, join us to view, touch, ask questions, and learn more about rare books.

Julie Grob is the Coordinator for Instruction in Special Collections at the UH Libraries. She curates the Rare Books Collections and the Houston Hip Hop Research Collection.