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Past Displays & Lectures

Merry Company - Pop-ups, Movables & Toy Books

On Display: through March 16, 2012


There is No Frigate Like a Book: Art & Artists' Books by Margery Hellmann

On Display: ?
Special Collections Reading Room

This exhibition features the lengthy career of Seattle artist Margery Hellmann as a marbler, collage artist, papermaker, printmaker and creator of letterpress printed artistsʼ books and broadsides.

Margery, known for her love of literature, quiet insight and many creative talents, was a founding member of the Book Arts Guild. The diversity of her work is amazing, spanning decades and culminating in her artistsʼ books begun in 1993. Margery worked tirelessly to create a melding of text and structure to complement and expand meaning.

Her work is held in collections around the United States, Canada, New Zealand and Britain. The UW Libraries contains the best single collection  of her work.


Century 21 Golden Anniversary: "World of Tomorrow: Looking back at the Seattle Worlds Fair"

Photographs, ephemera, design documents and promotional items from the Libraries collections to commemorate the 50-year anniversary of the Seattle Worlds Fair.

On Display: april 16 - September 14, 2012
Allen Library North Balcony, Allen Library South Basement Special Collections Lobby

Marking Time: a traveling exhibition from the Guild of Book Workers / Time & Again, a companion exhibition

On Display: Dec. 7, 2009 - Feb. 19, 2010
Allen Library North Balcony & Suzzallo Room 102

Also on display in the Special Collections Lobby, Allen Library South, Basement:

From January 4, 2010 - March, 2010, a companion exhibition, "Time and Again", artists' books on the theme of time drawn from the Book Arts Collection in Special Collections at the University of Washington Libraries will be on display.

Marking Time, a traveling exhibition from the Guild of Book Workers, will be on display in Suzzallo/Allen Library December 2009 through February 2010. The exhibition is being co-sponsored by The Special Collections Division of the University Libraries and The Book Arts Guild.

The book arts have become mainstream enough that an exhibition of the genre is no longer a novelty. The curator's challenge is to find a theme that will inspire potential venues, viewers, and exhibitors alike. For a Guild of Book Workers members' exhibition, the theme must also be one that inspires the most traditional fine binder and the most cutting-edge book artist. For the Guild's 2009-2011 traveling exhibition, members were asked to respond to the theme "marking time" and invited to interpret the theme as narrowly or broadly as they wished. Marking Time showcases the rich diversity of backgrounds, talents, and interests that has been a hallmark of Guild membership for over 100 years. Exhibitors are conservators and bookbinders; also arts educators, full-time studio artists, and people with jobs outside the arts. A number of works in this exhibition reference, or incorporate actual parts of, time-keeping devices, some reference the end of time. Others suggest historical structures or formats, several create contemporary "books of hours." Some celebrate the cycles of nature, while others track deterioration of an environment, or of the Environment. Some deal with a literal or figurative journey, or cultural or personal history.

Traditional leather bindings stand alongside contemporary bindings that have been dyed, collaged, or incorporate photographs or handwriting. Texts selected to be bound are as likely to be poetry or classics as they are science fiction or hard science. The show includes work in the codex format, complex folded structures, wooden constructions, hand-held toys, and sculptural objects. Text and imagery is produced by the most ancient and the most modern mark-making methods: calligraphy, painting, woodcut, letterpress, and digital output. In exemplary work, the artist's facility with craft, structure, material and content renders each invisible to create a cohesive whole. This is apparent in the vital and varied work that comprises Marking Time

The Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition: When the World Came to Campus

On Display: June 1 - October 28, 2009
Suzzallo/Allen Library, Room 102

Capturing the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition: Frank Nowell, Exposition Photographer

On Display: June 1 - July 31, September 8 - October 28, 2009
Suzzallo/Allen Library, Balcony Exhibit Area (1st floor North Allen Library)

Alaskan Women's Work at the 1909 Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition

On Display: June 1 - November 24, 2009
Suzzallo/Allen Library, Special Collections Lobby Exhibit

She Pondered Those Things in Her Heart: Artists' Books by Lois Morrison

On Display: March 9 - May 25, 2009
Suzzallo/Allen Library, Room 102 and Special Collections Lobby

Lois Morrison, renowned for her innovations and meticulous hand work, has books in library and museum collections throughout the United States. Using vintage fabrics, appliqué, embroidery, relief prints, pop-ups, photography, watercolor and collage, Lois creates contemplative, imaginative, humorous and touching work. This exhibit is a major retrospective including work from 1981 to the present.

Enduring Themes: People And Place: Recent Additions to the Pacific Northwest Collection

On Display: Dec. 2008 - Feb. 22, 2009
Special Collections Lobby

This exhibition features a sampling of recent gifts to the Pacific Northwest Collections. The materials on display illustrate the diversity of research strengths in the Collections--ranging from contemporary arts to our region's exploration and discovery--and deal in some measure with the enduring and intertwining themes of people and place.

All of the items on display came as gifts: either as direct gifts from individuals and organizations, or they were purchased using funds from endowments.

These materials, as well as the rest of the Pacific Northwest Collections, directly support faculty research, graduate and undergraduate instruction and learning here at the University of Washington and in schools, colleges and universities throughout the region. Additionally, the Collections are also heavily used by a broad spectrum of researchers and scholars, both nationally and internationally.

Exhibit co-curators from The Special Collections Division:

Nicole Bouché, Pacific Northwest Curator,
Blynne Olivieri, Technical Assistant

Looking Glass for the Mind: 350 Years of Books for Children

On Display: March 24 - November 12, 2008
Special Collections Lobby

This exhibition features nearly 400 historical children’s books both from the Libraries’ Special Collection Division and on loan from collector and donor, Pamela Harer, who, with Sandra Kroupa, Book Arts and Rare Book Curator, co-curated this exhibit. Over half the books on exhibit belong to Special Collections; of those 50% were previously donated by Pamela. The other half are on loan with about 30 as a promised gift after the exhibition closes.

Nothing compares with the expression on the face of someone long past childhood seeing a book remembered fondly from their first fifteen years of life. It is amazing how many of us can recite the entirely of a favorite book that we loved [and our parents hated] that we read or had read to us thousands of times. And we, for our part, might admit sheepishly that after reading it out loud four times every night for three years, we hate GOODNIGHT MOON.

Books for children make a huge and lasting impact on us and on society. On exhibit here are books from a range of places and times—many topics are covered but 20 some are focused on. Here we learn both our letters and numbers as well as our morality, sense of discovery and common history. We are exposed to both geometry and the elephant. We see what a watchmaker does or learn that if you cut school in the 19 th century you would probably be eaten by lions as a punishment. We are shown crudely colored woodcuts and detailed hand painted intaglio illustrations. These books were intended to educate—sometimes to entertain and enchant as well. We hope you are entertained, enchanted and educated by this exhibition.

Alphabet books are the focus of the Allen Lobby case. The topics covered in both Suzzallo 102 and the Special Collections exhibit cases are:


















Why collect historical childrens books?

Why would an academic library such as that at the University of Washington want to collect historical children’s books? We give you just a few reasons why. Children’s books can be used for the intense study of many topics, genres and disciplines: the history of printing and book illustration, particularly in the development of the use of color; for the study of the gradual changes in familiar tales to reflect changes in societal acceptance and sensibilities [how do the stories of Cinderella or Red Riding Hood or The Gingerbread Boy change over time?]; the study of social and ethnic history [Epaminondas and Little Black Sambo]; the role of women [when in children’s books do women become pilots rather than cabin attendants?]; changing views of “basic” education skills [penmanship, manners, grammar, elocution], changing styles of authority [when does an alphabet based on the Bible become unacceptable for public school use?]; and the study of educational pedagogy itself. Special Collections are grateful to the many donors who have contributed anything from the grandmother who saved a single, tattered, much loved volume to those who trust us with the treasures of a lifetime of collecting. Through children’s books we can trace who we are, who we have been and who we hope to become.

"Looking Glass for the Mind: 350 Years of Books for Children

A gallery talk with Pamela Harer"
Thursday, April 17, 2008 7:00 p.m.
Suzzallo Library Exhibition Room 102

You are invited to an informal exhibit walk-through with comments regarding the joint collection of books and other materials dated roughly 1593-1943. All materials are in some way related to learning--at home, in school, for a trade, for fun. Exhibition checklists will be available and time allowed for questions.

Pamela Harer is a collector and independent scholar specializing in historical children’s literature. She is co-curator of the exhibit, with Sandra Kroupa, Rare Books and Book Arts Librarian. Pamela has generously loaned numerous items for the show.

To request disability accommodation, contact the Disability Services Office at least ten days in advance at: 206.543.6450/V, 206.543.6452/TTY, 206.685.7264 (FAX), or dso@u.washington.edu.

Companionable Books: A Century of Publishers Bindings, 1820-1920

On Display: September 17, 2007-March 1, 2008
Suzzallo/Allen Library, Room 102 and Special Collections Lobby

In this exhibit the range of bindings produced by publishers from the period 1820-1920 show the changes of style, materials, production and purpose. In Suzzallo 102, the largest element of the exhibit, the display is arranged by artistic style, heavily focused on known designers. The display case on the first floor of Allen Library features the work of two important women designers of the late 19th C., Sarah Wyman Whitman and Margaret Armstrong. The display cases in the Special Collections lobby [basement of Allen Library] show a chronology of bindings, illustrating the overlap of styles over time.

Elements of publishers' bindings of the period featured in Suzzallo 102 are early cloth and grain patterns; ribbon embossed, printed and stripped cloth; Rococo revival; leather; Neo-classical/Greek revival/Renaissance revival/Empire style; Gothic and Medieval revival; the influence of the Orient and Japan; Egyptian revival; Eastlake style; Arts & Crafts and Art Nouveau; lettering on bindings; pictorial themes; Poster style and the work of specific binding designers.

Included in the Special Collections cases are examples of bindings of papier mache, heat stamped wood, patent stereograph, striped cloth, crepe paper, designers such as H. Granville Fell, Will Bradley and Dante G. Rossetti and lots of gold. This part of the exhibit is designed to highlight the chronological changes in the field in the one hundred years that the exhibition covers.

All materials shown are from the Special Collection Division except for a few items on loan from generous private collectors. The bindings speak for themselves so there are few individual captions. A checklist is provided at each exhibit site for the materials shown there. The checklist chronicles the source of the books-noting the donor or the gift fund which was used to purchase the book. Almost none of these books were acquired for their bindings. The content was the reason for their acquisition, irregardless of source, and historic binding was an added attraction. Over half of the books on exhibit were purchased from funds from the Hilen 19th century American Literature Endowment and reflect the history of American writing. The donor was especially interested in having the Libraries acquire multiple copies of the same title to show the various ways that publishers tempted readers.

While it might not be obvious why a scholar would be interested in publishers' bindings, trends in publishing can be an essential part of the study of the history of the book, literacy, publishing and marketing trends & the decorative arts. Andrew Hilen, in supporting this Collection, understood this importance long before it became a popular area of scholarship. Often 19th century books are undated or simply record the copyright date. Many such books are misidentified by collectors, dealers and libraries & are given publishing dates much earlier than the actual date of the book.

So why would imprint date and binding matter? As so many 19th century books are undated on the title page, if a scholar is studying the changes in a particular text over time it is important to have as many clues to set a chronology for the text as possible. If binding style is going to be a significant help to the scholar, that researcher needs access both to reference books on the topic as well as examples of the topic. Pictures of bindings either in print or on the web, no matter how well produced, cannot provide the tactile elements or the ability to closely observe the cloth grain, quality of the decoration and the relationship of the text to the cover design. Almost none of the current books or databases actually give more than a title for content access. Scholars depend on physical evidence, such as inscriptions, bookplates, decorated paper & bindings to establish publisher's intent, marketing trends, as well as all the decorative arts elements.

The University of Washington Libraries is not alone in an interest in publishers' bindings. A number of important academic institutions are doing research, developing databases, scanning covers and providing web access to resources. The University of Alabama and the University of Wisconsin currently have an excellent start to a national database, Publishers' Bindings Online, 1815-1830: The Art of the Book. Examples of other national resources are the University of Rochester's Beauty of Commerce: Publishers' Bindings, 1830-1910 and the work of conservators Andrea Krupp and Jennifer Rosner on their Catalogue of Nineteenth-century Bookcloth Grains drawn from their Database of Nineteenth-century Cloth Bindings at the Library Company of Philadelphia. Currently Special Collections is working on a project to create a nationally accessible database for its rich collection of publishers' binding.

Unfortunately there are few "fixed" categories for publishers' book bindings and one can look at them by style, by material, by designer or by purpose. In this exhibition several "experts" are used as sources, pulling together elements that seemed the most useful. None of these terms are "set in stone" as the field is still in flux anticipating Sue Allen's upcoming book to create the most authoritative voice.

Michael Sadleir says, ".the history of cloth binding, from 1840 until the reaction toward simplicity which came during the nineties, is the history of a movement from dignified utility to decoration for decoration's sake." This is true for all 19th century publishers' bindings.

Exhibit co-curators from The Special Collections Division:

Sandra Kroupa, Book Arts & Rare Book Curator,
Kathryn Leonard, Library Materials Conservation Supervisor

A Passion for Word & Image: Books by Enid Mark

On Exhibit: March 12-May 28, 2007

This exhibition celebrates the work of Philadelphia book artist Enid Mark who reminds us that books can be innovative without sacrificing tradition. Founded in 1986 by Mark, ELM Press publishes finely crafted editions that feature hand-lithography, letterpress printing, and archival hand binding in limited editions from 25 to 55 copies.

In 1986 I purchased the first ELM Press book, The Bewildering Thread, for the Book Arts Collection; now twenty-one years later all eleven of Enid Mark's limited edition books are part of Collection. [The Bewildering Thread is on exhibit in the Special Collections Lobby]. From the beginning Mark's books were distinguished by subtle colors and shapes, each book having a unique character, blending text and image seamlessly. Mark's images dance across the page, expand to the edges and ignore the normal boundaries of "illustrated" books.

Mark weights the selection and arrangement of the poems she uses as heavily as she does her images. Her books reveal a thoughtful and insightful reader who shares with us her vision of how a book should be considered. Clearly Mark intends her work to be read sequentially cover to cover. For that reason an exhibition, however complete, cannot show all the openings of these books nor can you get the desired experience of holding them, turning the pages, seeing the images and texts without the separating element of glass.

These books are not intended to be seen under glass. The only time these books are not able to be touched, read, experienced is now, when they are on exhibit. After the exhibit is over, Mark's books will again be available in the Book Arts Collection, Special Collections Division. Please come and see them in person. This exhibition is sited in three locations in the Libraries: Suzzallo Room 102, Allen North Balcony and Special Collections lobby and each site has different materials. Please see all of them.

I am grateful to Enid Mark for the loan of various materials that are shown throughout the exhibition including individual pages from many of her books allowing more openings to be seen, portraits of her collaborators, much of the preliminary photography and drawings that were used in the creation of the books and individual prints that are polymer plate intaglios or lithographs.

Sandra Kroupa
Book Arts and Rare Book Curator
Special Collections Division


In a world geared to mass
production and computerization,
I seek to make limited
edition books
In an individual and
personal way.

I imagine the book as a continuous picture plane on which word, image, sequence and structure all reinforce each other. What interests me most is the relationship between word and image. I plan no hierarchy of them. An artist's book is a unique form of visual disclosure. It must be slowly savored. It should be held in the hand and carefully considered. Only then are its contents fully revealed.

My early books were one-of-a-kind efforts that, like most artists' books, presented political, social and autobiographical ideas. But an ongoing interest with writing and literature, especially poetry, led me to reconsider my direction. Involving myself with the literary legacy of the book, initiating ideas, selecting and editing material, and working with writers, offered a vigorous context, a way for me to express myself beyond cliché. At times I compile disparate texts that assume greater power when gathered together in tandem with my imagery. Often I am inspired by the stories of the myths. For instance, in the book To Persephone (2000), nine 20th Century poets recast the Homeric myth explaining the origins of the seasons as the story of a young girl caught between her lover and her mother. At other times my books are the result of direct collaboration with poets, such as Precessional (1998), a collection of poems by Eleanor Wilner, and The Elements (2002), a poem sequence by Susan Stewart.

Whatever the initial impetus, books published at The ELM Press are planned so that all of their discrete elements co- exist, but never illustrate, one another. Edition sizes range from twenty-five to fifty numbered and signed copies, plus artist proofs. Production is by collaboration with craftspeople who consider each effort a special challenge to their own artistic integrity.

Enid Mark
The ELM Press

Endless Path, Beginningless Journey: Art & Artists' Books by Jim Koss

On Exhibit: October 23, 2006 - February 28, 2007

Before the Door of God: 600 Years of Sacred Texts

On Exhibit: August 14-October 6, 2006

Capturing Color: The Don Guyot Decorated Paper Collection

On Exhibit: July 17- August 25, 2006 with special event July 19th from 7-9pm
Exhibit is in Suzzallo Exhibition Room 102 and the Allen Library North Balcony; July 19 th event is in Maps/Special Collections Classroom (Suzzallo Library, Rm B89)

The exhibit focuses on the collection of decorated and decorative papers in the Book Arts Collection including the collection assembled by world-renowned paper marbler Don Guyot. Exhibited will be historical examples of decorated paper, marbled papers by Guyot and many of the most significant paper marblers and decorators in the world.

The exhibit event on July 19th from 7-9pm and will honor Don’s contributions to the field. Attending the event will be a number of Don’s friends, former students and colleagues. Beginning in the UW Maps/Special Collections classroom, Don will give a brief presentation and a panel will reflect on his extensive career. Amongst the attendees and panelists expected are Violet Wilson, Ingrid Weimann, Judith L. Johnson, Eileen Canning, Donald Glaister, and Jean Marie Seaton. Following the presentation, attendees are encouraged to follow Don and guests upstairs to view the exhibit.

The 64th Annual Western Books Exhibition

On Exhibit: June 12 - August 4, 2006
Special Collections, Allen Library South, Basement Lobby, University of Washington

The members of the Rounce & Coffin Club have chosen the best-designed books printed and published in the western United States in 2005. The exhibit showcases several outstanding examples of works produced by fine press printers and book artists using a wide variety of styles.

Stitched with Love: Czech and Slovak Folk Dress From the Collection of Helen Cincebeaux, With Materials From the UW Libraries' Collections:

On Exhibit: May 1 - June 8, 2006
Special Collections, Allen Library South, Basement Lobby, University of Washington

An Exploration of the Literature of Lewis and Clark

On Exhibit: January - March, 2005
Special Collections
Allen Library South, Basement Lobby, University of Washington

Seeing the BIG Picture: Preservation of Panoramic Photographs

On Exhibit: October 1 - December 30, 2005
Special Collections
Allen Library South, Basement Lobby, University of Washington

The Photograph Collection of the UW Libraries' Special Collections Division includes dozens of panorama photographs pertaining to the Pacific Northwest. This exhibit is a first chance to view a selection of these, which include group portraits, as well as birdseye and landscape views. The history of panoramic photography is highlighted, as well as the recent project of the Libraries' curatorial and conservation staff to better house, store, and provide access to these unusual resources.

Circuit Riders for Book Arts: Vamp & Tramp: A Lecture by Bill & Vicky Stewart


The 63rd Annual Western Books Exhibition

On Exhibit: June 13-August 20, 2005
Special Collections, Allen Library South, Basement Lobby, University of Washington

The Rounce and Coffin Club of Los Angeles, based at the Occidental College Library, annually selects the "best books of the year published in the western part of North America." The juried, travelling exhibition visits the University of Washington between June 13 and August 20, 2005. The exhibition features 32 distinguished examples of the art and craft of book design and printing. It encourages and rewards high standards of book design throughout the Western United States.

Modern Marblers: A Contemporary Revival World Wide

On Exhibit: May 9-June 3, 2005
Special Collections, Allen Library South, Basement Lobby, University of Washington

"Modern marblers: a contemporary revival world wide" is an exhibition of the book Modern Marblers Tribute created by Jean Marie Seaton in an edition of two copies.  The copy on display is the “emerald edition”.  The book contains samples of and commentary on the work of sixty contemporary paper marblers and highlights four “masters” of the craft.  Ms. Seaton is responsible for all the elements of Tribute, including beautifully calligraphed text, her own marbling and a magnificent box and binding.  This exhibition celebrates her generous gift of the book to the Book Arts Collection in Special Collections. Tribute will be exhibited in Special Collections lobby exhibition area from May 9 - June 3.

“This work is dedicated to every marbler, present and future, whose artistic heart rises up to the magic in this marbling experience and in that artistry determines to infuse a passionate fire for this ancient and venerable medium to help it burn ever more brightly.”

Jean Marie Seaton

The Book Arts Collection has a long standing interest in the history and technique of paper decoration.  As well as collecting historically significant research texts on the subject, the Collection contains samples of both historical and modern papers in full and partial sheets.  There is a portion of the Collection that is focused on bookbindings and many fine examples of decorated papers are in use in these bindings.  The work of modern artists is actively sought.  The donation of Modern Marbler’s Tribute is a great addition to an already significant Collection.

Pure Poppycock: The Paintings of Mr. Otis

On Exhibit: March 3- May 5, 2005
Special Collections Lobby, Allen Library South, University of Washington

In 1949, a bright artistic talent in the form of the mysterious Mr. Otis appeared on the Portland, Oregon art scene. Northwest author Stewart H. Holbrook, Mr. Otis' "discoverer," had become acquainted with the artist (a man of "shabby gentility" who "wore neither a beret nor a beard") when they shared quarters at the Press Club's Portland mansion in the 1930s. Rejected for employment by the WPA, Mr. Otis spent the lean years of the Depression bartering paintings for food. The artist and the author continued their acquaintance throughout the 1930s and 1940s, and Holbrook offered Mr. Otis studio space in his own workshop.

In 1949, Mr. Otis was thrilled to see one of his paintings, "Fido Can Set Up!" in the Portland Oregonian. He had submitted it to the paper's Salon Arts Independent. As Holbrook put it, "the dam had broken, the Otis cup ranneth over." Before long, Mr. Otis' works were displayed in the homes and offices of prominent personalities such as publisher Bennett Cerf and historian Bernard De Voto. Although the Portland Art Museum refused Mr. Otis a one-man show, exhibits of his work sprang up all over town, and eventually, as far away as New York City -- much to the delight of art aficionados and eager collectors.

Stewart Holbrook provided further details of his friendship with the artist in the 1958 book Mr. Otis, which displayed twenty-four of Mr. Otis' greatest works and included an introduction by Holbrook. The author hailed Mr. Otis as the founding member of the Primitive-Moderne school of painting (Holbrook insisted that the "e" at the end of "Moderne" was "imperative," as "it makes the word foreign, hence fashionable"). Holbrook frequently made appearances on behalf of the somewhat reserved Mr. Otis, who was often busy with work.

Populated by wild-eyed patriarchs, populist leaders, and a lively cast of historical figures, the paintings displayed here are a testament to the unique vision of the marvelous and mysterious Mr. Otis.

Researching the Road: Travel & Tourism in the Pacific Northwest

On Exhibit: Aug. 20 - Oct. 15, 2004
Special Collections Lobby, Allen Library South, University of Washington

During the 19th century people generally did not travel far from their homes and if they did it was usually by train. Roads tended to be paths into town from nearby farms and often it was not exactly clear where the road was located. In farming areas, the roads would veer off course to go around a farmer's field or perhaps one day the farmer would decide to plow and plant a crop where the road ran. Or, the road might simply get too muddy to use. (A 19th century Kansas story relates that one day a man came upon a hat lying in a muddy road. When he picked up the hat there was a person underneath buried in the mud. When he asked if the person needed help the reply was, "well I don't, but my horse does.")

There were no cross-country roads, or even cross-state roads. Most roads were either left untended or barely tended by the local county governments who were in charge of them because they were not as important to the population as the railroad. By the end of the 19th century, however, various groups banded together to lobby for the improvement of roads. Farmers became concerned about the state of roads when in 1899, the post office declared that no rural deliveries would be made where the roads were unfit for travel. Bicyclists, such as, The League of American Wheelmen, along with early automobile enthusiasts also wanted better roads for their activities as did urban merchants and businessmen. The Good Roads movement, which was born from these various interests, was created to lobby for road improvement. During the early years of the 20th century, local town citizens held "good roads" work days to improve their roads. Road groups organized and put up signposts along dirt tracks to map out cross state roads to encourage travel through their towns.

The Good Roads movement, the increasing number of automobiles, and World War I brought a significant change in the public attitude toward roads. The Federal Highway Act was passed on July 11, 1916, to offer federal assistance in the construction of interstate and rural highways. As the automobile caught on, the idea of traveling more than just a few miles in it gave way to auto touring. As the roads improved, more and more people discovered the idea of traveling for recreation.

Interest in studying the roadside and tourism began during the later years of the 20th century. Researchers began examining the landscape and architecture of the roadside and the history of the roads themselves. Chester Liebs Main Street to Miracle Mile was one of the early books on the history of the roadside landscape. Organizations such as the Society for Commercial Archeology, and the Lincoln Highway Association, study various aspects of the road and the roadside and encourage the preservation and study of the roadside environment.

This exhibit presents a few of the various materials relating to tourism, roads and roadside architecture that are part of the Special Collections Division holdings. Some of the materials included are: guidebooks to architectural drawings, to maps, photographs, home movies, ephemera.

In Flight: A Guild of Bookworkers Traveling Exhibit

On Exhibit: Mar. 22 - May 7, 2004
Special Collections Lobby, Allen Library South & Suzzallo 102, 1st floor, Suzzallo Library, University of Washington

Many events, nationwide, have celebrated the December 17, 2003, centennial of the Wright Brother's first flight, but none as unusual as the Guild of Book Worker's 2003-2005 Triennial exhibition featuring the theme: In Flight. Fifty-one book works, created by Guild members specifically for this juried show, will be on view from March 22 through May 7, 2004 at the Suzzallo/Allen Library co-sponsored by the Book Arts Guild, Wessel & Lieberman Booksellers and the Special Collections Division. The exhibition is split between Suzzallo 102 on the first floor of Suzzallo and the Special Collections lobby in the basement of the south wing of the Allen Library. Accompanying the exhibition is a display, "From the Heart", featuring the work of Bellingham artist Elsi Vassdal Ellis who is also in the traveling exhibition. That element of the exhibition can be seen in the display case in Allen first floor and in the Special Collections reference area.

Elsi Vassdal Ellis will speak about her work on Tuesday March 30, 2004 in Special Collections 7:00-9:00 PM. Her lecture, "Witness - Witness: Convergence of Ideas--Divergence of Form", will be an overview of how current research on identity and conflict as expressed through war and genocide was transformed into Elsi's books Icarus and Questions for a Terrorist. Both titles are included in the Guild of Book Workers exhibition.

Lillian Dabney, whose piece, Bessie Coleman/Dared to Dream, is also in the In Flight exhibition will be speaking about her work Tuesday May 4, 2004 in Special Collections 7:00-9:00 PM. Both lectures are Book Arts Guild monthly meetings but are free and open to the public.

The Workers of Suzzallo: A Photographic Portrait

On Exhibit: Jan. 27 - Mar. 31, 2003
Special Collections, Allen Library South, Basement Lobby, University of Washington

The photographs in this exhibit are part of a project last year to document the people who worked on the Suzzallo renovation. The participating photographers were part of a group of photographers who work on the UW campus and meet monthly to share their work. The Turner Construction Company arranged for the consent of the workers and coordinated the visits of the photographers inside the work area of Suzzallo so they were able to document the workers on site.

The exhibit includes photographs of the workers and the Suzzallo site made by Kari Berger, Loyd Heath, Deborah Hughes, Linda Moran, and Helen Vogel in 2002. It also includes artifacts from the site such as a piece of the terracotta masonry, marble, light switches, caution tape, safety glasses, paint brush, and more. The workers also were asked questions about how they felt about working on the project and their answers have been put with their photographs.

Shapers of History: The Daryl Brotman Gallery of American Political Figures

On Exhibit: Sept. 9 - Nov. 1, 2002
Special Collections, Allen Library South, Basement Lobby, University of Washington

The exhibition includes:

  • Photographs, letters and political ephemera from United States Presidential elections, 1932-1964.
  • Photographs of Presidents, Vice Presidents, Cabinet Members, Supreme Court Justices, Senators and Governors.
  • Cartoons of Presidents by Daryl Brotman as a youthful collector of materials relating to American history as well as cartoons he later developed as a teacher.

Haida Architecture: Memory, Meaning and Power

On Exhibit: May 6 - June 23, 2002
Special Collections
Allen Library South, Basement Lobby, University of Washington

The exhibition includes:

19th and early 20th century photographs of Haida architecture from the Viola Garfield Collection as well as works on Haida architecture as the representation or embodiment of social organization and cosmology.

We Are All Strangers Bound by the Same Spirits*: An exhibit celebrating the diversity of Pacific Northwest Poets

On Exhibit: Jan. 15 - Apr. 30, 2002
Special Event: Reading and Reception, April 11th, 2002 at 7 p.m.
Special Collections, Allen Library South, Basement Lobby, University of Washington

The exhibition includes:

Broadsides, limited edition books, photographs, original poetry drafts and ephemeral material by 23 women and minority poets of the Pacific Northwest. Poets featured in this exhibit include Jody Aliesan, Sherman Alexie, Linda Bierds, Alan Chong Lau, Denise Levertov, Colleen McElroy, Duane Niatum, and Eve Triem.

Special Event: Reading and Reception

Please join us on April 11th, 2002, at 7 p.m. for a reading and reception.

Poets participating in the reading include Jody Aliesan, Alan Chong Lau, Madeline DeFrees, Colleen McElroy, Catherine Michaelis, Duane Niatum, Ann Spiers and Primus St. John.

The reading will be held in the Manuscripts, Special Collections, University Archives Division of the University of Washington Libraries, located in Allen Library South.

Exhibition curated by Lisa Scharnhorst, Special Collections

*Colleen McElroy

Mirrors of Gigantic Shadows: An Exhibition of Rare and Scarce Materials Related to Romanticism

On Exhibit Aug. 13 - Dec. 3, 2001
Special Collections, Allen Library South, Basement Lobby, University of Washington

"Poets are the hierophants of an unapprehended inspiration; the mirrors of the gigantic shadows which futurity casts upon the present." 
~ From A Defence of Poetry by Percy Bysshe Shell

The exhibition includes:

  • Examples of American literature 1760-1840 from the 19th Century Hilen Americana Collection, featuring women writers
  • Limited edition facsimiles of William Blake's illuminated books created by William Muir from the 1880-1930's
  • Images from the great period of Pacific Northwest exploration
  • Images from travel literature 1760-1840
  • Images from Mary W. Shelley's Frankenstein, or, The modern Prometheus illustrated by Barry Moser. West Hatfield, Mass.: Pennyroyal, 1983, c1984
  • Napoleonic caricatures