‘Ex Libris’ (trans: from the books) showcases a visually stunning sample of provenance found among the collections of UCs Macmillan Brown Library. Inscriptions, labels, stamps, association books, marginalia, bookplates and personal items bring to life the journey of a book. Special Collections Librarian and curator Damian Cairns explains, ‘these possessive marks can show the love of as well as the possession of books, the owner’s social position and personality, insight into the socio-political landscape of a period and artistic movements, such as Canterbury’s The Group.’ The graphic quality of this mark making enriches books beyond their original intent. They open a point of connection to a person or period and provide us with an understanding of the social-life of the object.
Ex Libris includes a wide array of fascinating material of exquisite artistry ranging from a 1531 edition of Magna Carta to a 1923 association copy of ‘New Hampshire’ by American poet, Robert Frost, all of which have a connection with Canterbury institutions and personalities.
Exhibition runs from 19 May – 5 July 2017
UC Matariki Gallery opposite Puaka-James Hight
Have you ever wanted your very own bookplate? A bookplate design competition open to students and staff will coincide with the exhibition. Visit the exhibition or any campus library for entry details.
Curator: Damian Cairns, Assistant Curator: Rebecca Taekema
For further information please contact:
Damian Cairns, Kaitaki Taonga Motuhake | Special Collection Librarian
Tel. +64 3 364 2987 ext. 93916