New Sawyer Exhibit: Stacks as Artifacts

Stacks as Artifacts: The New Testaments of Sawyer Library as Material Archive

One of the case from REL/CLAS 215 Spring 2018 Final Project What is the New Testament? How does it “work” as a thing? In REL/CLAS 215, “The New Testament: From Word to Book,” students have learned about the New Testament as a thing, as a material object that is and has been produced in a variety of material forms. The form of its material incarnations, including its size, contents, and page-layout, rather than being merely incidental features, are what work together to make each New Testament object a particular type of thing that produces significance and meaning in specific and idiosyncratic ways.

In this exhibit, each student has selected a New Testament (or Bible) from the stacks of Sawyer Library or the rare book collection of Chapin Library. Focusing on sequential chapters and sections of the Gospel According to John (the 4th book in most modern New Testaments), each student draws our attention to how one specific material feature of their New Testament works to make that New Testament a particular type of meaning-making thing.

What material and page-layout features of these New Testaments do you see? How are they working to make each New Testament (or Bible) a particular type of thing with particular types of meanings and uses?

Curated by Professor Phillip Webster.
On view in Sawyer Lobby until May 20.