Openings: [re]turning to Special Collections

As Williams reopens to visitors, Special Collections returns to displaying our material publicly behind protective glass. Few books are created with this kind of interaction in mind, but what can we learn from close looking at a distance?

“Openings” centers on themes of education, travel, dining, and gathering—aspects of our lives that have changed dramatically over the past year and a half. Whether we can’t turn the page because we’re looking at an object through Zoom, or because it is securely displayed in an exhibition, how much can we still learn from a single opening?

Each case offers three separate ways of examining its contents: one traditional, content-focused label; an explanation of the item’s provenance or acquisition history; and a book-specific vocabulary word with definition and context.

Openings: [re]turning to Special Collections will be on display in the Chapin Gallery (4th floor of Sawyer Library) through the Fall term.