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Dec 01 2014

Special Collections Rare Book Sessions with Dr. Margaret Simon

The Special Collections Research Center has been busy this fall partnering with various faculty members at NC State as they use Special Collections materials in the classroom. Dr. Margaret Simon recently brought in two of her English classes to study some of our rare book collections. The undergraduates enrolled in English 261 were learning some of the basics about rare books; one perennial student favorite was “A Display of Heraldry” by John Guillim, which includes hand-colored coats of arms from England. The author of the book was an officer of arms at the College of Arms in London. A similar version, a partial manuscript draft of the book (ca.1610), was recently featured in the Folger Shakespeare Library’s blog.

Dr. Simon also brought in an example of a parchment sheet from her own collection that the students could examine closely, and compare visually with an example of a manuscript leaf in Special Collections. The students also spent some time studying and appreciating the “book as object,” noting early bindings (and later re-bindings) as well as metal clasps and evidence of contemporary repairs with re-used manuscripts.