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  • Exhibit

The Movement of Books

Using rare books, video footage, and interactive models that visitors can touch and handle, this exhibit explores the many ways books move — as physical objects in different formats, and across space and time.

August 30 - December 13, 2024
Goldstein Family Gallery, Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center, sixth floor
Open to the Public
Two hands unroll a scroll, which shows a colorful illustration of an elephant surrounded by a floral motif

To read a book, you must move it: take it off the shelf, open the cover, and turn the pages. Yet, in library exhibits, books are often displayed under glass, which protects them but removes the tactile experience crucial to how we understand them. 

This paradox is the basis for The Movement of Books, an exhibit exploring the myriad ways books move — as physical objects in different formats, and across space and time. The exhibit will feature items from Penn Libraries' collections, a video wall, and interactive models for visitors to engage with directly.

The Movement of Books was curated by Dot Porter, SIMS Curator of Digital Humanities, and produced in collaboration with Education Commons, Common Press, and the Schoenberg Center for Electronic Text and Image (SCETI).

Plan Your Visit

On view August 30 to December 13, 2024. This exhibition is free and open to the public and located in the Goldstein Gallery on the 6th floor of the Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center. Gallery hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays.

Penn faculty, staff, and students must swipe their PennCard for access. Visitors from outside the Penn community must present a current, valid government or school-issued photo ID that contains an expiration date. Find more information to plan your visit


Featured image: A captured still from The Movement of Books video. User is handling roll, Ms. Indic 3.