Exhibit of Rare Books at University of Dayton (Dayton, Ohio)

I had the opportunity to get a sneak peak at the new exhibit at the University of Dayton’s Roesch Library this weekend. If you are anywhere near Dayton in the next five weeks, I encourage you to drop by. It is an amazing collection of books and writing from papyri to fine bindings. From the press release:

Some of the rarest books in the world will be on display at the University of Dayton this fall, from authors like Austen, Chaucer, Copernicus, Marie Curie, Shakespeare and Mark Twain.

“Imprints and Impressions: Milestones in Human Progress” will feature first editions, manuscripts, galley proofs, papyri and illustrations spanning the scholarly spectrum from philosophy to physics. The free, public exhibit runs Sept. 29 through Nov. 9 in the Roesch Library first-floor gallery on the University of Dayton campus.

Johannes Kepler, “Astronomia Nova (New Astronomy),” Heidelberg or Prague, 1609. First edition.

The books and manuscripts are on loan from Stuart Rose, a Dayton-area businessman who has assembled one of the most accomplished collections of its kind in private hands, said rare book expert Nicholas Basbanes, author of several books, including A Gentle Madness, about book lovers and the lengths collectors go to find their treasures.

Basbanes said “Imprints and Impressions” is a rare opportunity to glimpse manuscripts and early editions that are often kept out of public view in private collections or locked in rooms at libraries.

“I don’t recall an exhibition quite like this in recent memory, certainly not one as comprehensive in scope as this, and with all the material coming from one private collection,” Basbanes said. “Stuart Rose has collected grandly, and in many areas. Most collectors of any consequence aspire to have at least one great book on their shelves. He has dozens, and there is nothing that is trivial or insignificant.”

Basbanes will kick off the exhibit with a lecture at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 29, in the Kennedy Union ballroom, followed by the public opening of the exhibit in Roesch Library. His address is one of more than 18 events around the exhibit expanding on co-curricular learning through talks, workshops and performances, with many open to the public.

For links to the amazing online exhibit, hours and directions, and other information, see the Roesch Library website.

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