Rare Book Room - Past Display
Imagine our world without William Shakespeare (1564–1616). There would not be the body of work that he created—all of the plays and sonnets. There would not be all of the stage productions of his plays, the derivative popular works and there would not be a whole other body of literary study and analysis devoted to better understanding his timeless creations.
As 2016 marks 400 years since William Shakespeare’s death we celebrate the Bard’s life and work with an exhibit that includes the First, Second, Third and Fourth Folios along with his Poems. Historical, religious, literary and scientific works that potentially influenced Shakespeare’s writing are presented as well. These significantly include Holinshed’s Chronicles, Bibles and the Book of Common Prayer, Plutarch’s Lives, Ben Jonson’s Works, and Foxes’ Acts and Monuments among others. 400 years later, we still enjoy the fruits of Shakespeare’s creativity. This exhibit commemorates what he gave humanity while reflecting on his life and times.
Featured in our latest display are several rare and one-of-a-kind maps of Buffalo recently conserved thanks to a New York State Discretionary Grant. Among them, our infamous red-light district map from 1893, Mann’s Map of the Buffalo Harbor, and Map of Buffalo Village, 1805, made under the direction of the Young Men’s Association's special committee on local history. Facsimiles of maps of the Olmsted parks system, the church district maps, pictorial maps, Sanborn maps and the harbor are also part of the display. Come see Buffalo’s landscape as it develops from an early 19th century pioneer settlement into a flourishing center of commerce and industry.
Just one book started it all. With the children’s book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, author L. Frank Baum created an abundance of iconic images, sayings and memories for children and adults alike, which continues even to this day. This modern American fairy tale, the first of the 14 Oz books written by Baum, began a tradition of pleasurable reading for children and set a standard for juvenile literature.
Through original first edition Oz books as well as Wizard of Oz collectibles, and other illustrations and publications, The Wonderful Wizardry of Baum exhibit follows Baum’s yellow brick road, exploring his early life, the writing and marketing of the Oz stories. Displays about the subsequent and adaptive productions on stage and screen, music and pop imagery all help to exemplify our collective cultural consciousness of “There’s no place like home.”
There is art to be found in science books and science to be found in artist’s books.
Although current society has come to think of science and math exclusively as “left-brained” functions while art and creativity are considered “right-brained” activity, some book artists are bridging this hemispheric divide with artist’s books and book arts inspired by science texts. These artist’s books reflect upon or interpret significant works and concepts of astronomy, medicine, geology, physics and more. Today’s mutually exclusive idea of “left-brained” and “right-brained” activity discounts longer understood ideas that science is a creative pursuit—that there really is art to be found in science—and that creative artworks often have some scientific basis and/or inspiration.
Through January 20, 2013
Using letters, maps, images, publications of the time, and narratives drawn from the Library's collections, the dramatic story of the devastation of the frontier village of Buffalo in December 1813 unfolds in this new exhibit inspired by the 2012-2015 Bicentennial of the War of 1812. The story of merchant/militia volunteer/Library forefather Seth Grosvenor and aspects of the War's national legacy are included.
A series of free programs on aspects of the War across the Niagara Frontier will take place at various Library sites Fall-Winter 2012-13.
Through June 16, 2012
The Compleat Angler; or, the Contemplative Man’s Recreation by Izaac Walton [1593 – 1683] was first published in 1653 and has been reprinted numerous times remaining the favorite fishing book of many to this day. Several editions were published during Walton’s lifetime and many more since. By 1936, The Compleat Angler had been reprinted with and without changes 283 times by bibliographer Peter Oliver’s count and, according to multiple sources, is the third most printed book, after the Bible, and the writings of Shakespeare.
Along with many early and fine editions of Walton’s Compleat Angler, the exhibit “Some Things Fishy in Rare Books” reveals spectacular ichthyological illustrations spanning multiple decades. On display are fish illustrations from Conrad Gesner’s 16th century Historia Animalium to Mark Catesby’s 1750 Piscium Serpentum and, more recently, Zane Grey’s photo illustration in Tales of Fresh-Water Fishing from 1928.
Through January 2012
Lafayette Square is a significant feature in the original 1804 design for Buffalo by Joseph Ellicott, when it was called the Village of New Amsterdam. At its earliest, the park was known as Court House Square until the Marquis de Lafayette visited in 1825 and it took on the revered General’s name. Lafayette Square began as a wooded park and changed many times over the years on its way to becoming the urban square and traffic thoroughfare that it is today.
The story of the many configurations of Lafayette Square, the Soldiers and Sailors Monument and its surrounding buildings, both current and past, unfolds in this exhibit through photographs, postcards, menus and other interesting ephemera.
See also www.thetourististheotherfellow.blogspot.com. View additional photos, read diary entries, and learn more about H. Phelps Clawson and Geneva Thompson Porter.
The 1920s marked a significant change in travel habits. More people had more time and more discretionary spending for tourism. Likewise, automobiles, trains, ocean liners, and even zeppelins offered reliable, comfortable, and luxurious methods for transport. Explore this golden age of travel through the eyes of 2 prominent locals: H. Phelps Clawson and Geneva Thompson Porter. Travelers and Cosmopolitans: the Tourist is the Other Fellow showcases diaries, photographs, and travel ephemera from the pivotal era of the 1920s and 30s.
Through January 30, 2011
The Library's current rare book exhibit celebrates the works of William Morris (1834-1896), 19th century English craftsman. He is often remembered today for Morris & Co. which manufactured and sold distinctive furnishings and décor including wallpaper, stained glass, rugs, and tapestries. However, he also founded one of the most famous private presses – the Kelmscott Press – where he produced beautiful and limited-edition, hand-crafted books. This exhibition showcases works of the Kelmscott Press from the Library’s collection, including the renowned Chaucer, and a selection of books from local presses influenced by Morris such as the Roycroft Press (East Aurora, NY) and Aries Press (Eden, NY). The Kelmscott Chaucer (1896), completed only a few months before Morris passed away, is widely regarded as the greatest publication issued by a modern private press and has even been hailed as the finest book ever printed.
The story of the Kelmscott Press, its founder William Morris, and the involvement of important individuals like the artist Edward Burne-Jones are included as background to the stunning books on display.
June 1-September 26, 2010
The Library is blooming! Throughout history, botanical illustration has been both an art form and a tool to share knowledge. This exhibition showcases treasures of the Library's rare book collection, flora portrayed in the ever-changing beauty of nature or sorted into scientific categories to impart order. It is sure to delight!