Exhibits at the Boston College Libraries

O'Neill Reading Room

There are three horizontal cases in the O’Neill Reading Room, featuring special collections from the John J. Burns Library.
Return to the O'Neill Reading Room Past Exhibits

Lost in the Puzzle
Puzzle Purses from Early Printed Books: History and Craft

October 2014

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The pieces in this exhibit are puzzle purses, made by students and professors in the class Early Printed Books: History and Craft, taught by Professor Virginia Reinburg in conjunction with the staff at the Burns Library, particularly conservator Barbara Hebard. This class focuses on the revolution in ideas, culture, and technology spurred by Johan Gutenberg’s invention of the printing press around 1450, through reading and hands-on practice. The puzzle purses, which are made by folding paper into a purse shape, were our first foray into the world of book-making. In this project, we learned about the different qualities of paper, and were introduced to the tools of the bookbinder, specifically the bone folder. The puzzle purses here were inspired by a variety of sources, including the books in the Burns Library collections, personal experiences, and Boston itself.

The pieces in this exhibit are puzzle purses, made by students and professors in the class Early Printed Books: History and Craft, taught by Professor Virginia Reinburg in conjunction with the staff at the Burns Library, particularly conservator Barbara Hebard. This class focuses on the revolution in ideas, culture, and technology spurred by Johan Gutenberg’s invention of the printing press around 1450, through reading and hands-on practice. The puzzle purses, which are made by folding paper into a purse shape, were our first foray into the world of book-making. In this project, we learned about the different qualities of paper, and were introduced to the tools of the bookbinder, specifically the bone folder. The puzzle purses here were inspired by a variety of sources, including the books in the Burns Library collections, personal experiences, and Boston itself.

image description