Upcoming Exhibitions

Friday, 22 May 2020 to Friday, 21 August 2020

Medieval image

The medieval bishop and bibliophile Richard de Bury describes books as an "infinite treasure," for they, more than any other human contrivance, are able to preserve the knowledge and the wisdom, as well as the follies and the failures, of previous generations – "in books I find the dead as if they were alive." This exhibition aims to bring the medieval world to life by drawing on the many treasures from the period to be found in the Fisher Library. It will celebrate the medieval book, and the medieval written word more generally, in all its variety in terms of both subject matter and physical form. Included will be books on topics from religion to science and history to the law and in formats from the codex to the charter to the tally stick. Though the main focus of the exhibition will be on medieval manuscripts – that is, books written by hand – it will also explore the transition from handwritten to printed books that began at the very end of the medieval period. Medieval books, and especially their aesthetic qualities, have been a recurrent source of inspiration for the makers of books in subsequent periods, and the exhibition will also examine this medievalist tradition in book production, especially in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.

This exhibition will be curated by the Fisher Library’s PJ Carefoote, Timothy Perry, and Nadav Sharon.

Monday, 27 January 2020 to Friday, 1 May 2020

CanLit exhibition collage image

Atwood, Ondaatje, Gallant, Davies. These names are familiar to anyone with even a passing interest in Canadian literature. But the writers are only one aspect of the CanLit story. As Graeme Gibson once remarked, the notion that writers function best in isolation is nonsense – rather, there is "strength in numbers." The writers, of course, are paramount, but the community includes so many others: editors, publishers, illustrators, marketers and booksellers are just a sampling of the individuals that make up the broad network of Canadian publishing. Drawing on the library’s rich archival material, this exhibition will explore how CanLit and Canadian publishing have been shaped by our diverse community.

This exhibition is curated by the Fisher Library’s Natalya Rattan and John Shoesmith.