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Book Arts Symposium @ Dana Library Fri. Nov. 3rd

Photo of Starbridge, a pop-up book by Ed Hutchins

"Flaps, Folds, Figures, and Flash: Books with Movable Parts" is the theme of the 12th Annual New Jersey Book Arts Symposium and Exhibition, to be held on Friday November 3rd at the John Cotton Dana Library in Rutgers-Newark.

Books with movable parts have been produced since the 13th century, and many different techniques can be seen in books throughout the ages. Early scientific and medical books included lift-the-flaps and rotating wheels to help elucidate the text and illustrate complicated concepts. Books with split pages, introduced in the 18th century, allowed the reader to change one illustration into another, much like contemporary mix-and-match books.

Three-dimensional paper peepshows were commonly used by traveling showmen in the 19th century. By layering individual sets of pictures, they offered viewers a glimpse of historic sites and man-made wonders. From the mid-19th century, more complex movable books were produced with devices that included transformational slats, intersecting wheels, intricate tab-operated action, and stand-up scenes. True pop-up books, those with illustrations that automatically arise when the page is turned, began to be made in large numbers in the late 19th century and continue to be created by hand today, much as they were when they were first introduced.

The presenters at the Twelfth Annual Symposium will discuss the history of movable books and show how they have incorporated movable elements into their books. The Book Artists' Jam is an opportunity to meet with participating artists and to view and purchase their work.

Ann Montanaro, chair of this year's event, is a book collector and founder of The Movable Book Society. She is Director of Information Technology at the Rutgers University Libraries. Amanda Thackray is the guest curator for the accompanying exhibition. She studied printmaking and book arts at MGSA at Rutgers University and was a guest speaker at last years symposium.

Registration fees to attend are $40 for the general public and $15 for Rutgers faculty and staff. Students may attend for free but must register in advance. Registration deadline is October 30th. Please send registration fees (checks payable to "Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey") and personal contact information to:
John Cotton Dana Library
Administration office
185 University Ave.
Newark, New Jersey 07102-1814

For directions by car or public transportation to the John Cotton Dana Library, please see:

For more information about the book arts symposium, please contact the Dana Library Administration office at 973/353-5222 or send email to

Information about previous Book Arts Symposia is available at

Posted October 20, 2006