On exhibition in the Special Collections Gallery until March 4, 2011:
Messenger of Thought: Treasures from the Rare Middle East Collections
“The pen is the ambassador of intelligence, the messenger of thought, and the interpreter for the mind”
– Islamic writer on calligraphy
If words are the essence of books, the materials used and the technologies developed to write those words are the building blocks of a captured culture. Verbal collaborates with visual, textual with textural, enhancing meaning and inviting intimacy between writer and reader. The arts of the book – papermaking and decorating, calligraphy, illumination, and binding are highly developed in Middle Eastern culture. From ancient times, the written word and the craft of Middle Eastern bookmakers has established law, recorded history and myth, inspired faith, stimulated intellectual exploration, and created bonds between east and west.
The Rare Books Division congratulates the Middle East Center and the Middle East Library on fifty years of supporting and continuing these bonds.