Southeastern students collaborate on rare book exhibit

Monday, November 16, 2015 Rare book exhibit
by: Rene Abadie

RARE DOCUMENTS, BOOKS ON EXHIBIT – Southeastern graduate assistant Nicholas Heyd of Covington examines one of the rare books in an exhibit sponsored by the Center for Southeast Louisiana Studies on the third floor of the Sims Memorial Library. With him are graduate student Megan Arledge of Walker and Faith Allen, a sophomore from Ponchatoula.

    HAMMOND – A new exhibit showcasing rare books and documents from Southeastern Louisiana University’s archives and other sources has opened in the Sims Memorial Library.
    Housed in the Center for Southeast Louisiana Studies on the library’s third floor, the exhibit was curated by the center’s student workers and will remain open in the viewing area at least into next semester, said center Director Samuel Hyde.
    Titled “History Revealed through Rare Books and Documents: The Emergence of Printing, Bookbinding, and the Challenges of War Time Publishing,” the exhibit also portrays the process of book binding and fabrication over the years. Special panels on history, law, philosophy and religion are featured.
    The exhibit contents include rare handwritten documents from the 1700s, examples of some of the first bound books, Civil War era newspapers, letters to presidents, and some 300-year-old books. Panels also display information on the early construction of books and various papers used in the printing process.
    “Occasionally we enjoy the opportunity of displaying some of the rarest documents and publications included in the Southeastern Archives,” Hyde explained. “In this exhibit, our own holdings have been augmented by the impressive collections of former English instructor Paul Crawford, retired appeals court Judge Jimmy Kuhn and select items from the Cate/Graham family.
    Hyde attributed the bulk of the work on preparing the exhibit to his student staff: graduate research assistants Nicholas Heyd of Covington and Chase Tomlin of Slidell; graduate assistant Megan Arledge of Walker, and undergraduate psychology student Faith Allen of Ponchatoula.
    “The collections at Southeastern have true historic value, but unfortunately because of space they are rarely displayed publically,” said Heyd.
    Heyd did the initial arrangements of the works on display aided by Arledge. “I chipped in on the arrangements and provided some general tips on the display,” Arledge said.
    Allen, now in her second year working at the center, said she has learned a lot working in the archives. “I now know better how to work with an exhibit, which is valuable information to know,” she said.
    “Our student workers designed and implemented this exhibit, focusing on items that are certain to fascinate history buffs and fans of the written word,” said Hyde. “They have produced an exhibit that is certain to entertain and educate both scholars and the general public.”
    The Center for Southeast Louisiana Studies is located on the third floor of the library.
The Center is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m on Friday. Call 985-549-2151 for information.

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