Guided Exhibition Tour: "Pop-Up Books through the Ages"

Celebrate National Library Week with a guided tour of "Pop-Up Books through the Ages." Learn about the surprisingly extensive history of interactive texts, from a 1489 astronomical calendar to a 1932 edition of "Pinocchio."

A hand lifts a piece of paper in the shape of a half-circle on a page of a book.

Declination...of the points of longitude of the globe. Juan González de Urueña, 1740. Call number: Ayer 657.4 .N2 G64 1740

We'll meet in the Newberry lobby and then make our way into the galleries for a closer look at Pop-Up Books through the Ages.

About "Pop-Up Books through the Ages"

Pop-up books have a longer history than you might think. For centuries, books with interactive flaps, dials, and other moving parts have captivated readers of all ages.

Since at least the 1100s, readers have been lifting flaps, spinning dials, and opening elaborate three-dimensional spreads in the pages of books. The earliest interactive texts were intended for scholars. Over time, pop-up books found new audiences and grew in popularity, engaging a wide range of users from emperors to mathematicians to children.

Featuring books, maps, and ephemera from the Newberry collection, Pop-Up Books through the Ages traces the extensive history of hands-on reading. Tactile, interactive components can be found in everything from a 1489 astronomical calendar and a 1775 battle map to a 1932 edition of Pinocchio. Viewing these different items in one place, visitors will see how the art, science, and business of pop-up books evolved over hundreds of years.

In addition to exploring the past, the exhibition highlights the present and future of pop-up books, including the work of contemporary book and paper artists who are pushing the form in new directions. Two of these artists, Hannah Batsel and Shawn Sheehy, have even designed a pop-up version of the Newberry that you can take home and construct yourself!

Pop-Up Books through the Ages is generously supported by The National Endowment for the Arts, the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, Professor James H. Marrow and Dr. Emily Rose, Alan Templeton, Diane and Richard Weinberg, and The Movable Book Society.

Cost and Registration

This tour is free to attend. No advance registration required.

About National Library Week

This tour coincides with National Library Week (April 23-29), a week-long event organized by the American Library Association to celebrate the work of libraries across the United States.

To celebrate, we're offering 10% off all purchases at the Newberry Bookshop (both in-store and online) for the entire week! To access the discount online, enter the code Tome 10 at checkout.

As we celebrate how libraries support communities nationwide, it is also important to remember that we need your support in return. Make a gift this National Library Week to help keep the Newberry vibrant for years to come.

Make a Gift

Pop-up edition of "Pinocchio." 1932.

An astronomical device with a spinning dial (or volvelle) appears in a 1575 edition of Peter Apian's "Cosmography."

Robert Sabuda’s interpretation of a spinning calendar dial by Matthew Paris from 1250.

Pop-up book by Ernst Nister. 1890s.

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